Discussion Questions

First Reading
Leviticus 19:1-2,17-18

1. “Be holy, for I, the LORD, your God, am holy.” Does the Lord tell us what holiness is? Does this reading tell us what to do to be holy? Is holiness related to how we interact with others?

2. If we all “loved our neighbors as ourselves” do you think there would be wars, prisons, hunger and poverty? One way the Lord says to love your neighbor is, “You shall not bear hatred for your brother or sister in your heart. … Cherish no grudge against any of your people.” Is this an easy thing to do? Have you tried it? Will you try again?

Second Reading
1 Corinthians 3:16-23

1. St. Paul says “the Spirit of God dwells in you.” Do you ever remember this? How about when you have important decisions to make? Or when you are in serious trouble? When good things happen? Or is it not very often? Will this reading cause you to make changes regarding this issue?

2. He also says “ ... for the temple of God, which is you, is holy.” And is your neighbor holy too? If this is so, do you treat all the people in your life as though they are holy temples?

Gospel
Matthew 5:38-48

1. Why would Jesus tell you to “Love your enemies?” Who lives like that? Did Jesus show us a new revolutionary kind of acting when he showed us how to love our enemies? How far was he willing to go for them with his radical self-emptying? How far was the Father willing to go for his children?

2. What are the two things that praying for our enemies does, according to Pope Francis?

(The pope noted how Jesus offers many examples to show the commandments in a new light and to prove that love is more generous than the letter of the law. From ‘Do not kill’ meaning don’t insult or be angry with your brother …)

This is not just for the fulfillment of the law, but it also helps to heal our hearts. In Jesus’ explanations of the commandments, especially in St. Matthew’s Gospel, there is a journey of healing. Every heart wounded by sin—as each one of us has—must undertake this journey of healing in order to be more like our “heavenly Father (who) is perfect.” …

The power of prayer will do two things: it will change that person for the better and it will make us become more like children of our heavenly Father.

June 14, 2016
Mass at Casa Santa Marta

Anne Osdieck

**From Saint Louis University

 

Kristin Clauson