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  Word To Life


Sunday Scripture Readings, March 16, 2014

By Jean Denton
Catholic News Service

March 16, Second Sunday of Lent

Cycle C. Readings:

1) Genesis 12:1-4a

Psalm 33:4-5, 18-20, 22

2) 2 Timothy 1:8b-10

Gospel: Matthew 17:1-9

My husband tells a story about his first job as a teenager when the construction crew boss told him, "I can give you a job, but I can't keep it for you."

The unspoken message was, "That depends on your doing it well."

The brief transfiguration of Jesus in this weekend's Gospel is similar: It's as though God is telling the disciples, "I can show you the divine Jesus, but I can't keep him for you." (That's up to you.)

Succeeding at a job is one of many goals we may set as important steps in our life journey. We usually come to understand that a fruitful journey itself is our main goal. But for followers of Jesus there's more.

My friend's daughter, Kristie, landed her "dream job" shortly after graduate school. It wasn't quick or easy. She earned it by first working at low-paying, part-time jobs in order to volunteer at the international nonprofit organization where she ultimately got the hoped-for professional position.

Kristie is a faithful young woman who is guided by Jesus in daily prayer. Because she felt called to the work of improving the health of poor people, she was willing to do it even without pay.

On achieving her dream job, she began pursuing efforts to serve more effectively. Now, after a few years in that administrative position, Kristie feels called to work with the poor on a closer personal level. So she's job hunting again.

As it was with the disciples, so it is with Kristie, and so it must be with us. Continuously on our journey, we go up the mountain with Jesus and we go down the mountain with Jesus.

The operative term is "with Jesus."

We begin a career, then struggle to do it in Jesus' way of compassion and goodness. We marry the love of our life, then work through the joys and trials of family. We retire, then search for new ways to serve.

At mountaintop places along the way, God reveals, momentarily, the exhilarating reality of Jesus and reminds us we can keep him on a greater journey forever.

QUESTIONS:

What have been some mountaintop moments that encouraged you to continue following Jesus? What happened when you went back "down the mountain" with him?

SCRIPTURE TO BE ILLUSTRATED:

"Bear your share of hardship for the Gospel with the strength that comes from God." -- 2 Timothy 1:8b

END



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