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

Isaiah 49:5-6
The LORD said to me: You are my servant,
Israel, through whom I show my glory.
Now the LORD has spoken
who formed me as his servant from the womb,
that Jacob may be brought back to him
and Israel gathered to him;
and I am made glorious in the sight of the LORD,
and my God is now my strength!
It is too little, the LORD says, for you to be my servant,
to raise up the tribes of Jacob,
and restore the survivors of Israel;
I will make you a light to the nations,
that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.

First Reading Discussion Questions
F1.  What in this famous “servant song” will Jesus proclaim throughout his ministry? Can we be a light for the world? How? Can we be a crack of light in someone’s darkness?

F2. In what ways does Pope Francis’ World Peace Day message for this year, 2017, help the Church become “a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth”?

I pledge the assistance of the Church in every effort to build peace through active and creative nonviolence. On January 1, 2017, the new Dicastery* for Promoting Integral Human Development will begin its work. It will help the Church to promote in an ever more effective way “the inestimable goods of justice, peace, and the care of creation” and concern for “migrants, those in need, the sick, the excluded and marginalized, the imprisoned and the unemployed, as well as victims of armed conflict, natural disasters, and all forms of slavery and torture.” Every such response, however modest, helps to build a world free of violence, the first step towards justice and peace.

Francis, For the Celebration of the Fiftieth World Day of Peace 1 January 2017

Second Reading

1 Corinthians 1:1-3
Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
and Sosthenes our brother,
to the church of God that is in Corinth,
to you who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be holy,
with all those everywhere who call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours.
Grace to you and peace from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Second Reading Discussion Questions
S1. We are “called to be holy.” What does “holy” mean to you? How is John the Baptist a model of holiness? Who is holy in your world? What does s/he do that makes you think that?

S2.  In Luke’s report of Jesus’ baptism (Lk 3:11-22) we hear about treatment of the poor: “Anyone who has two tunics must share with the one who has none … ” Does outrage at our neighbors’ poverty have anything to do with holiness?

Gospel

John 1:29-34
John the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him and said,
"Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.
He is the one of whom I said,
'A man is coming after me who ranks ahead of me
because he existed before me.'
I did not know him,
but the reason why I came baptizing with water
was that he might be made known to Israel."
John testified further, saying,
"I saw the Spirit come down like a dove from heaven
and remain upon him.
I did not know him,
but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me,
'On whomever you see the Spirit come down and remain,
he is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.'
Now I have seen and testified that he is the Son of God."

Gospel Discussion Questions
G1.  “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world,” the Baptist says. “I did not know him.” Why did he identify an ordinary-seeming human being in this way? After this, what happened to John’s baptism with water?

G2.  Why was John so certain about Jesus when he said, “Behold the Lamb of God”? Was John watching for the Spirit? Do you watch for the Spirit in your life? Can you find and trust this Spirit of God?
 

 * Dicastery: a department of the Roman Curia, the administration of the Holy See through which the pope directs the Catholic Church. 

**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.