Discussion Questions

Fear of the Lord

First Reading
Malachi 3:19-20a

1. “Fear of the Lord,” one of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit is now called “Wonder and Awe in the presence of God.” Compare and contrast these two, wonder and awe. Which do you prefer? Which image gives you a better understanding of this reading?

2. Name some ways that justice heals. Is there any kind of healing you would like to bring about in the world, through justice? Where do you think alleviating the grave evil of poverty should fall on the priority list of the Church’s mission? Is it optional?

Second Reading2
2 Thessalonians 3:7-12

1. Paul says to the Christians in Thessalonica, “We wanted to present ourselves as a model for you.” Which saints, or leaders/people in the Church, world or community are models for you? How might you imitate them?

2. What does St. Paul say drove St. him to “work in toil and drudgery, night and day”? What would he have toiled at today? Do you work to bring about the kingdom? How?

Luke 21:5-19

1. Jesus says, “Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand, for I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking.” How does this statement and “Not a hair of your head will perish.” impact your trust in God?

2. Are Jesus’ words relevant for us today in the 21st century? What does Pope Francis say are the two important points for us in this Gospel?

First, not to let oneself be fooled by false prophets nor to be paralyzed by fear. Second, to live this time of expectation as a time of witness and perseverance. …

[This] second aspect challenges us as Christians and as a Church: Jesus predicts that his disciples will have to suffer painful trials and persecution for his sake. He reassures them, however, saying: “Not a hair of your head will perish” (Gospel). This reminds us that we are completely in God’s hands! The trials we encounter for our faith and our commitment to the Gospel are occasions to give witness; we must not distance ourselves from the Lord, but instead abandon ourselves even more to him, to the power of his Spirit and his grace.

Angelus, Saint Peter's Square
Nov. 17, 2013

Anne Osdieck

**From Saint Louis University

Kristin Clauson