Discussion Questions

First Reading
Isaiah 49:1-6

F1. This reading is about the servant Israel who was chosen to be a beacon for all nations, and to see and be drawn back to God. Explain why it was chosen for today’s celebration of the nativity of John the Baptist.

F2.  “For now the Lord has spoken who formed me as his servant from the womb.” God called the servant in this reading before he was born. Do you think God knew you before you were born? Do you think God will be with you as you make all your life choices? How might you be part of the plan to help salvation reach the ends of the earth?

Second Reading
Acts 13:22-26

S1. Repentance draws people back into right relationship with God. How is John’s baptism of repentance different from baptism in which Jesus sent the Holy Spirit?

S2. What in this reading tells you John was a humble man? Did John direct people’s attention to himself or to Jesus? What was John’s whole life and ministry about? What is your ministry about?

Luke 1:57-66, 80

G1. Was John chosen before he was born, as was the servant in the first reading? Zechariah doubted Gabriel’s words that Elizabeth would bear a son. St. John of the Cross tells us to trust our insights. Are your insights from the Holy Spirit? Do you trust them? Do you act on them or dismiss them?

G2. We can learn three things from John the Baptist: How to prepare, how to discern, and how to decrease in order to let the Lord increase. When Jesus began to preach did John’s following begin to decline? Why does Pope Francis say we need to diminish? According to him, is everything in our ministry up to us, or can we be assured that God will do God’s part?

And a Christian should be a man (or a woman) who can step aside because the Lord will grow in the heart and soul of others.

Pope Francis, June 24, 2014
Feast of Nativity of John the Baptist

Anne Osdieck

**From Saint Louis University

Kristin Clauson