Accountability and Support

“Two are better than one: They get a good wage for their toil. If the one falls, the other will help the fallen one. But woe to the solitary person! If that one should fall, there is no other to help. So also, if two sleep together, they keep each other warm. How can one alone keep warm? Where one alone may be overcome, two together can resist. A three-ply cord is not easily broken.”
– Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Monthly Focus on Action

“I will make you fishers of men.”
M1.   What apostolic success did the Lord accomplish through me during the past 30 days to extend the kingdom? In my family? In my work? In my environment?
M2.  With what apostolic failure did the Lord wish to test me during the past 30 days? In my family? In my work? In my environment?
M3.  How did I fulfill last month’s plan?
M4.  What do I need to work on?

Discussion Questions for January 21, 2018
Third Sunday in Ordinary Time 

First Reading 

Jonah 3:1-5, 10
The word of the LORD came to Jonah, saying:
"Set out for the great city of Nineveh,
and announce to it the message that I will tell you."
So Jonah made ready and went to Nineveh,
according to the LORD'S bidding.
Now Nineveh was an enormously large city;
it took three days to go through it.
Jonah began his journey through the city,
and had gone but a single day's walk announcing,
"Forty days more and Nineveh shall be destroyed, "
when the people of Nineveh believed God;
they proclaimed a fast
and all of them, great and small, put on sackcloth.

When God saw by their actions how they turned from their evil way,
he repented of the evil that he had threatened to do to them;
he did not carry it out.

 

First Reading Discussion Questions
F1. What do Jonah’s and Jesus’ announcements have in common? Were both calling people to conversion and to do good? Were these announcements intended for every nation and every person on earth? Did Jonah run away from Yahweh when he was called? Can you relate to that sometimes?

F2. What was God looking for in the Ninevites? What is God looking for in you? Does God call you to conversion once or over and over again? Why?

Second Reading 

1 Corinthians 7:29-31
I tell you, brothers and sisters, the time is running out.
From now on, let those having wives act as not having them,
those weeping as not weeping,
those rejoicing as not rejoicing,
those buying as not owning, 
those using the world as not using it fully.
For the world in its present form is passing away.

Second Reading Discussion Questions
S1. Do you think the message in this reading concerns preparation for the next life or happiness in this life? Does putting your security in the goods of this world make you happy? Paul says, “Let … those using the world [act] as not using it fully.” Could this be a recipe for happiness now?

S2. Does your culture help or hinder your detachment from possessions (toys, gadgets, messages about the security that “things” bring)? Explain.

Gospel 

Mark 1:14-20
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."

As he passed by the Sea of Galilee,
he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting their nets into the sea;
they were fishermen.
Jesus said to them,
"Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men."
Then they abandoned their nets and followed him.
He walked along a little farther
and saw James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John.
They too were in a boat mending their nets.
Then he called them.
So they left their father Zebedee in the boat
along with the hired men and followed him.

Gospel Discussion Questions
G1. Must you be called as a missionary and, for instance, go to Africa? Or could your call be to bring the Good News wherever you are, in whatever you do? Which way does Jesus call you?

G2. According to Pope Francis’s statement below, do you have to be perfect to be called? Is the Lord with you when you make mistakes? How does he show his eternal love?
It seems in this passage that Simon, Andrew, James and John are chosen once-and-for-all: and yes, they were chosen! At this moment in the story, however, they had not been faithful to the last. After being chosen, they went on to make mistakes. …

How did the Lord work it all out? He stepped in, He straightened the path, He put things right. Think of the great David, a great sinner, and then a great saint. The Lord knows. When the Lord tells us: ‘With eternal love, I have loved you,’ He is referring to this. The Lord has been thinking of us for many generations—of each and every one of us.

Pope Francis: God's love is good beyond comprehension
January 14, 2014, Casa Santa Marta chapel

 

Anne Osdieck

 

**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.