Accountability and Support

“Two are better than one: They get a good wage for their toil. If the one falls, the other will help the fallen one. But woe to the solitary person! If that one should fall, there is no other to help. So also, if two sleep together, they keep each other warm. How can one alone keep warm? Where one alone may be overcome, two together can resist. A three-ply cord is not easily broken.”
– Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Monthly Focus on Action

“I will make you fishers of men.”
M1.   What apostolic success did the Lord accomplish through me during the past 30 days to extend the kingdom? In my family? In my work? In my environment?
M2.  With what apostolic failure did the Lord wish to test me during the past 30 days? In my family? In my work? In my environment?
M3.  How did I fulfill last month’s plan?
M4.  What do I need to work on?

Discussion Questions for April 22, 2018
Fourth Sunday of Easter

First Reading 

Acts 4:8-12
Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said:
"Leaders of the people and elders:
If we are being examined today
about a good deed done to a cripple,
namely, by what means he was saved,
then all of you and all the people of Israel should know
that it was in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean
whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead;
in his name this man stands before you healed.
He is the stone rejected by you, the builders,
which has become the cornerstone.
There is no salvation through anyone else,
nor is there any other name under heaven
given to the human race by which we are to be saved."

First Reading Discussion Questions
F1.  Peter says that it was Christ who healed the crippled man. Christ “is the stone rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone.” The one who saves was not a mighty warrior, but a rejected Nazorean. How does that relate to the opposite belief that evil can only be corrected through force? What might a policeman learn from this reading?

F2. In this reading Peter responds to attempts by the “leaders of the people and elders” to discredit Jesus’ message. Do you see efforts to discredit Jesus’ message in the world today? Name some. How can you help bring God’s saving grace to a world/neighborhood in desperate need of healing?

Second Reading 

1 John 3:1-2
Beloved:
See what love the Father has bestowed on us
that we may be called the children of God.
Yet so we are.
The reason the world does not know us
is that it did not know him.
Beloved, we are God's children now;
what we shall be has not yet been revealed.
We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him,
for we shall see him as he is.
 

Second Reading Discussion Questions
S1.  What gifts have you received as one of the children of God? What gifts have you received from God today?

S2. God is always present, hovering over us like a mother hen. Why does God not just jump right in and save us from all the messes we get into? 

Gospel

John 10:11-18
Jesus said:
"I am the good shepherd.
A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
A hired man, who is not a shepherd
and whose sheep are not his own,
sees a wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away,
and the wolf catches and scatters them.
This is because he works for pay and has no concern for the sheep.
I am the good shepherd,
and I know mine and mine know me,
just as the Father knows me and I know the Father;
and I will lay down my life for the sheep.
I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold.
These also I must lead, and they will hear my voice,
and there will be one flock, one shepherd.
This is why the Father loves me,
because I lay down my life in order to take it up again.
No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own.
I have power to lay it down, and power to take it up again.
This command I have received from my Father."

Gospel Discussion Questions

G1. Besides suggesting that priests stay close to the marginalized by being “shepherds living with the smell of the sheep” (Homily for Chrism Mass, March 28, 2013), Pope Francis also said that

The Son of God, by becoming flesh, summoned us to the revolution of tenderness.

Evangelii Gaudium - page 72

How do those statements relate to Jesus calling himself the Good Shepherd?

G2. Jesus said, “I know mine and mine know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I will lay down my life for the sheep.” Jesus is applying the love between himself and his Father to the relation between himself and his own. What does this tell you about how well you are known and how much you are loved? For whom would you lay down your life?

 

Anne Osdieck

 

**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.