Discussion Questions

First Reading
Isaiah 49:14-15

1. “The Lord has forsaken me.” Did Jesus say this? Did he he endure it? Who can relate to such misery today? How do you think God comforts people in 2017?

2. The second half of this reading is God’s response: comfort to the forsaken. How do you feel when God compares himself with a nursing mother? What do you think Pope Francis means when he compares the Church to “a mother with an open heart”? 

Second Reading
1 Corinthians 4:1-5

1. Do the motives of our hearts relate to being good stewards of the gospel? What motivates your heart?

2. “Thus should one regard us: as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.” What are the “mysteries” Paul speaks of? What does a steward of the mysteries of God do? Would s/he protect the mysteries and keep them hidden from sight or make them know to everyone? How would s/he do this?

Gospel
Matthew 6:24-34

1. John Shea, STD, suggests that the Gospel offers two scenarios: “(1) understand and inhabit your life as an anxious project for future physical survival or (2 ) understand and inhabit your life as a present gift sustained by God prior to any human activity to secure it.” What happens to the concerns of (1) if you choose (2)?

2. In Laudato Si, Pope Francis says that Jesus asked us to contemplate the lilies of the field and the birds. If every person and creature has something to say to us, what do you learn from the lilies and birds when you really look at them?

We are speaking of an attitude of the heart, one which approaches life with serene attentiveness, which is capable of being fully present to someone without thinking of what comes next, which accepts each moment as a gift from God to be lived to the full. Jesus taught us this attitude when he invited us to contemplate the lilies of the field and the birds of the air, or when seeing the rich young man and knowing his restlessness, “he looked at him with love” (Mk 10:21). He was completely present to everyone and to everything, and in this way he showed us the way to overcome that unhealthy anxiety which makes us superficial, aggressive and compulsive consumers.

Encyclical Letter Laudato Si of the Holy Father Francis, #226,
May 24, 2015

Anne Osdieck
 

**From Saint Louis University

Kristin Clauson