Discussion Questions

First Reading
Ezekiel 37:12-14

F1. God said to the Israelites, “I will bring you up from your graves. … I will put my spirit within you and you shall live.” On a scale of one to ten how would you compare these two gifts God promised? Are these promises made to you also?

F2. Would your actions change if you really believed you had access to the Holy Spirit at all times? How?

Second Reading
Romans 8:8-11

S1. Hans Urs von Balthazar said that if you are guided by the Spirit rather than by the flesh, “the germ of divine, eternal life already lives in you with this Spirit and you hold a ‘down-payment,’ as it were, a ticket to God’s life.” Discuss.

S2. St. Paul said, “Those of you who are in the flesh cannot please God.” Do you think he meant, “Those of you who are led by the temptations of the flesh cannot please God?” Is there a difference?  

Gospel
John 11:1-45

G1. How do all the elements in the story of the raising of Lazarus point to Jesus’ words, “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live”? Compare Jesus’ statement, “Untie him and let him go,” with Moses’ statement to the Pharaoh, “Let my people go.

G2. How does Pope Francis describe the beginning of our resurrection in this Angeles talk about the raising of Lazarus?

Jesus calls to us as he called to Lazarus in his tomb: “Come forth!” This call is addressed to every human person because we are all marked by death. Christ is not resigned to the sepulchers that we have constructed with our choices of evil and death, with our mistakes, our sins. [Jesus] invites us, almost orders us, to come out of the tombs into which our sins have plunged us. This is where our resurrection begins: when we decide to obey the command of Jesus to come into the light, to life; when the masks fall from our faces, … and we rediscover the courage of our original faces, created in the image and likeness of God.

( … The raising of Lazarus shows us that) there is no limit to the divine mercy, which is offered to everyone. … The Lord is always ready to roll away the tombstone of our sins, which separate us from him, the light of the living.

Pope Francis: There is no limit to the divine mercy
June 4, 2014
 

Anne Osdieck

**From Saint Louis University

Kristin Clauson