Accountability and Support

“Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up, as indeed you do.”
– 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Monthly Focus on Nurturing Relationship with Christ

When was I most aware of Christ’s presence in my life during the past 30 days? Why?

Discussion Questions for August 12, 2018 Sunday Mass

Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

First Reading

1 Kings 19:4-8

Elijah went a day's journey into the desert,
until he came to a broom tree and sat beneath it. 
He prayed for death saying:
"This is enough, O LORD! 
Take my life, for I am no better than my fathers." 
He lay down and fell asleep under the broom tree,
but then an angel touched him and ordered him to get up and eat. 
Elijah looked and there at his head was a hearth cake
and a jug of water. 
After he ate and drank, he lay down again,
but the angel of the LORD came back a second time,
touched him, and ordered,
"Get up and eat, else the journey will be too long for you!" 
He got up, ate, and drank;
then strengthened by that food,
he walked forty days and forty nights to the mountain of God, Horeb.

First Discussion Questions
F1. In this reading sometimes we are Elijah and sometimes we are the hearth cake. Think of times in your life when you wanted to cry, “Enough” and you could have used good food. Did help come? How?

F2. God sent help to Elijah in the form of an angel. What kind of help do you think God would send today? Name some ways you can be the “hearth cake” for a person in a desperate condition.

Second Reading

Ephesians 4:30-5:2

Brothers and sisters:
Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God,
with which you were sealed for the day of redemption. 
All bitterness, fury, anger, shouting, and reviling
must be removed from you, along with all malice. 
And be kind to one another, compassionate,
forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ.

So be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love,
as Christ loved us and handed himself over for us
as a sacrificial offering to God for a fragrant aroma.

Second Reading Discussion Questions
S1. Do you think you could get better at “being an imitator of God?” How? Is it more likely to happen all at once because you want it to, or a little at a time because you work at letting God into you? If you were going to work at this, where would you start?

S2. Do you know any “imitators of God?” What kinds of things did/do they do?

Gospel Reading

John 6:41-51

The Jews murmured about Jesus because he said,
"I am the bread that came down from heaven, "
and they said,
"Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph? 
Do we not know his father and mother? 
Then how can he say,
'I have come down from heaven'?" 
Jesus answered and said to them,
"Stop murmuring among yourselves. 
No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draw him,
and I will raise him on the last day. 
It is written in the prophets:
They shall all be taught by God.
Everyone who listens to my Father and learns from him comes to me. 
Not that anyone has seen the Father
except the one who is from God;
he has seen the Father. 
Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever believes has eternal life. 
I am the bread of life. 
Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died;
this is the bread that comes down from heaven
so that one may eat it and not die. 
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."

Gospel Reading Discussion Questions
G1. The crowd murmured when Jesus said he was the bread that came down from heaven. How did knowing his mother and father impact the crowd’s willingness to believe him? Is it easy to accept a “prophet (one who speaks for God) in your own circle of acquaintances? Explain.

G2. “And the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.” Explain this statement from the Gospel in the light of what Pope Francis says below. What is one way Jesus gives his flesh for the life of the world now?

As we are nourished by the Body and Blood of Christ, we are assimilated with him; we receive his love within us, not to hold it back selfishly, but rather to share it with others. … Indeed in it we contemplate Jesus, Bread broken and offered, Blood poured out for our salvation. It is a presence which … ignites the desire to make ourselves, too, in union with Christ, bread broken and blood poured out for our brothers and sisters.

Pope Francis Angelus Saint Peter's Square
Sunday, 3 June, 2018
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.