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 October 16, 2016 Sunday Mass
29th Sunday of Ordinary Time

First Reading

Exodus 17:8-13
In those days, Amalek came and waged war against Israel.
Moses, therefore, said to Joshua,
“Pick out certain men,
and tomorrow go out and engage Amalek in battle. 
I will be standing on top of the hill
with the staff of God in my hand.” 
So Joshua did as Moses told him:
he engaged Amalek in battle
after Moses had climbed to the top of the hill with Aaron and Hur.
As long as Moses kept his hands raised up,
Israel had the better of the fight,
but when he let his hands rest,
Amalek had the better of the fight.
Moses’hands, however, grew tired;
so they put a rock in place for him to sit on. 
Meanwhile Aaron and Hur supported his hands,
one on one side and one on the other,
so that his hands remained steady till sunset.
And Joshua mowed down Amalek and his people
with the edge of the sword.

First Reading Discussion Questions
F1. Could Moses have kept his hands raised (or “prayed constantly”) without the help of his friends? Can you relate to this story in any way? Discuss ways you can let friends help you when you can’t manage it by yourself. And how about you—whom do you support spiritually?

F2. In this reading some people were at battle and some—Moses, Aaron and Hur—were at intercessory prayer and action. The outcome of the battle was determined by the prayer. How important do you think prayer is to the success of your ministry? How important is prayer to anything you do?

Second Reading

2 Timothy 3:14-4:2
Beloved:
Remain faithful to what you have learned and believed,
because you know from whom you learned it,
and that from infancy you have known the sacred Scriptures,
which are capable of giving you wisdom for salvation
through faith in Christ Jesus.
All Scripture is inspired by God
and is useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction,
and for training in righteousness,
so that one who belongs to God may be competent,
equipped for every good work.

I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus,
who will judge the living and the dead,
and by his appearing and his kingly power:
proclaim the word;
be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient;
convince, reprimand, encourage through all patience and teaching.

Second Reading Discussion Questions
S1. What task does Paul lay on you in this reading? What instruction book does he give you to carry out the task? Sometimes is it “inconvenient” to proclaim the word of God by being patient or convincing and encouraging?

S2. Is proclaiming the Word of God central to all the activities of the Church? To your parish? To your life? How do you proclaim the Word of God in your work? In your life?

Gospel

Luke 18:1-8
Jesus told his disciples a parable
about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary. 
He said, “There was a judge in a certain town
who neither feared God nor respected any human being. 
And a widow in that town used to come to him and say,
‘Render a just decision for me against my adversary.’
For a long time the judge was unwilling, but eventually he thought,
‘While it is true that I neither fear God nor respect any human being, 
because this widow keeps bothering me
I shall deliver a just decision for her
lest she finally come and strike me.’” 
The Lord said, “Pay attention to what the dishonest judge says. 
Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones
who call out to him day and night? 
Will he be slow to answer them? 
I tell you, he will see to it that justice is done for them speedily. 
But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

Gospel Discussion Questions
G1. What does Jesus’ injunction, “Pray always … ” mean to you? Do you think Jesus means only prayers of petition? What does Jesus want to make clear to you about petitioning God? Discuss this statement: “When you pray for rain, take an umbrella.”

G2. In his address for the “Angeles,” Pope Francis asks, “Why does God want us ‘to cry out day and night’ to the Lord? Doesn’t God already know our needs?”

And this is a good question, that leads us to deepen a very important aspect of the Faith: God invites us to pray with insistence, not because he doesn’t know what we need, or because he doesn’t listen to us. On the contrary, he always hears and knows all of us, with love. In our daily journey, especially in difficulties, in the fight against evil outside of ourselves and within us, the Lord is not far away, he is at our side; we fight with him beside us, and our weapon is prayer, which makes us feel his presence alongside of us, his mercy, even his help.

Pope Francis, October 20, 2013,

**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.