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 9, 2017 Sunday Mass

14th Sunday in Ordinary Time

First Reading

Zechariah 9:9-10
Thus says the LORD:
Rejoice heartily, O daughter Zion,
shout for joy, O daughter Jerusalem!
See, your king shall come to you;
a just savior is he,
meek, and riding on an ass,
on a colt, the foal of an ass.
He shall banish the chariot from Ephraim,
and the horse from Jerusalem;
the warrior's bow shall be banished,
and he shall proclaim peace to the nations.
His dominion shall be from sea to sea,
and from the River to the ends of the earth.

First Discussion Questions
F1. What ideas do you associate with the word king? Is “meek king” an oxymoron? What idea do you associate with meek? could meekness be a strength? Can it win wars or put a stop to fighting?

F2. How approachable are you? Do humility and meekness have any bearing on a person’s approachability? When did Jesus enter the city “riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey”?

Second Reading

Romans 8:9, 11-13
Brothers and sisters:
You are not in the flesh;
on the contrary, you are in the spirit,
if only the Spirit of God dwells in you. 
Whoever does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 
If the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you,
the one who raised Christ from the dead
will give life to your mortal bodies also,
through his Spirit that dwells in you.
Consequently, brothers and sisters,
we are not debtors to the flesh,
to live according to the flesh. 
For if you live according to the flesh, you will die,
but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body,
you will live.

Second Reading Discussion Questions
S1. At the Incarnation Christ took on human flesh with all of its delights and burdens. What do you think the Incarnation did for its worth?

S2. “The Spirit of God dwells in you.” What does this imply about the wonder and holiness of your spirit? Could it help you reverence your neighbor?

Gospel Reading

Matthew 11:25-30
At that time Jesus exclaimed: 
"I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,
for although you have hidden these things
from the wise and the learned
you have revealed them to little ones.
Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will.
All things have been handed over to me by my Father. 
No one knows the Son except the Father,
and no one knows the Father except the Son
and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him."

"Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am meek and humble of heart;
and you will find rest for yourselves. 
For my yoke is easy, and my burden light."

Gospel Reading Discussion Questions
G1. A carpenter hand-made the yoke to fit the animal that wore it. Is your yoke handmade for you? If yes, who “makes” it? How does Jesus speak about his yoke in Sunday’s Gospel?

G2. Does Jesus have the meekness of the First Reading’s king? If he had never labored or been burdened would you still feel he could understand you? Discuss Pope Francis’ statement about Sunday’s Gospel:

The joy of the Gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus. Those who accept his offer of salvation are set free from sin, sorrow, inner emptiness and loneliness. With Christ joy is constantly born anew.

Evangelii Gaudium, 1
November 24, 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.