F1. Do you suffer with a loved one who is suffering? Would you take the person’s place if you could? Might God act in this manner in the suffering of human beings?
F2.“Do this in memory of me.” Could this now common saying be also an invitation to join Jesus’ suffering, and to participate in his redemption of the world? Can God use your actions or your suffering to accomplish God’s work in the world today?
S1. This Reading says that Christ is able to “sympathize with our weaknesses.” Does he completely understand your situation no matter how dense it is? Are you able to understand other people’s weaknesses? Jesus “was tested in every way.” Do you ever remember this when you are being tested and in need of grace?
S2. “ … Since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God. … ” Since Jesus was an authentic human being, do you think he carries within him every member of the human race? Even to the throne of God?
G1. Jesus told the disciples that the way to rank first is by serving others. What does unselfish service look like in your parish, work, or home? Could it change the world? How?
G2. “Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant … ” In this quotation from his United Nations address below, where does Pope Francis say the full meaning of individual and collective life is found? Why does Jesus attribute so much importance to the emptying of oneself?
The common home of all men and women must continue to rise on the foundations of a right understanding of universal fraternity and respect for the sacredness of every human life, of every man and every woman, the poor, the elderly, children, the infirm, the unborn, the unemployed, the abandoned, those considered disposable because they are only considered as part of a statistic. This common home of all men and women must also be built on the understanding of a certain sacredness of created nature.
Such understanding and respect call for a higher degree of wisdom, one which accepts transcendence, rejects the creation of an all-powerful élite, and recognizes that the full meaning of individual and collective life is found in selfless service to others and in the sage and respectful use of creation for the common good. To repeat the words of Paul VI, “the edifice of modern civilization has to be built on spiritual principles, for they are the only ones capable not only of supporting it, but of shedding light on it.”
Speech to the United Nations
Sept. 25, 2015
**From Saint Louis University