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
M3.  Periodicals
M4.  Other

Discussion Questions for August 19, 2018
Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

First Reading

Proverbs 9:1-6

Wisdom has built her house,
she has set up her seven columns;
she has dressed her meat, mixed her wine,
yes, she has spread her table.
She has sent out her maidens; she calls
from the heights out over the city:
"Let whoever is simple turn in here;
To the one who lacks understanding, she says,
Come, eat of my food,
and drink of the wine I have mixed!
Forsake foolishness that you may live;
advance in the way of understanding."

First Reading Discussion Questions

F1. Is Wisdom female or male? Does she invite or demand? What hungers does she satisfy? What is the difference between knowledge and wisdom? Does the latter help us in difficult situations?

F2. Our food becomes part of us and helps us grow and repair our cells. This reading talks about a meal that brings us to the fullness of life. If we eat at Wisdom’s table will we know the things of God?

Second Reading

Ephesians 5:15-20

Brothers and sisters:
Watch carefully how you live,
not as foolish persons but as wise,
making the most of the opportunity,
because the days are evil. 
Therefore, do not continue in ignorance,
but try to understand what is the will of the Lord. 
And do not get drunk on wine, in which lies debauchery,
but be filled with the Spirit,
addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,
singing and playing to the Lord in your hearts,
giving thanks always and for everything
in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father.

Second Reading Discussion Questions

S1. “Be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.” Outside the liturgical setting what are some ways you can show love for your neighbors other than “greeting them with songs”?

S2. The reading tells us to give thanks always and everywhere. If giving thanks for painful situations is too difficult, what might be some other ways to handle them?

 

Gospel

John 6:51-58

Jesus said to the crowds:
"I am the living bread that came down from heaven;
whoever eats this bread will live forever;
and the bread that I will give
is my flesh for the life of the world."

The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying,
"How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" 
Jesus said to them,
"Amen, amen, I say to you,
unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood,
you do not have life within you. 
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood
has eternal life,
and I will raise him on the last day. 
For my flesh is true food,
and my blood is true drink. 
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood
remains in me and I in him. 
Just as the living Father sent me
and I have life because of the Father,
so also the one who feeds on me
will have life because of me. 
This is the bread that came down from heaven. 
Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died,
whoever eats this bread will live forever."

Gospel Discussion Questions

G1.  When people love each other they want to be together. Explain “Whoever eats my flesh remains in me and I in him” in this light. Stating it many different ways, how many times did Jesus suggest that the crowd “eat this bread” in Sunday’s Gospel? If we eat at the table of the Lord will he give himself to us and give us eternal life?

G2.  Pope Francis commented on the Gospel in which learned Jews listening to Jesus argue among themselves, asking: “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” According to Francis can we correctly interpret the Gospel purely through the intellect without regard to love and beauty?

They are the great ideologues. … These ideologues cut off the road of love, and also that of beauty. … All a matter of intellect! And when ideology enters into the Church, when ideology enters into our understanding of the Gospel, no [authentic] comprehension is [possible]. The ideologues falsify the gospel. Every ideological interpretation, wherever it comes from—from [whatever side]—is a falsification of the Gospel. And these ideologues—as we have seen in the history of the Church—end up being intellectuals without talent, ethicists without goodness—and let us not so much as mention beauty, of which they understand nothing.

An Attitude of Gratitude
Fourth paragraph

 

**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.