Accountability and Support

“For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”
– Matthew 18:20

Monthly Focus on Piety

With what spiritual aids have I nourished my vital union with Christ during the past 30 days?
M1.   Morning offering
M2.  Personal Prayer Period
M3.  Mass and Communion
M4.  Visits to the Blessed Sacrament
M5.  Rosary / Devotion to Mary
M6.  Examination of Conscience
M7.  Spiritual Direction

Discussion Questions for September 3, 2017
Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time

First Reading

Jeremiah 20:7-9
You duped me, O LORD, and I let myself be duped;
you were too strong for me, and you triumphed.
All the day I am an object of laughter;
everyone mocks me.

Whenever I speak, I must cry out,
violence and outrage is my message;
the word of the LORD has brought me
derision and reproach all the day.

I say to myself, I will not mention him,
I will speak in his name no more.
But then it becomes like fire burning in my heart,
imprisoned in my bones;
I grow weary holding it in, I cannot endure it.

First Reading Discussion Questions
F1. Jeremiah couldn’t ignore the call to prophecy even though it brought him much ridicule. Who today speaks out about injustice in human trafficking, police profiling and child immigration? What social or economic structure of oppression would you like so much to transform that you can’t keep quiet about it?.

F2. How does Pope Francis’ statement in the America interview relate to “It becomes like fire burning in my heart.” from today’s reading?

Instead of being just a church that welcomes and receives by keeping the doors open, let us try also to be a church that finds new roads, that is able to step outside itself and go to those who do not attend Mass, to those who have quit or are indifferent. The ones who quit sometimes do it for reasons that, if properly understood and assessed, can lead to a return. But that takes audacity and courage. … We need to proclaim the Gospel on every street corner, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing, even with our preaching, every kind of disease and wound.

A Big Heart Open to God, Sept. 30, 2013

Second Reading

Romans 12:1-2
I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God,
to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice,
holy and pleasing to God, your spiritual worship. 
Do not conform yourselves to this age
but be transformed by the renewal of your mind,
that you may discern what is the will of God,
what is good and pleasing and perfect.

Second Reading Discussion Questions
S1.  How do you discern God’s will? Does certainty about the will of God come suddenly? Can it emerge gradually? Do you imagine you have made the decision and then check for feelings of consolation or desolation?

S2. Do you think Christ will use your suffering for the salvation of the world if you unite yours with his?

Gospel

Matthew 16:21-27

Jesus began to show his disciples
that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly
from the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes,
and be killed and on the third day be raised. 
Then Peter took Jesus aside and began to rebuke him,
"God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you." 
He turned and said to Peter,
"Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me. 
You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do."

Then Jesus said to his disciples,
"Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself,
take up his cross, and follow me. 
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world
and forfeit his life? 
Or what can one give in exchange for his life? 
For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father's glory,
and then he will repay all according to his conduct."

Gospel Discussion Questions
G1.  Which of these situations fit “Lose your life for my sake and find it”? Dads and Moms making sacrifices for the good of the family; Priests, brothers and sisters generously serving others; Young people daring to follow their consciences, unafraid to go against the current; People renouncing their own interests to work with immigrants, elderly, disabled, trafficked?

G2. You cannot take your money and possessions with you when you die. If you “lose  your life” in love for others, does that give you something to take with you? Is it the love in your heart that goes with you when you die?

 

**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.