Discussion Questions

First Reading

Isaiah 50:5-9a

F1. Isaiah says, “The Lord God opens my ear that I may hear … ” What kinds of things do you think God would like us to hear? That “a brother or sister has nothing to wear and has no food for the day” from the Second Reading? Then what? Do we act on what we hear?

F2. “The Lord God is my help … ” These words are found twice in the present reading. How do they relate to Jesus’ utterance in the Gospel, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself.” Will God be with us every minute, no matter what?
 

Second Reading

James 2:14-18

S1. How important is it to express your faith in works? The letter of James tells us to serve our neighbor. Do you ever respond to such a call? If so, how? With a few words? In some of your actions? With your entire life? 

S2. Why does Pope Francis say we must have a faith that “engages us”?

The Gospels also contain stories of “people who don’t know doctrine but have a lot of faith,” such as the Samaritan woman at the well, who opened her heart to the Lord because she “met not abstract truth,” but the person of Jesus Christ.

This encounter in faith always leads a Christian to move outward toward others. Faith always leads to witness. Faith is a meeting with Jesus Christ, with God, and it is born from that and leads you to witness.

Without such fruit, faith is lifeless. A faith without works, a faith that doesn’t engage you, that doesn’t lead you to witness, isn’t faith. It is words, and nothing more than words.
 

Pope Francis, Mass on February 21, 2014
 

Gospel

Mark 8:27-35

G1. Do you want people you love to know you well? Do you think Christ wants you to know him well? He asks the apostles, “Who do you say that I am?” What if he asked you that question? Do you answer it differently at different times in your life?

G2. “The Son of Man must suffer greatly … ” In these words Jesus is telling the apostles what discipleship is all about. How does Peter handle this new message? How do you? Can “losing your life” be a means to gaining life? Can you desire to follow him in such a way?


Anne Osdieck
 

**From Saint Louis University

Kristin Clauson