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 October 8, 2017 Sunday Mass

Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time 

First Reading

Isaiah 5:1-7
Let me now sing of my friend,
my friend's song concerning his vineyard.
My friend had a vineyard
on a fertile hillside;
he spaded it, cleared it of stones,
and planted the choicest vines;
within it he built a watchtower,
and hewed out a wine press.
Then he looked for the crop of grapes,
but what it yielded was wild grapes.

Now, inhabitants of Jerusalem and people of Judah,
judge between me and my vineyard:
What more was there to do for my vineyard
that I had not done?
Why, when I looked for the crop of grapes,
did it bring forth wild grapes?
Now, I will let you know
what I mean to do with my vineyard:
take away its hedge, give it to grazing,
break through its wall, let it be trampled!
Yes, I will make it a ruin:
it shall not be pruned or hoed,
but overgrown with thorns and briers;
I will command the clouds
not to send rain upon it.
The vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel,
and the people of Judah are his cherished plant;
he looked for judgment, but see, bloodshed!
for justice, but hark, the outcry!

First Discussion Questions
F1. Isaiah sings about his friend’s vineyard: “Why, when I looked for the crop of grapes, did it bring forth wild grapes?” What kind of “grapes” will God find in your vineyard?

F2. What are some things you could do if you discovered that all the “grapes” in your spiritual garden were turning out small or sickly?

Second Reading

Philippians 4:6-9
Brothers and sisters:
Have no anxiety at all, but in everything,
by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,
make your requests known to God.
Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding
will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters,
whatever is true, whatever is honorable,
whatever is just, whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious,
if there is any excellence
and if there is anything worthy of praise,
think about these things.
Keep on doing what you have learned and received
and heard and seen in me.
Then the God of peace will be with you.

Second Reading Discussion Questions
S1. How do you feel about the God of peace standing guard over your mind and heart? What does St. Paul say takes the place of the anxiety and the worries? Is this true for you?

S2. What are all people of good will reaching for when they embrace “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, … anything worthy of praise”? What can you embrace if you are tied up with anxieties? Discuss.

Gospel Reading

Matthew 21:33-43
Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders of the people:
"Hear another parable.
There was a landowner who planted a vineyard,
put a hedge around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a tower. 
Then he leased it to tenants and went on a journey.
When vintage time drew near,
he sent his servants to the tenants to obtain his produce. 
But the tenants seized the servants and one they beat,
another they killed, and a third they stoned. 
Again he sent other servants, more numerous than the first ones,
but they treated them in the same way. 
Finally, he sent his son to them, thinking,
'They will respect my son.'
But when the tenants saw the son, they said to one another,
'This is the heir.
Come, let us kill him and acquire his inheritance.'
They seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. 
What will the owner of the vineyard do to those tenants when he comes?"
They answered him,
"He will put those wretched men to a wretched death
and lease his vineyard to other tenants
who will give him the produce at the proper times." 
Jesus said to them, "Did you never read in the Scriptures:
The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
by the Lord has this been done,
and it is wonderful in our eyes?

Therefore, I say to you,
the kingdom of God will be taken away from you
and given to a people that will produce its fruit."

Gospel Reading Discussion Questions
G1. Who are God’s messengers right now? What changes in society do they advocate? How can you somehow be God’s envoy in your community, work, Church or the world? Can you move toward changes in society?

G2. In his morning meditation on the Wicked Tenants, the Pope suggested that we think about “what we can do so as not to kill the Word of God, … to not lock up the Holy Spirit.” Would his words at the end of the meditation help you? How?

[May] the Lord grant us the grace of humility to look upon Jesus as the Savior who speaks to us: he speaks to me! Each one of us ought to say: he speaks to me! When we read the Gospels: he is speaking to me!

The Imprisoned Word
March 21, 2014

**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.