Discussion Questions

First Reading
Jonah 3:1-5, 10

F1. What do Jonah’s and Jesus’ announcements have in common? Were both calling people to conversion and to do good? Were these announcements intended for every nation and every person on earth? Did Jonah run away from Yahweh when he was called? Can you relate to that sometimes?

F2. What was God looking for in the Ninevites? What is God looking for in you? Does God call you to conversion once or over and over again? Why?

Second Reading
1 Corinthians 7:29-31

S1. Do you think the message in this reading concerns preparation for the next life or happiness in this life? Does putting your security in the goods of this world make you happy? Paul says, “Let … those using the world [act] as not using it fully.” Could this be a recipe for happiness now?

S2. Does your culture help or hinder your detachment from possessions (toys, gadgets, messages about the security that “things” bring)? Explain.

Gospel
Mark 1:14-20

1. Must you be called as a missionary and, for instance, go to Africa? Or could your call be to bring the Good News wherever you are, in whatever you do? Which way does Jesus call you?

2. According to Pope Francis’s statement below, do you have to be perfect to be called? Is the Lord with you when you make mistakes? How does he show his eternal love?

It seems in this passage that Simon, Andrew, James and John are chosen once-and-for-all: and yes, they were chosen! At this moment in the story, however, they had not been faithful to the last. After being chosen, they went on to make mistakes. …

How did the Lord work it all out? He stepped in, He straightened the path, He put things right. Think of the great David, a great sinner, and then a great saint. The Lord knows. When the Lord tells us: ‘With eternal love, I have loved you,’ He is referring to this. The Lord has been thinking of us for many generations—of each and every one of us.
 

Pope Francis: God's love is good beyond comprehension
January 14, 2014, Casa Santa Marta chapel


Anne Osdieck

**From Saint Louis University

Kristin Clauson