F1. It is hard enough “to guess what is in our grasp, the writer says, let alone the things of heaven.” Can you relate to that statement? Is there anything you are uncertain about in the political arena in your country? Is there anything you are uncertain about in your spiritual life?
F2. Does God give you help when you are unclear? Which do you think God prefers in you, perfect certainty—or your best guess, trusting in God?
Philemon 9-10, 12-17
S1. How did Paul bring about a change or a conversion in Onesimus? What part does love play in any change for the better? Has love worked any changes in your life?
S2. Slavery was an accepted institution in Paul’s time, but he states a revolutionary idea anyway: there are no divisions in Christ. What causes social divisions in the world today? Can you do anything to change that?
Luke 14: 25-33
G1. Is following Jesus a one-time choice or do you have to make it daily? Which would you rather have, all the possessions you could ever want, without Christ, or Christ and no possessions? Can you name some people who lived/live in Christ and have possessed nothing? What does this freedom allow them to do?
G2. “Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.” Do crosses make discipleship desirable? Is there anything that makes us want discipleship, even though it involves crosses? How would Pope Francis answer?
The human heart desires joy. We all desire joy; every family, every people aspires to happiness. But what is the joy the Christian is called to live out and bear witness to? It is the joy that comes from the closeness of God; from his presence in our life. …
Jesus has come to bring joy to all people for all time. It is not just a hopeful joy or a joy postponed until paradise, as if here on earth we are sad but in paradise we will be filled with joy. No! It is not that, but a joy already real and tangible now, because Jesus himself is our joy, and with Jesus joy finds its home; … joy is at home in Jesus.
And our joy is just this: to be his disciples, his friends.
The Joy of Discipleship,Chapter 5: 78, 79, 89
**From Saint Louis University