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  Word To Life


Sunday Scripture Readings, Oct. 14, 2012

By Jeff Hensley
Catholic News Service

October 14, Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Cycle B. Readings:

1) Wisdom 7:7-11

Psalm 90:12-17

2) Hebrews 4:12-13

Gospel: Mark 10:17-30

At a gathering of people from our old prayer group, I was standing with a friend who is legally blind when she began remarking on how blessed we are. Terry focused her comments on the ease of life, abundant food and other blessings that surround most of us.

I suspect her sense of abundance was sparked by being surrounded by friends of three decades, immersed in the joy of a celebration much like a family reunion. Having outlived many of her old prayer group friends and now unable to see much more than shadows and shapes, she was a living example of Jesus' promise to those who have suffered losses for his sake.

Those who had suffered for his sake, he said, would be rewarded with "a hundred times more ... houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come."

Jesus' comments came after he had sent the rich young man away telling him to sell all he had, give it to the poor and then come follow him that he might inherit eternal life. Jesus had then turned to his disciples and said, "How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God."

The Wisdom reading speaks of having prayed and having had the spirit of wisdom come to the writer. "I preferred her to scepter and throne, and deemed riches nothing in comparison with her."

A piece on the radio last night began with the sound of the pencil scratching of a man with aphasia, spelling out his thoughts, so his adult daughter could read them for the interview. Before suffering a stroke, he had been highly successful and always in control. His relationship with his daughter had been more tense and confrontational than close.

When he accepted his vastly reduced income and prestige and his inability to utter more than a few words, he realized he did not wish to return to his former state. The difference, he wrote, was one word -- "love."

Though wealth is a barrier, Jesus says, God's grace makes it possible to enter the kingdom of God.

QUESTIONS:

Do you have any possessions that own you rather than you owning them? What ways can you help those who have little to be reasonably compensated and live productive and healthy lives?

SCRIPTURE TO BE ILLUSTRATED:

"Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" -- Mark 10:17

END



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