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 November 26, 2017
The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

First Reading 

Proverbs 31:10-13, 19-20, 30-31
Thus says the Lord GOD:
I myself will look after and tend my sheep. 
As a shepherd tends his flock
when he finds himself among his scattered sheep,
so will I tend my sheep.
I will rescue them from every place where they were scattered
when it was cloudy and dark. 
I myself will pasture my sheep;
I myself will give them rest, says the Lord GOD. 
The lost I will seek out,
the strayed I will bring back,
the injured I will bind up,
the sick I will heal,
but the sleek and the strong I will destroy,
shepherding them rightly.

As for you, my sheep, says the Lord GOD,
I will judge between one sheep and another,
between rams and goats.

First Reading Discussion Questions
F1. “As a shepherd tends his flock when he finds himself among his scattered sheep, so will I tend my sheep.” How does Pope Francis’ statement below relate to this line from the First Reading? How does his statement relate to you?

An evangelizing community gets involved by word and deed in people’s daily lives; it bridges distances, it is willing to abase itself if necessary, and it embraces human life, touching the suffering flesh of Christ in others. Evangelizers thus take on the “smell of the sheep” and the sheep are willing to hear their voice.

Evangelii Gaudium, 24

F2. According to this reading, what kind of shepherd is the Lord God? If there is a message in this reading for people in Church leadership positions, what is it? What can you do to “bind up the injured and heal the sick”?

Second Reading 

1 Corinthians 15:20-26, 28
Brothers and sisters:
Christ has been raised from the dead,
the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 
For since death came through man,
the resurrection of the dead came also through man.
For just as in Adam all die,
so too in Christ shall all be brought to life,
but each one in proper order:
Christ the firstfruits;
then, at his coming, those who belong to Christ;
then comes the end,
when he hands over the kingdom to his God and Father,
when he has destroyed every sovereignty
and every authority and power. 
For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 
The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
When everything is subjected to him,
then the Son himself will also be subjected
to the one who subjected everything to him,
so that God may be all in all.

Second Reading Discussion Questions
S1. “For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.” Name some signs of “death or serious illness” that you see in the world, the environment or in your own family. What can you do to restore life? How can you help Christ accomplish the task of destroying death?

S2. How can you help Christ challenge the many forms of violence in the world today?

Gospel 

Matthew 25:31-46
Jesus said to his disciples:
"When the Son of Man comes in his glory,
and all the angels with him,
he will sit upon his glorious throne,
and all the nations will be assembled before him. 
And he will separate them one from another,
as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 
He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 
Then the king will say to those on his right,
'Come, you who are blessed by my Father. 
Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 
For I was hungry and you gave me food,
I was thirsty and you gave me drink,
a stranger and you welcomed me,
naked and you clothed me,
ill and you cared for me,
in prison and you visited me.'
Then the righteous will answer him and say,
'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you,
or thirsty and give you drink? 
When did we see you a stranger and welcome you,
or naked and clothe you? 
When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?'
And the king will say to them in reply,
'Amen, I say to you, whatever you did
for one of the least brothers of mine, you did for me.'
Then he will say to those on his left,
'Depart from me, you accursed,
into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
For I was hungry and you gave me no food,
I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,
a stranger and you gave me no welcome,
naked and you gave me no clothing,
ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.'
Then they will answer and say,
'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty
or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison,
and not minister to your needs?'
He will answer them, 'Amen, I say to you,
what you did not do for one of these least ones,
you did not do for me.'
And these will go off to eternal punishment,
but the righteous to eternal life."

Gospel Discussion Questions

G1.  This king is the almighty and glorious God. Why did he come into the world, in solidarity with the poor, wear thorns for his crown, and have a cross for his throne? Can you relate on a personal level to a to very rich, brilliant leader? How about to a poor and suffering one?

G2. “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink.” Christ uses our generosity as a standard for salvation. How is it also a standard for happiness? What happens to you when you give? If the “goats” had recognized Jesus, wouldn’t they have given too? How important is it to give without calculation?
 

Anne Osdieck

 

**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.