Discussion Questions

Exclusion

First Reading
Wisdom 11:22-12:2

1. “For you love all things that are and loathe nothing that you have made.” What things do we think of when we hear this? If God’s attitude toward every created thing is love, what is your attitude? Do you show reverence for creation? For your neighbor?

2. This reading is about God’s transcendence (God as beyond our limits or so far above us). At the same time it is about God’s immanence (his Spirit in all things, he pitched his tent among us, God with us, at home with us). How do you feel about God when you think of these attributes?

Second Reading
2 Thessalonians 1:11-2:2

1. When you are “shaken out of your mind suddenly” on your spiritual journey, do you think God can use your fellow believers or even non-believers to help you out? Give some examples of how this might work.

2. Paul wanted the Thessalonians to know that he was constantly praying for them. Does it help you to know people are praying for you? Explain. Does it help you to pray for other people? How?

Gospel
Luke 19:1-10

1. A man climbs a tree in order to see. A holy man goes to a “sinner’s” house for dinner. A repenting person gives half of all his possessions to the poor. How do you explain these events? Does knowing Jesus Christ elicit extraordinary behavior from you? What?

2. How does Pope Francis use the story of Zacchaeus to help the UN develop goals that impact the “structural causes of poverty and hunger, attain more substantial results in protecting the environment, ensure destructuralized and productive labor for all, and provide appropriate protection for the family”?

It is the encounter between Jesus Christ and the rich tax collector Zacchaeus, as a result of which Zacchaeus made a radical decision of sharing and justice, because his conscience had been awakened by the gaze of Jesus. This same spirit should be at the beginning and end of all political and economic activity. The gaze, often silent, of that part of the human family which is cast off, left behind, ought to awaken the conscience of political and economic agents and lead them to generous and courageous decisions with immediate results, like the decision of Zacchaeus. Does this spirit of solidarity and sharing guide all our thoughts and actions?

Pope to UN: Resist the Economy of Exclusion, September 5, 2014

Anne Osdieck

 

**From Saint Louis University

Kristin Clauson