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 October 28, 2018
Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Thus says the LORD:
Shout with joy for Jacob,
exult at the head of the nations;
proclaim your praise and say:
The LORD has delivered his people,
the remnant of Israel.
Behold, I will bring them back
from the land of the north;
I will gather them from the ends of the world,
with the blind and the lame in their midst,
the mothers and those with child;
they shall return as an immense throng.
They departed in tears,
but I will console them and guide them;
I will lead them to brooks of water,
on a level road, so that none shall stumble.
For I am a father to Israel,
Ephraim is my first-born.
First Reading Discussion Questions
F1.In his message to the United States Congress, Pope Francis suggested that Congress, by means of the law, must protect the image and likeness fashioned by God on every human face. What does/can your parish or office or family do to fight the poverty Francis mentions below?
I would encourage you to keep in mind all those people around us who are trapped in a cycle of poverty. They too need to be given hope. The fight against poverty and hunger must be fought constantly and on many fronts, especially in its causes.
Pope Francis' address to Congress (as prepared for delivery)
Sept. 24, 2015
F2. Is there anyone in your life who needs the road “leveled out” just a little. Is there anyone you can ask, “What do you want me to do for you,” as Jesus did in the today’s Gospel? If you help, how is this good for both of you?
Brothers and sisters:
Every high priest is taken from among men
and made their representative before God,
to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins.
He is able to deal patiently with the ignorant and erring,
for he himself is beset by weakness
and so, for this reason, must make sin offerings for himself
as well as for the people.
No one takes this honor upon himself
but only when called by God,
just as Aaron was.
In the same way,
it was not Christ who glorified himself in becoming high priest,
but rather the one who said to him:
You are my son:
this day I have begotten you;
just as he says in another place:
You are a priest forever
according to the order of Melchizedek.
Second Reading Discussion Questions
S1. “He is able to deal patiently with the ignorant and erring, for he himself is beset by weakness.” How would experiencing weakness help someone in ministering to others? Do you think Jesus’ human experience and suffering draws people to him?
S2. Baptism makes all of us ministers in the reign of God. Think about Moses, Peter, Paul, Augustine, Blessed Damien, St. Thomas Aquinas and others. Pick one or two and say how their weakness helped make them good ministers.
As Jesus was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a sizable crowd,
Bartimaeus, a blind man, the son of Timaeus,
sat by the roadside begging.
On hearing that it was Jesus of Nazareth,
he began to cry out and say,
"Jesus, son of David, have pity on me."
And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent.
But he kept calling out all the more,
"Son of David, have pity on me."
Jesus stopped and said, "Call him."
So they called the blind man, saying to him,
"Take courage; get up, Jesus is calling you."
He threw aside his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus.
Jesus said to him in reply, "What do you want me to do for you?"
The blind man replied to him, "Master, I want to see."
Jesus told him, "Go your way; your faith has saved you."
Immediately he received his sight
and followed him on the way.
Gospel Discussion Questions
G1. The disciples were trying to shut him up. But Bartimaeus kept calling out to Jesus anyway. What do you do when others urge you to keep quiet? In the history of the Church can you think of great scientists and theologians who were silenced?
G2.“Master, I want to see.” What is it that you want to “see” that will change your life as radically as Jesus changed that of Bartimaeus? What is the central miracle here, the blind trust or faith of Bartimaeus or the healing of physical blindness?
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.