Accountability and Support

“Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up, as indeed you do.”
– 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Monthly Focus on Nurturing Relationship with Christ

When was I most aware of Christ’s presence in my life during the past 30 days? Why?

Discussion Questions for April 8, 2018 Sunday Mass

Second Sunday of Easter

First Reading

Acts 4:32-35
The community of believers was of one heart and mind,
and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own,
but they had everything in common.
With great power the apostles bore witness
to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus,
and great favor was accorded them all.
There was no needy person among them,
for those who owned property or houses would sell them,
bring the proceeds of the sale,
and put them at the feet of the apostles,
and they were distributed to each according to need.

First Discussion Questions
F1. In this reading, the community’s treatment of possessions is the early Church’s response to Christ’s life, death and resurrection. How does your treatment of possessions compare with theirs?

F2. Who are the needy people in your immediate life? Can you take care of at least some of their privations? What, if anything, can you do about the lacks of people in your extended world? If you joined forces with another person or group could you do something to alleviate some needs of these people?

 

Second Reading

1 John 5:1-6
Beloved:
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is begotten by God,
and everyone who loves the Father
loves also the one begotten by him.
In this way we know that we love the children of God
when we love God and obey his commandments.
For the love of God is this,
that we keep his commandments.
And his commandments are not burdensome,
for whoever is begotten by God conquers the world.
And the victory that conquers the world is our faith.
Who indeed is the victor over the world
but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

This is the one who came through water and blood, Jesus Christ,
not by water alone, but by water and blood.
The Spirit is the one that testifies,
and the Spirit is truth.
 

Second Reading Discussion Questions
S1.   Does what you have done make you a Christian, or what Christ has done? Which is more important, belief in Jesus or performance of good deeds? If you believe deeply and personally in Jesus will good deeds spring from that belief and love?

S2. “ … We know that we love the children of God when we love God. … ” Love of God presumes love for others. If the two loves (love of God and love for others) are so connected, and if one form of love always results in the other, does it matter which comes first?

Gospel Reading

John 20:19-31
On the evening of that first day of the week,
when the doors were locked, where the disciples were,
for fear of the Jews,
Jesus came and stood in their midst
and said to them, "Peace be with you."
When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.
The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you.
As the Father has sent me, so I send you."
And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them,
"Receive the Holy Spirit.
Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them,
and whose sins you retain are retained."

Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve,
was not with them when Jesus came.
So the other disciples said to him, "We have seen the Lord."
But he said to them,
"Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands
and put my finger into the nailmarks
and put my hand into his side, I will not believe."

Now a week later his disciples were again inside
and Thomas was with them.
Jesus came, although the doors were locked, 
and stood in their midst and said, "Peace be with you."
Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here and see my hands,
and bring your hand and put it into my side,
and do not be unbelieving, but believe."
Thomas answered and said to him, "My Lord and my God!"
Jesus said to him, "Have you come to believe because you have seen me?
Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed."

Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples
that are not written in this book.
But these are written that you may come to believe
that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God,
and that through this belief you may have life in his name.

Gospel Reading Discussion Questions
G1. What is the significance of Jesus’ breath when he gave the disciples the Holy Spirit? Is it the same Holy Spirit you receive in Baptism and Confirmation? Jesus empowered his disciples with his Spirit so they could pass the gift of peace on to others. He said to them, “Whose sins you forgive are forgiven.” How is peace related to forgiveness of sins?

G2. Making peace between God and the world was Jesus’ Easter gift to us. Do we have a part in helping spread that peace? Discuss Pope Francis’ statement regarding peace. 

… Peace to the whole world, torn apart by violence linked to drug trafficking and by the iniquitous exploitation of natural resources! Peace to this our Earth! May the risen Jesus bring comfort to the victims of natural disasters and make us responsible guardians of creation.

Easter Sunday Mass, Vatican, March 31, 2013

 

**From Saint Louis University & Anne Osdieck

Suggested Strategies for Managing the Clock

  • For those with smaller groups or those who have the luxury of enough allotted time, it is suggested that the group cover each question from the monthly focus through the Gospel discussion questions
  • For those with larger groups or don't have the luxury of operating on God's Time, it is suggested that the group cover the monthly focus question and then feel free to skip around and attempt to answer only a few questions - whether that’s just the gospel, or the second reading and gospel, etc.