Jeremiah 1:4-5, 17-19
F1. Obstinate people present themselves to Jeremiah (2nd paragraph) and to Jesus this Sunday. Why do people resist a prophet’s profound call to peace and justice? Do you always accept “radical messages” right away? Prophets incite people to action. Is there some injustice about which you can no longer remain silent? What would you like to rouse people to do?
F2. “For it is I this day who have made you a fortified city … against Judah’s kings and princes, against the priests and people.” Do disagreements within your Church or within your parish sometimes take place? Is this a bad thing? Discuss the idea that growth involves some tension.
1 Corinthians 12:31-13:13 or 13:4-13
S1. What is the only thing you take with you when you die? Do you think you can expand your capacity for love by exercising the giving and receiving of love? Do you think that love is the prime mover in all that you do? What about what your country does?
S2. Why is this reading placed in the middle of two readings where prophets are trying to change people’s attitudes or hearts? What changes people for the better? Discuss Willa Cather’s quote: “Where there is great love there are always miracles.”
G1. Both Jeremiah and Jesus provoked people in God’s name. Who are some of the prophets in your lifetime? Did they accomplish their missions? Can you be a “lesser prophet” and get small things changed in your world? (e.g. start a recycling program, address discrimination in your city, suggest a plan to help the homeless, etc.)
G2. Jesus said, “Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.” According to Pope Francis, what does Jesus’ “today” mean to us?
Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing” (Lk 4:21). The “today,” proclaimed by Christ that day, applies to every age; it echoes for us too in this Square, reminding us of the relevance and necessity of the salvation Jesus brought to humanity. God comes to meet the men and women of all times and places, in their real life situations. He also comes to meet us. It is always he who takes the first step: he comes to visit us with his mercy, to lift us up from the dust of our sins; he comes to extend a hand to us in order to enable us to return from the abyss into which our pride made us fall, and he invites us to receive the comforting truth of the Gospel and to walk on the paths of good. He always comes to find us, to look for us.
Pope Francis, Angelus, January 31, 2016
**From Saint Louis University