Accountability and Support
“Two are better than one: They get a good wage for their toil. If the one falls, the other will help the fallen one. But woe to the solitary person! If that one should fall, there is no other to help. So also, if two sleep together, they keep each other warm. How can one alone keep warm? Where one alone may be overcome, two together can resist. A three-ply cord is not easily broken.”
– Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
Monthly Focus on Action
“I will make you fishers of men.”
M1. What apostolic success did the Lord accomplish through me during the past 30 days to extend the kingdom? In my family? In my work? In my environment?
M2. With what apostolic failure did the Lord wish to test me during the past 30 days? In my family? In my work? In my environment?
M3. How did I fulfill last month’s plan?
M4. What do I need to work on?
Discussion Questions for May 28, 2017 Sunday The Ascension of the Lord Seventh Sunday of Easter
First Reading (The Ascension of the Lord)
In the first book, Theophilus,
I dealt with all that Jesus did and taught
until the day he was taken up,
after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit
to the apostles whom he had chosen.
He presented himself alive to them
by many proofs after he had suffered,
appearing to them during forty days
and speaking about the kingdom of God.
While meeting with the them,
he enjoined them not to depart from Jerusalem,
but to wait for "the promise of the Father
about which you have heard me speak;
for John baptized with water,
but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit."
When they had gathered together they asked him,
"Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?"
He answered them, "It is not for you to know the times or seasons
that the Father has established by his own authority.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you,
and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem,
throughout Judea and Samaria,
and to the ends of the earth."
When he had said this, as they were looking on,
he was lifted up, and a cloud took him from their sight.
While they were looking intently at the sky as he was going,
suddenly two men dressed in white garments stood beside them.
They said, "Men of Galilee,
why are you standing there looking at the sky?
This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven
will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven."
First Reading (Seventh Sunday of Easter)
After Jesus had been taken up to heaven the apostles
returned to Jerusalem
from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem,
a sabbath day's journey away.
When they entered the city
they went to the upper room where they were staying,
Peter and John and James and Andrew,
Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew,
James son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot,
and Judas son of James.
All these devoted themselves with one accord to prayer,
together with some women,
and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.
First Reading Discussion Questions
F1. (Ascension:) Jesus said his apostles they would receive power when the Holy Spirit came upon them. They would be his witnesses unto the ends of the earth. On whom did the disciples depend for understanding of what that meant for them? Did they understand right away or did it take some time? On whom do we depend for any spiritual understanding?
F2. (7th Sunday:) Did you receive the Holy Spirit once for all time at Confirmation? Or is the Spirit dynamic and new all the time? Discuss.
Second Reading (The Ascension of the Lord)
Brothers and sisters:
May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory,
give you a Spirit of wisdom and revelation
resulting in knowledge of him.
May the eyes of your hearts be enlightened,
that you may know what is the hope that belongs to his call,
what are the riches of glory
in his inheritance among the holy ones,
and what is the surpassing greatness of his power
for us who believe,
in accord with the exercise of his great might,
which he worked in Christ,
raising him from the dead
and seating him at his right hand in the heavens,
far above every principality, authority, power, and dominion,
and every name that is named
not only in this age but also in the one to come.
And he put all things beneath his feet
and gave him as head over all things to the church,
which is his body,
the fullness of the one who fills all things in every way.
Second Reading (Seventh Sunday of Easter)
1 Peter 4:13-16
Rejoice to the extent that you share in the sufferings of Christ,
so that when his glory is revealed
you may also rejoice exultantly.
If you are insulted for the name of Christ, blessed are you,
for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.
But let no one among you be made to suffer
as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as an intriguer.
But whoever is made to suffer as a Christian should not be ashamed
but glorify God because of the name.
Second Reading Discussion Questions
S1. (Ascension:) God gave Christ “the fullness of the one who fills all things in every way.” What is this fullness? What might be some “everyday” kinds of fullness? What kind of fullness would you like to have in your life?
S2. (7th Sunday:) If you had your choice would you avoid all suffering? The Holy Spirit is sometimes called the Comforter. How does the Spirit comfort you when you suffer? Do you let comfort come in?
Gospel (Ascension of the Lord)
The eleven disciples went to Galilee,
to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them.
When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted.
Then Jesus approached and said to them,
"All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.
And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age."
Gospel (Seventh Sunday of Easter)
Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said,
"Father, the hour has come.
Give glory to your son, so that your son may glorify you,
just as you gave him authority over all people,
so that your son may give eternal life to all you gave him.
Now this is eternal life,
that they should know you, the only true God,
and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ.
I glorified you on earth
by accomplishing the work that you gave me to do.
Now glorify me, Father, with you,
with the glory that I had with you before the world began.
"I revealed your name to those whom you gave me out of the world.
They belonged to you, and you gave them to me,
and they have kept your word.
Now they know that everything you gave me is from you,
because the words you gave to me I have given to them,
and they accepted them and truly understood that I came from you,
and they have believed that you sent me.
I pray for them.
I do not pray for the world but for the ones you have given me,
because they are yours, and everything of mine is yours
and everything of yours is mine,
and I have been glorified in them.
And now I will no longer be in the world,
but they are in the world, while I am coming to you."
Gospel Discussion Questions
G1. (Ascension:) “Behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” Jesus said this after telling the eleven to make disciples of all nations. Discuss what Pope Francis said about that:
He is with God the Father, where he always intercedes in our favor. Jesus is no longer in a definite place in the world as he was before the Ascension. He is now in the lordship of God, present in all space and time, next to each of us. In our life we are never alone: we have this Advocate who awaits us, who defends us.
General Audience, St. Peter’s Square, April 17, 2013, paragraph 5
G2. (7th Sunday:) The Father entrusted the good news of salvation to Jesus and he in turn entrusted it to his disciples. What are the implications for you?
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.