1 Samuel 26:2, 7-9, 12-13, 22-23
F1. Is this reading about magnanimity (generous in overlooking injury and insult, rising above pettiness and meanness)? Can you think of any saints/prophets who are or were magnanimous? Do you know any magnanimous people in your own life?
F2. Saul was mean and insane but David showed respect for him because Saul was anointed. How about you? Can you show respect for someone yet disagree with him/her? What do you think the outcome is when neither side respects the other?
1 Corinthians 15:45-49
S1. Name some of the ways we bear the image of the earthly Adam.
S2. The theologian von Balthasar said that Christ cut a path for us by being grace ascending and grace descending. Jesus is just as much creation’s highest response to the Father as he is the Father’s Word to creation. How does this “heavenly Adam,” coming together with the “earthly Adam” cut a path for us? What does bearing the image of the heavenly Adam allow us to do?
G1. Jesus goes a step farther than David’s “don’t kill” your enemies. He says, “love” them. Don’t expect anything back when you lend, and if someone takes something of yours, give that person more. Who practices absolute generosity like this? Who do you know besides God who comes close?
G2. According to Pope Francis, what happens to our hearts when we forgive? And if we don’t?
The Christian must forgive! Why? Because he has been forgiven. All of us who are here today, in the Square, we have been forgiven. There is not one of us who, in our own life, has had no need of God’s forgiveness. And because we have been forgiven, we must forgive. … We do not have the power to condemn our erring brother, we are not above him: rather, we have a duty to recover the dignity of a child of the Father and to accompany him on his journey of conversion.
Jesus also indicates a second pillar to us who are his Church: “to give.” Forgiveness is the first pillar; giving is the second pillar. “Give, and it will be given to you. ... For the measure you give will be the measure you get back” (v. 38). God gives far beyond our merits, but he will be even more generous with those who have been generous on earth.
… Do not forget this: mercy is a gift; forgiveness and giving. In this way, the heart expands, it grows with love. While selfishness and anger make the heart small, they make it harden like a stone. Which do you prefer? A heart of stone or a heart full of love? If you prefer a heart full of love, be merciful!
Pope Francis, General Audience, Sept. 21, 2016
**From Saint Louis University