Accountability and Support
“Iron is sharpened by iron; one person sharpens another.”
– Proverbs 27:17
Monthly Focus on Study
What have I studied during the past 30 days to help me better understand the gifts of God?
M1. Bible Reading
M2. Books of Formation
Discussion Questions for April 16, 2017
The Mass of Easter Day
Acts 10:34a, 37-43
Peter proceeded to speak and said:
"You know what has happened all over Judea,
beginning in Galilee after the baptism
that John preached,
how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth
with the Holy Spirit and power.
He went about doing good
and healing all those oppressed by the devil,
for God was with him.
We are witnesses of all that he did
both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem.
They put him to death by hanging him on a tree.
This man God raised on the third day and granted that he be visible,
not to all the people, but to us,
the witnesses chosen by God in advance,
who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.
He commissioned us to preach to the people
and testify that he is the one appointed by God
as judge of the living and the dead.
To him all the prophets bear witness,
that everyone who believes in him
will receive forgiveness of sins through his name."
First Reading Discussion Questions
F1. What is the significance of the word “witness,” in this sentence, “We are witnesses of all that he did”? Peter uses it both as a noun (meaning “observer”) and a verb (meaning “corroborate,” “testify”). So it is something you can be and do. Be: how are you a witness? Do: what is your action to witness to the truth?
F2. Should we witness with more than words? Peter bore witness in a different manner after the Resurrection than he did before Christ died. To what do you attribute this? Was he consumed by love for Christ and his Gospel? Is the source of strength for Peter the same source for us?
Brothers and sisters:
If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above,
where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.
Think of what is above, not of what is on earth.
For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
When Christ your life appears,
then you too will appear with him in glory.
Second Reading Discussion Questions
S1. “Brothers and sisters: If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above.” (See later in this chapter of Colossians for Paul’s meaning of “above.”) He says that we should put on heartfelt compassion. What does compassion look like in our immediate world and in the larger one? Discuss Pope Francis’ statement below:
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Mt 7:12).
This Rule points us in a clear direction. Let us treat others with the same passion and compassion with which we want to be treated. Let us seek for others the same possibilities which we seek for ourselves. Let us help others to grow, as we would like to be helped ourselves. In a word, if we want security, let us give security; if we want life, let us give life; if we want opportunities, let us provide opportunities. The yardstick we use for others will be the yardstick which time will use for us. The Golden Rule also reminds us of our responsibility to protect and defend human life at every stage of its development.
Pope Francis' address to United States Congress September 24, 2015
S2. One of Paul’s last directives (Colossians 3:15) is to let the peace of Christ control our hearts. How do you do that if you’re feeling confused or paralyzed with fear, or depressed? Where did the disciples find help obtaining peace? Is their source available to you?
On the first day of the week,
Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning,
while it was still dark,
and saw the stone removed from the tomb.
So she ran and went to Simon Peter
and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them,
"They have taken the Lord from the tomb,
and we don't know where they put him."
So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb.
They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter
and arrived at the tomb first;
he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in.
When Simon Peter arrived after him,
he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there,
and the cloth that had covered his head,
not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place.
Then the other disciple also went in,
the one who had arrived at the tomb first,
and he saw and believed.
For they did not yet understand the Scripture
that he had to rise from the dead.
Gospel Discussion Questions
G1. What is it that allowed John to “see and believe,” in order to have this kind of clarity? Does love give you knowledge about a person, or insights into their behavior? In John, Jesus said “Whoever loves me. … I will love him (her) and reveal myself to him (her)” (John 14: 21). Is there a connection between Jesus’ statement and John’s “seeing and believing”?
G2. “For they did not yet understand the Scripture. …” And then John tells us in Jn 20: 11-18, “ … she turned around and saw Jesus there, but did not know it was Jesus.” Do you understand everything about the resurrection? Do you always recognize Jesus in your everyday life? Do you ask yourself at night where you might have run into Jesus (or God’s love) that day?
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.