F1. In The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupèry has the fox say that “… you become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.” God allowed Adam, one of us, to give each creature its name. This is, in a way, a taming process. Do we feel responsible for the planet and all the life on it? Do you see any areas in our environment where we are not acting responsibly? Discuss what can do in your home or place of work to make changes for the better.
F2. Do you think the culture from which this story comes values women the same as men? Why or why not? What would you say to a person who thinks the superiority of men over women is divinely revealed in this text? What would you do if the women and men in your work place were not treated as equals?
S1. What ideas do you get when you tie the first line of the First Reading, “The Lord God said: ‘It is not good for the man to be alone.’ “ with the first line from the second reading, “He ‘for a little while’ was made ‘lower than the angels.’ ” (For the little while he was with us.)
S2. Jesus consecrated himself to his Father and us along with him. He called us sisters and brothers. How does this create reverence toward our brothers and sisters? Do you treat the bag lady with the same respect that you treat the CEO?
G1. All deep bonds with others have a profound effect on our lives. What kinds of things bring people together in the first place? What can you do you to hold those bonds intact? On a scale of 1 to 10, where would you rank communication as a help to hold the bonds intact?
G2. In Mark’s Gospel the Pharisees and the disciples ask Jesus about divorce. In the light of family problems that still exist, Pope Francis called a Synod on the Family. Below is a section of Francis’ address at the conclusion of the Synod. What are the challenges in today’s world to which we should respond with boldness and mercy? Name a challenge that needs mercy.
And this is the Church, the vineyard of the Lord, the fertile Mother and the caring Teacher, who is not afraid to roll up her sleeves to pour oil and wine on people’s wound; who doesn’t see humanity as a house of glass to judge or categorize people. This is the Church, One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic and composed of sinners, needful of God’s mercy. This is the Church, the true bride of Christ, who seeks to be faithful to her spouse and to her doctrine. It is the Church that is not afraid to eat and drink with prostitutes and publicans. The Church that has the doors wide open to receive the needy, the penitent, and not only the just or those who believe they are perfect! The Church that is not ashamed of the fallen brother and pretends not to see him, but on the contrary feels involved and almost obliged to lift him up and to encourage him to take up the journey again and accompany him toward a definitive encounter with her Spouse, in the heavenly Jerusalem.
This is the Church, our Mother! And when the Church, in the variety of her charisms, expresses herself in communion, she cannot err: it is the beauty and the strength of the sensus fidei.
Pope Francis, Synod of Bishops, 18 October 2014
**From Saint Louis University