Accountability and Support

“Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up, as indeed you do.”
– 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Monthly Focus on Nurturing Relationship with Christ

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

Discussion Questions for July 8, 2018 Sunday Mass

Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

First Reading

Ezekiel 2:2-5

As the LORD spoke to me, the spirit entered into me
and set me on my feet,
and I heard the one who was speaking say to me:
Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites,
rebels who have rebelled against me;
they and their ancestors have revolted against me to this very day.
Hard of face and obstinate of heart
are they to whom I am sending you. 
But you shall say to them: Thus says the LORD GOD! 
And whether they heed or resist—for they are a rebellious house—
they shall know that a prophet has been among them.

First Discussion Questions
F1. Are there prophets in your life? Are you sometimes stubborn and closed about listening to their messages? Why? Why would you reject the message or the person?

F2. Do you think an “ordinary” prophet today has great success or runs into opposition most of the time? Have you and/or your ideas ever been rejected when you tried to change something for the better? How do you handle rejection?

Second Reading

2 Corinthians 12:7-10

Brothers and sisters:
That I, Paul, might not become too elated,
because of the abundance of the revelations,
a thorn in the flesh was given to me, an angel of Satan,
to beat me, to keep me from being too elated. 
Three times I begged the Lord about this, that it might leave me,
but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you,
for power is made perfect in weakness.” 
I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses,
in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me. 
Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults,
hardships, persecutions, and constraints,
for the sake of Christ;
for when I am weak, then I am strong.

Second Reading Discussion Questions
S1. If you went out shopping for weakness or a cross to bear would you pick ones you already have or would you pick different ones? Do you find God in your weakness? Can that be a constant source of grace?

S2. “My grace is sufficient for you.” Do you rely on these words? How often do you bring them out and use them?

Gospel Reading

Mark 6:1-6

Jesus departed from there and came to his native place, accompanied by his disciples. 
When the sabbath came he began to teach in the synagogue,
and many who heard him were astonished. 
They said, “Where did this man get all this? 
What kind of wisdom has been given him? 
What mighty deeds are wrought by his hands! 
Is he not the carpenter, the son of Mary,
and the brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? 
And are not his sisters here with us?” 
And they took offense at him. 
Jesus said to them,
“A prophet is not without honor except in his native place
and among his own kin and in his own house.” 
So he was not able to perform any mighty deed there,
apart from curing a few sick people by laying his hands on them.
He was amazed at their lack of faith.

Gospel Reading Discussion Questions
G1.  Can you think of theologians, saints or scientists who were rejected for their ideas? Do you know anyone you would call a prophet today? Where can you find such persons? What might they be trying to change for the better? Immigration and care for the environment? Care for neighbors? For what cause could you be a prophet?

G2.  Do you agree with Pope Francis’ description of prophets (below): that they are people who keep the promise of God alive, who see the suffering of their people, and bring us the strength to look ahead?

The prophet is a [person] of three times: the promise of the past, the contemplation of the present, the courage to point out the path toward the future. 
                                        
All of us who are baptized are prophets. Lord, may we not forget your promise; may we never grow weary of going forward; may we never close ourselves in through a legality that closes doors. Lord, free your people from the spirit of clericalism and come to their aid through your spirit of of prophecy.

Pope Francis, The Eye That Is Opened
Domus Sanctae Marthae, December16, 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.