Discussion Questions

First Reading
Isaiah 49:5-6

1.  What in this famous “servant song” will Jesus proclaim throughout his ministry? Can we be a light for the world? How? Can we be a crack of light in someone’s darkness?

2. In what ways does Pope Francis’ World Peace Day message for this year, 2017, help the Church become “a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth”?

I pledge the assistance of the Church in every effort to build peace through active and creative nonviolence. On January 1, 2017, the new Dicastery* for Promoting Integral Human Development will begin its work. It will help the Church to promote in an ever more effective way “the inestimable goods of justice, peace, and the care of creation” and concern for “migrants, those in need, the sick, the excluded and marginalized, the imprisoned and the unemployed, as well as victims of armed conflict, natural disasters, and all forms of slavery and torture.” Every such response, however modest, helps to build a world free of violence, the first step towards justice and peace.

Francis, For the Celebration of the Fiftieth World Day of Peace 1 January 2017

Second Reading
1 Corinthians 1:1-3

1. We are “called to be holy.” What does “holy” mean to you? How is John the Baptist a model of holiness? Who is holy in your world? What does s/he do that makes you think that?

2.  In Luke’s report of Jesus’ baptism (Lk 3:11-22) we hear about treatment of the poor: “Anyone who has two tunics must share with the one who has none … ” Does outrage at our neighbors’ poverty have anything to do with hzoliness?

Gospel
John 1:29-34

1. “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world,” the Baptist says. “I did not know him.” Why did he identify an ordinary-seeming human being in this way? After this, what happened to John’s baptism with water?

2. Why was John so certain about Jesus when he said, “Behold the Lamb of God”? Was John watching for the Spirit? Do you watch for the Spirit in your life? Can you find and trust this Spirit of God?

 * Dicastery: a department of the Roman Curia, the administration of the Holy See through which the pope directs the Catholic Church. 

Anne Osdieck

 

**From Saint Louis University

Kristin Clauson