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 August 28, 2016 Sunday Mass
22nd Sunday of Ordinary Time

First Reading

Sirach 3:17-18, 20, 28-29
My child, conduct your affairs with humility,
and you will be loved more than a giver of gifts.
Humble yourself the more, the greater you are,
and you will find favor with God.
What is too sublime for you, seek not,
into things beyond your strength search not.
The mind of a sage appreciates proverbs,
and an attentive ear is the joy of the wise.
Water quenches a flaming fire,
and alms atone for sins.

First Reading Discussion Questions
F1. The word used by the ancient Romans, “humus,” had a lot of meanings, among which were ground, earth and soil. Use this meaning as a springboard and make up your own definition of humility.

F2. Name someone you think is a truly a great person. Is that person humble? What does humility look like in him/her? The Gospel mentions the lame, poor, crippled and blind. From your experience with these people would you say most of them are humble?

Second Reading

Hebrews 12:18-19, 22-24a
Brothers and sisters:
You have not approached that which could be touched
and a blazing fire and gloomy darkness
and storm and a trumpet blast
and a voice speaking words such that those who heard
begged that no message be further addressed to them.
No, you have approached Mount Zion
and the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem,
and countless angels in festal gathering,
and the assembly of the firstborn enrolled in heaven,
and God the judge of all,
and the spirits of the just made perfect,
and Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant,
and the sprinkled blood that speaks more eloquently than that of Abel.

Second Reading Discussion Questions
S1. What do you feel when you read the words from the old covenant (“blazing fire,” “gloomy darkness,” “storm,” “trumpet”)? What mood do the words from the new covenant bring to you (“heavenly Jerusalem,” “countless angels in festal gathering”)?

S2. What is a covenant? What does it mean to say that Jesus is the mediator of a new covenant? Why does the sprinkled blood of the new covenant speak more eloquently than that of Abel, as this reading asserts?

Gospel

Luke 14:1, 7-14
On a sabbath Jesus went to dine
at the home of one of the leading Pharisees,
and the people there were observing him carefully.

He told a parable to those who had been invited,
noticing how they were choosing the places of honor at the table.
“When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet,
do not recline at table in the place of honor. 
A more distinguished guest than you may have been invited by him,
and the host who invited both of you may approach you and say,
‘Give your place to this man,’
and then you would proceed with embarrassment
to take the lowest place. 
Rather, when you are invited,
go and take the lowest place
so that when the host comes to you he may say,
‘My friend, move up to a higher position.’
Then you will enjoy the esteem of your companions at the table. 
For every one who exalts himself will be humbled,
but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” 
Then he said to the host who invited him,
“When you hold a lunch or a dinner,
do not invite your friends or your brothers
or your relatives or your wealthy neighbors,
in case they may invite you back and you have repayment.
Rather, when you hold a banquet,
invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind;
blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you.
For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

Gospel Discussion Questions

G1. Does anything cripple you, sometimes make you blind? Discuss the fact that Jesus experienced our human pain along with us in order to help us get to the banquet. Do you feel any responsibility as a member of the body of Christ to help other people get to the banquet?

G2. “When you hold a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind … ” In Evangelii Gaudium [The Joy of the Gospel], Chapter 4, p. 198, Pope Francis offers an explanation of one way “you will be blessed” if and when you do this. Have you experienced this blessing?

… I want a Church which is poor and for the poor. They have much to teach us. Not only do they share in the sensus fidei,* but in their difficulties they know the suffering Christ. We need to let ourselves be evangelized by them. The new evangelization is an invitation to acknowledge the saving power at work in their lives and to put them at the center of the Church’s pilgrim way. We are called to find Christ in them, to lend our voice to their causes, but also to be their friends, to listen to them, to speak for them and to embrace the mysterious wisdom which God wishes to share with us through them.

Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium
Of the Holy Father Francis

**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.