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 March 18, 2018
Fifth Sunday of Lent

First Reading

Jeremiah 31:31-34
The days are coming, says the LORD, 
when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel
and the house of Judah.
It will not be like the covenant I made with their fathers
the day I took them by the hand
to lead them forth from the land of Egypt; 
for they broke my covenant, 
and I had to show myself their master, says the LORD.
But this is the covenant that I will make
with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD.
I will place my law within them and write it upon their hearts; 
I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
No longer will they have need to teach their friends and relatives
how to know the LORD.
All, from least to greatest, shall know me, says the LORD, 
for I will forgive their evildoing and remember their sin no more.

First Reading Discussion Questions
F1. Jesus’ covenant is written on the hearts of people and requires interior as well as exterior commitment. Do you think that both involve relationship and come with feelings? Do they awaken your love and open your spirit to others?

F2. In this reading the Lord says, “ … I will forgive their evildoing and remember their sins no more.” Do you ever feel God’s forgiveness? Are you good at forgiving? How about at forgetting?

Second Reading

Hebrews 5:7-9
In the days when Christ Jesus was in the flesh, 
he offered prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears
to the one who was able to save him from death, 
and he was heard because of his reverence.
Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered; 
and when he was made perfect, 
he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.

Second Reading Discussion Questions
S1. “In the days when Christ Jesus was in the flesh, he offered prayers supplications with loud cries and tears … ” In his weeping do we see the tears of the Father? Why does Pope Francis ask if we have learned to weep? Should we be suffering with Jesus? What might be the outcome of our tears?

12-year-old Glyzelle Palomar had a simple but profound question for Pope Francis. “Why did God let this happen to us?” the young Filipino asked, covering her face with her hands as she sobbed. The Pope continued,

I invite each one of you to ask yourselves: Have I learned how to weep, how to cry when I see a hungry child, a child on the street who uses drugs, a homeless child, an abandoned child, an abused child, a child that society uses as a slave? Only when we too can cry about the things that you said are we able to come close to replying to that question.

Francis struggles to answer crying girl's
question about suffering, 
Jan. 17, 2015

S2. Jesus spent his life alleviating the suffering of others. Is he finished with that, or does he continue to care for suffering people today? If so, how? Are you a caretaker, or are you cared for?

Gospel

John 12:20-33
Some Greeks who had come to worship at the Passover Feast
came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, 
and asked him, "Sir, we would like to see Jesus."
Philip went and told Andrew; 
then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus.
Jesus answered them, 
"The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.
Amen, amen, I say to you, 
unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, 
it remains just a grain of wheat; 
but if it dies, it produces much fruit.
Whoever loves his life loses it,
and whoever hates his life in this world
will preserve it for eternal life.
Whoever serves me must follow me, 
and where I am, there also will my servant be.
The Father will honor whoever serves me.

"I am troubled now. Yet what should I say?
'Father, save me from this hour'?
But it was for this purpose that I came to this hour.
Father, glorify your name."
Then a voice came from heaven, 
"I have glorified it and will glorify it again."
The crowd there heard it and said it was thunder; 
but others said, "An angel has spoken to him."
Jesus answered and said, 
"This voice did not come for my sake but for yours.
Now is the time of judgment on this world; 
now the ruler of this world will be driven out.
And when I am lifted up from the earth, 
I will draw everyone to myself."
He said this indicating the kind of death he would die.

Gospel Discussion Questions
G1. When Jesus thought about what was coming he said, “I am troubled now. Yet what should I say?” What are some of the things that trouble you? Who do you call on when you are troubled?

G2. “ … Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat, but if it dies, it produces much fruit.” How is the way of self-denial opposite to the way of egoism? Which gives life to others?
 

**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.