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 July 7, 2019
Fourteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

First Reading

Isaiah 66:10-14c

Thus says the LORD:
Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad because of her,
all you who love her;
exult, exult with her,
all you who were mourning over her!
Oh, that you may suck fully
of the milk of her comfort,
that you may nurse with delight
at her abundant breasts!
For thus says the LORD:
Lo, I will spread prosperity over Jerusalem like a river,
and the wealth of the nations like an overflowing torrent.
As nurslings, you shall be carried in her arms,
and fondled in her lap;
as a mother comforts her child,
so will I comfort you;
in Jerusalem you shall find your comfort.

When you see this, your heart shall rejoice
and your bodies flourish like the grass;
the LORD's power shall be known to his servants.

First Reading Discussion Questions

F1. Salvation history started in the Hebrew Testament, moved through the New and continues today. Do you think God’s love changed over time or is it the same? Why do you say so?

F2. Compare Jerusalem in this reading with the Church today. What treasure has the Church received from God that gives her children great comfort?

Second Reading

Galatians 6:14-18

Brothers and sisters:
May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,
through which the world has been crucified to me,
and I to the world.
For neither does circumcision mean anything, nor does uncircumcision,
but only a new creation.
Peace and mercy be to all who follow this rule
and to the Israel of God.

From now on, let no one make troubles for me;
for I bear the marks of Jesus on my body.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit,
brothers and sisters. Amen.

Second Reading Discussion Questions

S1. “For neither does circumcision mean anything, nor does uncircumcision.” Some people wanted to follow the ancient practices; Paul did not. Can you relate to this kind of problem in your home? your work? your Church?

S2. St. Paul looks at the circumcision situation from the perspective of “the cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ.” Can you envision problems in today’s Church from that point of view? Standing vs. kneeling, women vs. men, inclusive language or not, and style of music?

Gospel

Luke 10:1-12, 17-20

At that time the Lord appointed seventy-two others
whom he sent ahead of him in pairs
to every town and place he intended to visit.
He said to them,
"The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few;
so ask the master of the harvest
to send out laborers for his harvest.
Go on your way;
behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves.
Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals;
and greet no one along the way.
Into whatever house you enter, first say,
'Peace to this household.'
If a peaceful person lives there,
your peace will rest on him;
but if not, it will return to you.
Stay in the same house and eat and drink what is offered to you,
for the laborer deserves his payment.
Do not move about from one house to another.
Whatever town you enter and they welcome you,
eat what is set before you,
cure the sick in it and say to them,
'The kingdom of God is at hand for you.'
Whatever town you enter and they do not receive you,
go out into the streets and say,
'The dust of your town that clings to our feet,
even that we shake off against you.'
Yet know this: the kingdom of God is at hand.
I tell you,
it will be more tolerable for Sodom on that day than for that town."

The seventy-two returned rejoicing, and said,
"Lord, even the demons are subject to us because of your name."
Jesus said, "I have observed Satan fall like lightning from the sky.
Behold, I have given you the power to 'tread upon serpents' and scorpions
and upon the full force of the enemy and nothing will harm you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice because the spirits are subject to you,
but rejoice because your names are written in heaven."

OR

Luke 10:1-9

At that time the Lord appointed seventy-two others
whom he sent ahead of him in pairs
to every town and place he intended to visit.
He said to them,
"The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few;
so ask the master of the harvest
to send out laborers for his harvest.
Go on your way;
behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves.
Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals;
and greet no one along the way.
Into whatever house you enter, first say,
'Peace to this household.'
If a peaceful person lives there,
your peace will rest on him;
but if not, it will return to you.
Stay in the same house and eat and drink what is offered to you,
for the laborer deserves his payment.
Do not move about from one house to another.
Whatever town you enter and they welcome you,
eat what is set before you,
cure the sick in it and say to them,
'The kingdom of God is at hand for you.'"

Gospel Discussion Questions

G1. Jesus probably sent out seventy-two disciples because at the time there were seventy-two known nations.* What would such symbolism mean in our times? In what ways are you a laborer in this abundant harvest?

G2. Why does Jesus call us lambs? And why does Pope Francis insist we stay lambs? What kind of lambs does he think we should be?

Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road,” Christ says to the 72 disciples in today’s Gospel.

Like lambs ... Don’t become wolves ... Because, at times, temptation makes us think: ‘But this is difficult, these wolves are cunning and I will be even more cunning than them, eh? Lamb. Not a fool, but a lamb. Lamb. With Christian astuteness, but always a lamb. Because if you are a lamb, He defends you. But if you feel strong like a wolf, He does not defend you, He leaves you alone, and the wolves will eat you alive. Like a lamb.” …

One cannot walk as a Christian without joy, one cannot walk as a lamb without joy, (Christians who are constantly complaining and whining) are not doing any favors for the Lord or the Church.

Pope Francis: A True Christian Must be Like a Lamb
February 17, 2014

**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.