2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8b-12, 14a, 16
F1. In this reading David is embarrassed. He is living in a beautiful dwelling while God’s residence is in “a tent.” He plans to build a beautiful house for the Lord. What does God say in return (through Nathan the prophet)? Was it inappropriate for David to make his own decision as to where God would be? Where might God dwell besides in a tent or building? Where does the real Church reside?
F2. Compare and contrast what David wants to give God with what God did for David. Can you relate to “receiving much more than you give”? What happens to you when you open up just a little to God? Who/what was God’s gift that brought perfection to David’s house?
S1. What was the “mystery kept secret for long ages”? Do you think the “mystery” was really a secret or possibly that it was not understood till Jesus became man? What does the Incarnation reveal to you about God?
S2. This reading says God’s saving plan is for “all nations.” If all people believed that message, what would happen to the conflict between nations, the selfishness that creates poverty and to the disparity of wealth? Is there anything you can do to brighten up some of this darkness?
John 1:6-8, 19-28
G1. Why would an infinite God wait for a human “yes” to enter the human race? Why didn’t he just come to us on his own? Can you relate to Mary’s unconditional “yes” to God, or is your yes conditional? If you do say yes, will God come take up residence in your life?
G2. In a General Audience on Oct. 23. 2013, Pope Francis spoke of Mary as a model of faith, after giving her “yes” to the announcement from the angel Gabriel.
Our Lady also wants to bring the great gift of Jesus to us, to us all; and with him she brings us his love, his peace, and his joy. In this, the Church is like Mary: the Church is not a shop, she is not a humanitarian agency, the Church is not an NGO. The Church is sent to bring Christ and his Gospel to all. She does not bring herself —whether small or great, strong or weak, the Church carries Jesus and should be like Mary when she went to visit Elizabeth. What did Mary take to her? Jesus. The Church brings Jesus: this is the centre of the Church, to carry Jesus! … The Church must bring Jesus, the love of Jesus, the charity of Jesus.
… Is it the love of Jesus that shares, that forgives, that accompanies, or is it a watered-down love, like wine so diluted that it seems like water?
Pope Francis General Audience,
2b, St Peter's Square, October 23, 2013
What does the following mean to you: “The Church must bring … the love of Jesus … that shares, that forgives, that accompanies”?
**From Saint Louis University