Accountability and Support

“Iron is sharpened by iron; one person sharpens another.”
– Proverbs 27:17

Monthly Focus on Study

What have I studied during the past 30 days to help me better understand the gifts of God?
M1.   Bible Reading
M2.  Books of Formation
M3.  Periodicals
M4.  Other

Discussion Questions for February 18, 2018
First Sunday of Lent

First Reading

Genesis 9:8-15
God said to Noah and to his sons with him: 
"See, I am now establishing my covenant with you
and your descendants after you
and with every living creature that was with you: 
all the birds, and the various tame and wild animals
that were with you and came out of the ark.
I will establish my covenant with you, 
that never again shall all bodily creatures be destroyed
by the waters of a flood; 
there shall not be another flood to devastate the earth."
God added:
"This is the sign that I am giving for all ages to come, 
of the covenant between me and you
and every living creature with you: 
I set my bow in the clouds to serve as a sign
of the covenant between me and the earth.
When I bring clouds over the earth, 
and the bow appears in the clouds, 
I will recall the covenant I have made
between me and you and all living beings, 
so that the waters shall never again become a flood
to destroy all mortal beings."

First Reading Discussion Questions
F1. God made a covenant with us, and included every living thing. Does that reconfigure your attitude toward all creation—“our common home,” including the environment—How?

F2. Why do you think God chose a rainbow to be a sign of this covenant? Was it a sign for future generations, us included, as well as Noah’s family?

Second Reading

1 Peter 3:18-22
Beloved:
Christ suffered for sins once, 
the righteous for the sake of the unrighteous, 
that he might lead you to God.
Put to death in the flesh, 
he was brought to life in the Spirit.
In it he also went to preach to the spirits in prison, 
who had once been disobedient
while God patiently waited in the days of Noah
during the building of the ark, 
in which a few persons, eight in all,
were saved through water.
This prefigured baptism, which saves you now.
It is not a removal of dirt from the body
but an appeal to God for a clear conscience, 
through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,
who has gone into heaven
and is at the right hand of God, 
with angels, authorities, and powers subject to him.

Second Reading Discussion Questions
S1. Compare Noah bringing people out of the flood into a new creation with Christ bringing us to a new life or a transformative experience through the waters of baptism.  

S2. Baptism is about dying and rising. Do you have any Lenten plans that might impact your dying to self or figuratively speaking, rising from the dead?

Gospel

Mark 1:12-15
The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert, 
and he remained in the desert for forty days,
tempted by Satan.
He was among wild beasts,
and the angels ministered to him.

After John had been arrested, 
Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God:
"This is the time of fulfillment.
The kingdom of God is at hand.
Repent, and believe in the gospel."

Gospel Discussion Questions
G1. “He was among the wild beasts, and the angels ministered to him.” What are the “wild beasts” in your life? What angels minister to you? To whom do you yourself minister?

G2. “The Spirit drove Jesus into the desert and he remained in the desert for forty days.” Pope Francis calls the forty days of Lent an invitation to conversion. Do you need some kind of conversion? Is there something new within or around you waiting to be created?

With its invitations to conversion, Lent comes providentially to awaken us, to rouse us from torpor [sluggish inactivity]. … Why must we return to God? Because something is not right in us, not right in society, in the Church, and we need to change, to give it a new direction. And this is called needing to convert! Once again Lent comes to make its prophetic appeal, to remind us that it is possible to create something new within ourselves and around us, simply because God is faithful, always faithful, for he cannot deny himself, he continues to be rich in goodness and mercy, and he is always ready to forgive and start afresh. With this filial confidence, let us set out on the journey.

Homily of Pope Francis, 
Basilica of Santa Sabina, Wednesday, 
March 5, 2014,
final paragraph

**From Saint Louis University & Anne Osdieck

Suggested Strategies for Managing the Clock

  • For those with smaller groups or those who have the luxury of enough allotted time, it is suggested that the group cover each question from the monthly focus through the Gospel discussion questions
  • For those with larger groups or don't have the luxury of operating on God's Time, it is suggested that the group cover the monthly focus question and then feel free to skip around and attempt to answer only a few questions - whether that’s just the gospel, or the second reading and gospel, etc.