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  Word To Life


Sunday Scripture Readings, March 9, 2014

By Jeff Hensley
Catholic News Service

March 9, First Sunday of Lent

Cycle A. Readings:

1) Genesis 2:7-9; 3:1-7

Psalm: 51:3-6, 12-13, 17

2) Romans 5:12-19 or Romans 5:12, 17-19

Gospel: Matthew 4:1-11

My daughter, at a very young age, began to ask questions about how people could fool themselves into believing that abortion was OK. The inverse ratio between people's acceptance of abortion and the number of years of their education was a puzzling part of this question.

Adam and Eve were just bright enough to allow themselves to question what God had commanded, just smart enough to talk themselves into disobedience, and so sin was introduced into the world.

So it is with many who receive just enough education to allow themselves to question the evidence of their senses and deny that an unborn child is indeed a living, separate being. Those with less education are often less susceptible to verbal arguments that a child in the womb is less than a child.

The Genesis reading makes clear what God offered the first man and his mate: "Out of the ground the Lord God made various trees grow that were delightful to look at and good for food." They had everything they needed, but that wasn't enough.

The serpent convinced them that God was keeping from them the ability to be like him. Encouraging them to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he said, "No, God knows well that the moment you eat of it, your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods."

And all of us have fallen prey to the evil that began with that act.

Many have repented from following their own ways and have sought God's mercy for their rebellion. The psalmist says, "Have mercy on me, O God in your goodness; in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense."

I'm reminded of Bernard Nathanson, the abortion doctor who presided over so many deaths but came to repentance and belief in the one who came to bring relief from the burden of sin and guilt. Only the blood of the one who redeems us could take away a guilt so great. Only the God who offered a way out of the sin and death that come from going our own way could redeem the infamous abortionist -- and each of us.

QUESTIONS:

Do you sometimes ponder the ways people deceive themselves into acting against God's will? How can we make God's mercy more apparent and more available to others?

SCRIPTURE TO BE ILLUSTRATED:

"For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so, through the obedience of the one, the many will be made righteous." -- Romans 5:19

END



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