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 May 21, 2017
Sixth Sunday of Easter

First Reading

Acts 8:5-8, 14-17
Philip went down to the city of Samaria
and proclaimed the Christ to them.
With one accord, the crowds paid attention to what was said by Philip
when they heard it and saw the signs he was doing.
For unclean spirits, crying out in a loud voice,
came out of many possessed people,
and many paralyzed or crippled people were cured.
There was great joy in that city.

Now when the apostles in Jerusalem
heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God,
they sent them Peter and John,
who went down and prayed for them,
that they might receive the Holy Spirit,
for it had not yet fallen upon any of them;
they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
Then they laid hands on them
and they received the Holy Spirit.

First Reading Discussion Questions
F1. Why did the crowds “pay attention” to what Philip was saying? What gets your attention in spiritual matters?

F2. The Samaritans saw many signs and were filled with “great joy.” What are the signs of the presence of God in your life? Do any signs fill you with joy? Could you think of these signs as “everyday miracles”?

Second Reading

1 Peter 3:15-18
Beloved:
Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts.
Always be ready to give an explanation
to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope,
but do it with gentleness and reverence,
keeping your conscience clear,
so that, when you are maligned,
those who defame your good conduct in Christ
may themselves be put to shame.
For it is better to suffer for doing good,
if that be the will of God, than for doing evil.

For Christ also suffered for sins once,
the righteous for the sake of the unrighteous,
that he might lead you to God.
Put to death in the flesh,
he was brought to life in the Spirit.

Second Reading Discussion Questions
S1. How do you indicate by your life that the Spirit inspires you? How do you “sanctify Christ as Lord” in all of life’s arena: home, government, Church, world, and all creation?

S2.  St. Peter was the writer of this Second Reading. How does he recommend answering someone who notices your hopefulness and asks why? Was Peter always true to this advice in the Gospels? Do you try to be faithful to it?

Gospel

John 14:15-21J
esus said to his disciples:
"If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
And I will ask the Father, 
and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always,
the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept,
because it neither sees nor knows him.
But you know him, because he remains with you,
and will be in you.
I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.
In a little while the world will no longer see me,
but you will see me, because I live and you will live.
On that day you will realize that I am in my Father
and you are in me and I in you.
Whoever has my commandments and observes them
is the one who loves me.
And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father,
and I will love him and reveal myself to him."

Gospel Discussion Questions
G1. “Whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him.” If studying or reading or discussing are your only approaches to God, what else is needed, according to this reading? How does love impact knowledge and understanding in any friendship?

G2.  “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth, …” What is it that Pope Francis says the Holy Spirit seeks to do with his/her infinitely creative mind?

To believe that the Holy Spirit is at work in everyone means realizing that he seeks to penetrate every human situation and all social bonds: ‘The Holy Spirit can be said to possess an infinite creativity, proper to the divine mind, which knows how to loosen the knots of human affairs, even the most complex and inscrutable.’ (St. John Paul II.)

Evangelium Gaudium, 178

**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.