F1. “He will sing joyfully because of you.” What are some examples in the world about which you might say, “Listen! God is singing!”?
F2. This reading says it twice: “Be not discouraged! The Lord, your God, is in your midst.” Have you ever remembered the presence of God in the middle of a crisis? What effect did it have on you?
S1. St. Paul says we must
—rejoice in the Lord always,
—be kind to all,
—make all our requests known to God and
—thank God as though he has already granted the requests.
This is a long list. Are you better at some than others? Which ones could you improve on?
S2. Maybe you rejoice when you are singing at Mass on Sunday. Are there other times during the week that you experience the same kind of joy? What makes you happy in the Lord?
G1. What kind of people went to hear John and then repented? Would you show up to hear someone like John today? What do you want to see and hear? Can people be prophets even though their actions or looks are a departure from the norm? Do you know any prophets? Discuss.
G2. Sunday’s Gospel says the following:
The crowds asked him “What then should we do?”And he said to them in reply, “Whoever has two cloaks should share with the person who has none. And whoever has food should do likewise.” Even tax collectors came to him to be baptized and they said to him, “Teacher, what should we do?”
Rita Ferrone notes that Pope Francis echoed this passage in his address to 2014 Collegeville Conference on Liturgy, Music, and the Arts:
The crowds asked Pope Francis, “What then should we do?” To the pastors he said “Get out of the sacristy! Go and be with your people; smell like your sheep!” To the wealthy nations he said, “Give up your trickle down economic theories! Address the injustices that hold the poor in bondage.” To the religious he said “Answer the questions of the CDF,* but don’t let their investigations dismay you. Continue in your ministry!”
July 7, 2014, Rita Ferrone, Church Reform, Pope Francis
**From Saint Louis University