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 June 10, 2018 Sunday Mass

The Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

First Reading

Genesis 3:9-15

After the man, Adam, had eaten of the tree,
the LORD God called to the man and asked him, "Where are you?"
He answered, "I heard you in the garden;
but I was afraid, because I was naked,
so I hid myself."
Then he asked, "Who told you that you were naked?
You have eaten, then,
from the tree of which I had forbidden you to eat!"
The man replied, "The woman whom you put here with me—
she gave me fruit from the tree, and so I ate it."
The LORD God then asked the woman,
"Why did you do such a thing?"
The woman answered, "The serpent tricked me into it, so I ate it."

Then the LORD God said to the serpent:
"Because you have done this, you shall be banned
from all the animals
and from all the wild creatures;
on your belly shall you crawl,
and dirt shall you eat
all the days of your life.
I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers;
he will strike at your head,
while you strike at his heel."

First Discussion Questions
F1.  It all started with Adam and Eve and their refusal to do the will of God. Who did Adam blame? Who did Eve blame? Can we ourselves blame them that we are not living in the garden of paradise? 

F2. Adam and Eve sinned and because they had free will. We still sin. There is no garden of Eden anymore but did God the Father give us anything that makes our home on earth a holy place?

Second Reading

2 Corinthians 4:13—5:1

Brothers and sisters:
Since we have the same spirit of faith,
according to what is written, I believed, therefore I spoke,
we too believe and therefore we speak,
knowing that the one who raised the Lord Jesus
will raise us also with Jesus
and place us with you in his presence.
Everything indeed is for you,
so that the grace bestowed in abundance on more and more people
may cause the thanksgiving to overflow for the glory of God.
Therefore, we are not discouraged;
rather, although our outer self is wasting away,
our inner self is being renewed day by day.
For this momentary light affliction
is producing for us an eternal weight of glory
beyond all comparison,
as we look not to what is seen but to what is unseen;
for what is seen is transitory, but what is unseen is eternal.
For we know that if our earthly dwelling, a tent,
should be destroyed,
we have a building from God,
a dwelling not made with hands, eternal in heaven.

Second Reading Discussion Questions
S1.   In this reading Paul says, “As we look not what is seen, but what is unseen.”

• What is seen: Our outer self wasting away; affliction; earthly dwelling; a tent that will be destroyed.

• What is unseen: Grace in abundance; eternal weight of glory beyond comparison; overflowing thanksgiving; inner self renewed day by day; eternal life.

Which is the better place, the seen or the unseen? Can you get to the unseen from the seen?

S2. If Adam is responsible for the “seen” and Christ is responsible for the “unseen,” could Adam’s sin be a “happy fault”? It brought Christ into our world to bring us more of an abundance of grace than we would have had in the garden of Eden.

Gospel Reading

Mark 3:20-35

Jesus came home with his disciples.
Again the crowd gathered,
making it impossible for them even to eat.
When his relatives heard of this they set out to seize him,
for they said, "He is out of his mind."
The scribes who had come from Jerusalem said,
"He is possessed by Beelzebul,"
and "By the prince of demons he drives out demons."

Summoning them, he began to speak to them in parables,
"How can Satan drive out Satan?
If a kingdom is divided against itself,
that kingdom cannot stand.
And if a house is divided against itself,
that house will not be able to stand.
And if Satan has risen up against himself
and is divided, he cannot stand;
that is the end of him.
But no one can enter a strong man's house to plunder his property
unless he first ties up the strong man.
Then he can plunder the house.
Amen, I say to you,
all sins and all blasphemies that people utter will be
forgiven them.
But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit
will never have forgiveness,
but is guilty of an everlasting sin."
For they had said, "He has an unclean spirit."

His mother and his brothers arrived.
Standing outside they sent word to him and called him.
A crowd seated around him told him,
"Your mother and your brothers and your sisters
are outside asking for you."
But he said to them in reply,
"Who are my mother and my brothers?"
And looking around at those seated in the circle he said,
"Here are my mother and my brothers.
For whoever does the will of God
is my brother and sister and mother."

Gospel Reading Discussion Questions
G1.  Is the doing the will of God always easy? Do you think it was easy for Jesus when he figured out what God was asking him to do? Do you always know what the will of God is in a situation? What helps?

G2.  Pope Francis has three suggestions regarding our praying for the will of God. Can you name them?

Do I pray that the Lord gives me the desire to do his will, or do I look for compromises because I’m afraid of God’s will? Another thing: praying to know God’s will for me and my life concerning a decision that I must take. … The way in which we handle things. … there are so many things. Praying for the desire to do God’s will and praying to know God’s will. And when I know God’s will, praying again for the third time, to follow it. To carry out that will, which is not my own, it is his will. And all this is not easy.

Pope Francis on Discernment
January 27, 2015
Santa Marta

 

**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.