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 January 15, 2017 Sunday Mass
Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

First Reading

Leviticus 19:1-2,17-18
The LORD said to Moses,
"Speak to the whole Israelite community and tell them:
Be holy, for I, the LORD, your God, am holy.

"You shall not bear hatred for your brother or sister in your heart.
Though you may have to reprove your fellow citizen,
do not incur sin because of him.
Take no revenge and cherish no grudge against any of your people.
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
I am the LORD."

First Reading Discussion Questions
F1. “Be holy, for I, the LORD, your God, am holy.” Does the Lord tell us what holiness is? Does this reading tell us what to do to be holy? Is holiness related to how we interact with others?

F2. If we all “loved our neighbors as ourselves” do you think there would be wars, prisons, hunger and poverty? One way the Lord says to love your neighbor is, “You shall not bear hatred for your brother or sister in your heart. … Cherish no grudge against any of your people.” Is this an easy thing to do? Have you tried it? Will you try again?

Second Reading

1 Corinthians 3:16-23
Brothers and sisters:
Do you not know that you are the temple of God,
and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy that person;
for the temple of God, which you are, is holy.

Let no one deceive himself.
If any one among you considers himself wise in this age,
let him become a fool, so as to become wise.
For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in the eyes of God,
for it is written:
God catches the wise in their own ruses, 
and again:
The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise,
that they are vain.

So let no one boast about human beings, for everything belongs to you, 
Paul or Apollos or Cephas,
or the world or life or death,
or the present or the future:
all belong to you, and you to Christ, and Christ to God.

Second Reading Discussion Questions
S1. St. Paul says “the Spirit of God dwells in you.” Do you ever remember this? How about when you have important decisions to make? Or when you are in serious trouble? When good things happen? Or is it not very often? Will this reading cause you to make changes regarding this issue?

S2.  He also says “ ... for the temple of God, which is you, is holy.” And is your neighbor holy too? If this is so, do you treat all the people in your life as though they are holy temples?

Gospel

Matthew 5:38-48
Jesus said to his disciples:
"You have heard that it was said,
An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.
But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil.
When someone strikes you on your right cheek,
turn the other one as well.
If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic,
hand over your cloak as well.
Should anyone press you into service for one mile,
go for two miles. 
Give to the one who asks of you,
and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow.

"You have heard that it was said,
You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.
But I say to you, love your enemies
and pray for those who persecute you,
that you may be children of your heavenly Father,
for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good,
and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.
For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have?
Do not the tax collectors do the same?
And if you greet your brothers only,
what is unusual about that?
Do not the pagans do the same?
So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect."

Gospel Discussion Questions
G1. Why would Jesus tell you to “Love your enemies?” Who lives like that? Did Jesus show us a new revolutionary kind of acting when he showed us how to love our enemies? How far was he willing to go for them with his radical self-emptying? How far was the Father willing to go for his children?

G2.  What are the two things that praying for our enemies does, according to Pope Francis?

(The pope noted how Jesus offers many examples to show the commandments in a new light and to prove that love is more generous than the letter of the law. From ‘Do not kill’ meaning don’t insult or be angry with your brother …)

This is not just for the fulfillment of the law, but it also helps to heal our hearts. In Jesus’ explanations of the commandments, especially in St. Matthew’s Gospel, there is a journey of healing. Every heart wounded by sin—as each one of us has—must undertake this journey of healing in order to be more like our “heavenly Father (who) is perfect.” …

The power of prayer will do two things: it will change that person for the better and it will make us become more like children of our heavenly Father.

June 14, 2016
Mass at Casa Santa Marta

 

**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.