Accountability and Support

“For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”
– Matthew 18:20

Monthly Focus on Piety

With what spiritual aids have I nourished my vital union with Christ during the past 30 days?
M1.   Morning offering
M2.  Personal Prayer Period
M3.  Mass and Communion
M4.  Visits to the Blessed Sacrament
M5.  Rosary / Devotion to Mary
M6.  Examination of Conscience
M7.  Spiritual Direction

Discussion Questions for February 5, 2017 Sunday Mass
The Octave Day of Christmas Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God

First Reading

Isaiah 58:7-10
Thus says the LORD:
Share your bread with the hungry,
shelter the oppressed and the homeless;
clothe the naked when you see them,
and do not turn your back on your own.
Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,
and your wound shall quickly be healed;
your vindication shall go before you,
and the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer,
you shall cry for help, and he will say: Here I am!
If you remove from your midst
oppression, false accusation and malicious speech;
if you bestow your bread on the hungry
and satisfy the afflicted;
then light shall rise for you in the darkness, 
and the gloom shall become for you like midday.

First Reading Discussion Questions
F1. “Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your wound shall quickly be healed.” What does binding the wounds of others have to do with your own wounds? Who benefits when people share their bread or shelter the homeless? Explain

F2. “Share your bread. … Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer … here I am.” Is God there when you are “satisfying the afflicted” and you ask for his help? Can you give examples of this?

Second Reading

1 Corinthians 2:1-5
When I came to you, brothers and sisters,
proclaiming the mystery of God,
I did not come with sublimity of words or of wisdom.
For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you
except Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
I came to you in weakness and fear and much trembling,
and my message and my proclamation
were not with persuasive words of wisdom,
but with a demonstration of Spirit and power,
so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom
but on the power of God.

Second Reading Discussion Questions
S1. Can we see, using human wisdom alone, how crucifixion can triumph over sin and death? If not, then what allows us to see beyond human appearances? Did Paul want our faith to rest on the power of God instead of elaborate arguments?

S2. “You are the light of the world,” Jesus says. How were Paul’s salt and light?

Gospel

Matthew 5:13-16
Jesus said to his disciples:
"You are the salt of the earth.
But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned?
It is no longer good for anything
but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
You are the light of the world.
A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden.
Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket;
it is set on a lampstand,
where it gives light to all in the house.
Just so, your light must shine before others,
that they may see your good deeds
and glorify your heavenly Father."

Gospel Discussion Questions
G1. Jesus asked us to be like light and salt. What determines our degree of saltiness or brightness?

G2. What does Pope Francis say is the “battery” for our light?”

What must a Christian do in order for the salt not to run out, so that the oil to light the lamp does not come to an end? The “battery” a Christian uses to generate light, … is simply prayer. Prayer, the Pope said, is what lights up Christian life. … Prayer must come from the heart.”   

As regards the salt that Christians are called to be: it becomes salt when it is given to others. This … is another Christian attitude: to give of oneself, to give flavor to the lives of others, to give flavor to many things with the message of the Gospel. … It’s curious: both salt and light are for others, not for oneself. Salt does not give flavor to itself; light does not illuminate itself.”

Mass at Casa Santa Marta, June 7, 2016

**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.