Accountability and Support

“Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up, as indeed you do.”
– 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Monthly Focus on Nurturing Relationship with Christ

When was I most aware of Christ’s presence in my life during the past 30 days? Why?

Discussion Questions for November 12, 2017 Sunday Mass

Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time 

First Reading

Wisdom 6:12-16
Resplendent and unfading is wisdom,
and she is readily perceived by those who love her,
and found by those who seek her.
She hastens to make herself known in anticipation of their desire;
Whoever watches for her at dawn shall not be disappointed,
for he shall find her sitting by his gate.
For taking thought of wisdom is the perfection of prudence,
and whoever for her sake keeps vigil
shall quickly be free from care;
because she makes her own rounds, seeking those worthy of her,
and graciously appears to them in the ways,
and meets them with all solicitude.

First Discussion Questions
F1. In this reading people are looking for Wisdom at the same time that Wisdom is searching for them. What does “wanting wisdom” do for your “receiving wisdom”? Explain this line from the reading. “… whoever watches for her at dawn shall not be disappointed, for he shall find her sitting by his gate.”

F2. How is wisdom different from knowledge? Does knowledge enable you to see beyond the surface of things into their depths? Does wisdom? Who sees like that? Do you want to see things the way God sees them?

Second Reading

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
or 4:13-14

We do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters,
about those who have fallen asleep,
so that you may not grieve like the rest, who have no hope. 
For if we believe that Jesus died and rose,
so too will God, through Jesus,
bring with him those who have fallen asleep. 
Indeed, we tell you this, on the word of the Lord,
that we who are alive,
who are left until the coming of the Lord,
will surely not precede those who have fallen asleep.
For the Lord himself, with a word of command,
with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of God,
will come down from heaven,
and the dead in Christ will rise first. 
Then we who are alive, who are left,
will be caught up together with them in the clouds
to meet the Lord in the air. 
Thus we shall always be with the Lord. 
Therefore, console one another with these words.

OR

We do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters,
about those who have fallen asleep,
so that you may not grieve like the rest, who have no hope. 
For if we believe that Jesus died and rose,
so too will God, through Jesus,
bring with him those who have fallen asleep.

Second Reading Discussion Questions
S1. Would you live differently if you thought “the end time” was right around the corner—as the Thessalonians seemed to? If so, what would you change?

S2. Those who are alive will be caught up together with Christ and with those who have died. “Caught up” as a people or as a community in Christ. Does this have any implications for you now?

Gospel Reading

Matthew 25:1-13
Jesus told his disciples this parable:
"The kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins
who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 
Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 
The foolish ones, when taking their lamps,
brought no oil with them,
but the wise brought flasks of oil with their lamps. 
Since the bridegroom was long delayed,
they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
At midnight, there was a cry,
'Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!'
Then all those virgins got up and trimmed their lamps. 
The foolish ones said to the wise,
'Give us some of your oil,
for our lamps are going out.'
But the wise ones replied,
'No, for there may not be enough for us and you.
Go instead to the merchants and buy some for yourselves.'
While they went off to buy it,
the bridegroom came
and those who were ready went into the wedding feast with him. 
Then the door was locked.
Afterwards the other virgins came and said,
'Lord, Lord, open the door for us!'
But he said in reply,
'Amen, I say to you, I do not know you.'
Therefore, stay awake,
for you know neither the day nor the hour."

Gospel Reading Discussion Questions
G1.  Jesus’ parable is about being watchful and well prepared. Is the “stay awake” assignment just for people over a certain age, or people who have gotten bad news from their doctors? When you watch for God in your life do you sometimes “doze off”? What exactly were you waiting for?

G2. In one of his General Audiences, Pope Francis discusses the parable of the ten virgins. He mentions keeping our hearts open to “goodness, beauty and truth.” How would that help us see signs of Christ’s presence in the world?

The Bridegroom is the Lord, and the time of waiting for his arrival is the time he gives to us, to all of us, before his Final Coming; … it is a time of watchfulness; a time in which we must keep alight the lamps of faith, hope and charity, a time in which to keep our heart open to goodness, beauty and truth. … What he asks of us is to be ready for the encounter—ready for an encounter, for a beautiful encounter, the encounter with Jesus, which means being able to see the signs of his presence, keeping our faith alive with prayer, with the sacraments, and taking care not to fall asleep so as to not forget about God. … Let us not fall asleep!

Holy Mass and Episcopal Ordination
9 November 2015

**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.