Accountability and Support

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The fervent prayer of a righteous person is very powerful.”
–James 5:16

Monthly Focus on Resisting Relationship with Christ

When was I most aware of my resistance to Christ’s presence in my life during the past 30 days? Why?

Discussion Questions for June 30, 2019
Thirteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

First Reading

Reading 1 1 KGS 19:16B, 19-21

The LORD said to Elijah:
“You shall anoint Elisha, son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah,
as prophet to succeed you.”

Elijah set out and came upon Elisha, son of Shaphat,
as he was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen;
he was following the twelfth.
Elijah went over to him and threw his cloak over him.
Elisha left the oxen, ran after Elijah, and said,
“Please, let me kiss my father and mother goodbye,
and I will follow you.”
Elijah answered, “Go back!
Have I done anything to you?”
Elisha left him, and taking the yoke of oxen, slaughtered them;
he used the plowing equipment for fuel to boil their flesh,
and gave it to his people to eat.
Then Elisha left and followed Elijah as his attendant.

First Reading Discussion Questions
F1. What was Elisha doing when he was called? Can you think of other bible stories where God called people from their jobs? Does God call you to make changes in your everyday life?

F2. Were the people whom God called to be prophets highly educated or socially elite? If not, what are God’s prerequisites for prophets? What would your issues be if you were a prophet today?

Second Reading

Galatians 5:1, 13-18

Brothers and sisters:
For freedom Christ set us free;
so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.

For you were called for freedom, brothers and sisters.
But do not use this freedom
as an opportunity for the flesh;
rather, serve one another through love.
For the whole law is fulfilled in one statement,
namely, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
But if you go on biting and devouring one another,
beware that you are not consumed by one another.

I say, then: live by the Spirit
and you will certainly not gratify the desire of the flesh. 
For the flesh has desires against the Spirit,
and the Spirit against the flesh;
these are opposed to each other,
so that you may not do what you want.
But if you are guided by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

Second Reading Discussion Questions
S1. “For you were called for freedom.” What is the source of this freedom? Below the Pope talks about “going out of yourself.” Is this a freeing experience? What about the act of loving your neighbor?

S2. “Do you find yourself “biting and devouring” yourself or others? “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” St. Paul says. Do you have actual love for yourself? Do you love your neighbor? Will the Holy Spirit guide you if you ask?

Gospel

Luke 9:51-62

When the days for Jesus' being taken up were fulfilled,
he resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem,
and he sent messengers ahead of him. 
On the way they entered a Samaritan village
to prepare for his reception there,
but they would not welcome him
because the destination of his journey was Jerusalem. 
When the disciples James and John saw this they asked,
"Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven
to consume them?" 
Jesus turned and rebuked them, and they journeyed to another village.

As they were proceeding on their journey someone said to him,
"I will follow you wherever you go." 
Jesus answered him,
"Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests,
but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head."

And to another he said, "Follow me." 
But he replied, "Lord, let me go first and bury my father." 
But he answered him, "Let the dead bury their dead. 
But you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God." 
And another said, "I will follow you, Lord,
but first let me say farewell to my family at home." 
To him Jesus said, "No one who sets a hand to the plow
and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God."

Gospel Discussion Questions
G1. “Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.” Can you still live comfortably if you want to be like Jesus? How important are material possessions to you? Somewhat important? What do you think Jesus wants from you in this regard?

G2. Was Jesus homeless? What does Pope Francis name below as Jesus’ house? In their total giving, the Pope mentions that both God the Father and Jesus step outside themselves. How does “coming out of ourselves” relate to “loving our neighbor” in the Second Reading?

Jesus lived the daily realities of most ordinary people: … He cried in front of the suffering of Martha and Mary on the death of their brother Lazarus; he called a tax collector to be his disciple and also suffered the betrayal of a friend. In Christ, God has given us the assurance that he is with us, in our midst. “Foxes,” Jesus said, “have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest His head” (Mt 8:20). Jesus did not have a home because his house is the people—that is, us; his mission is to open all God’s doors, to be the loving presence of God. … He gives himself totally.

What does this mean for us? … following Jesus means learning how to come out of ourselves—to reach out to others, ... to go to the outskirts of existence. …

Remember well: stepping outside of ourselves, like Jesus, like God has stepped outside of himself in Jesus and Jesus stepped outside of himself for all of us.

Pope Francis, “Step Outside Yourself and Bring Faith to Others,”
General Audience 3/ 27/2013

**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.