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 21, 2018
Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

First Reading

Isaiah 53:10-11

The LORD was pleased
to crush him in infirmity.

If he gives his life as an offering for sin,
he shall see his descendants in a long life,
and the will of the LORD shall be accomplished through him.

Because of his affliction
he shall see the light in fullness
of days;
through his suffering, my servant shall justify many,
and their guilt he shall bear.


First Reading Discussion Questions

F1. Do you suffer with a loved one who is suffering? Would you take the person’s place if you could? Might God act in this manner in the suffering of human beings?

F2. “Do this in memory of me.” Could this now common saying be also an invitation to join Jesus’ suffering, and to participate in his redemption of the world? Can God use your actions or your suffering to accomplish God’s work in the world today?

Second Reading

Hebrews 4:14-16

Brothers and sisters:
Since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, 
Jesus, the Son of God,
let us hold fast to our confession.
For we do not have a high priest
who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses,
but one who has similarly been tested in every way,
yet without sin. 
So let us confidently approach the throne of grace
to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help.


Second Reading Discussion Questions

S1. This Reading says that Christ is able to “sympathize with our weaknesses.” Does he completely understand your situation no matter how dense it is? Are you able to understand other people’s weaknesses? Jesus “was tested in every way.” Do you ever remember this when you are being tested and in need of grace? 

S2. “ … Since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God. … ” Since Jesus was an authentic human being, do you think he carries within him every member of the human race? Even to the throne of God? 

Gospel

Mark 10:35-45

James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Jesus and said to him,
"Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you." 
He replied, "What do you wish me to do for you?" 
They answered him, "Grant that in your glory
we may sit one at your right and the other at your left." 
Jesus said to them, "You do not know what you are asking. 
Can you drink the cup that I drink
or be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?" 
They said to him, "We can." 
Jesus said to them, "The cup that I drink, you will drink,
and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized;
but to sit at my right or at my left is not mine to give
but is for those for whom it has been prepared." 
When the ten heard this, they became indignant at James and John. 
Jesus summoned them and said to them,
"You know that those who are recognized as rulers over the Gentiles
lord it over them,
and their great ones make their authority over them felt. 
But it shall not be so among you.
Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant;
whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all. 
For the Son of Man did not come to be served
but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many."


Gospel Discussion Questions

G1.  Jesus told the disciples that the way to rank first is by serving others. What does unselfish service look like in your parish, work, or home? Could it change the world? How?

G2. “Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant … ” In this quotation from his United Nations address below, where does Pope Francis say the full meaning of individual and collective life is found? Why does Jesus attribute so much importance to the emptying of oneself?

The common home of all men and women must continue to rise on the foundations of a right understanding of universal fraternity and respect for the sacredness of every human life, of every man and every woman, the poor, the elderly, children, the infirm, the unborn, the unemployed, the abandoned, those considered disposable because they are only considered as part of a statistic. This common home of all men and women must also be built on the understanding of a certain sacredness of created nature.

Such understanding and respect call for a higher degree of wisdom, one which accepts transcendence, rejects the creation of an all-powerful élite, and recognizes that the full meaning of individual and collective life is found in selfless service to others and in the sage and respectful use of creation for the common good. To repeat the words of Paul VI, “the edifice of modern civilization has to be built on spiritual principles, for they are the only ones capable not only of supporting it, but of shedding light on it.”

Pope Francis
Speech to the United Nations
Sept. 25, 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.