Accountability and Support

“For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”
– Matthew 18:20

Monthly Focus on Piety

With what spiritual aids have I nourished my vital union with Christ during the past 30 days?
M1.   Morning offering
M2.  Personal Prayer Period
M3.  Mass and Communion
M4.  Visits to the Blessed Sacrament
M5.  Rosary / Devotion to Mary
M6.  Examination of Conscience
M7.  Spiritual Direction

Discussion Questions for November 4, 2018
Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time

First Reading

Deuteronomy 6: 2-6

Moses spoke to the people, saying:
"Fear the LORD, your God,
and keep, throughout the days of your lives,
all his statutes and commandments which I enjoin on you,
and thus have long life.
Hear then, Israel, and be careful to observe them,
that you may grow and prosper the more,
in keeping with the promise of the LORD, the God of your fathers,
to give you a land flowing with milk and honey.

"Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone! 
Therefore, you shall love the LORD, your God,
with all your heart,
and with all your soul,
and with all your strength. 
Take to heart these words which I enjoin on you today."

First Reading Discussion Questions
F1. Is there any contradiction between the Ten Commandments and the commandment to love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength?

F2. Compare governments and corporations who want all your money with God who wants all your love. What would the world look like if heads of state gave and received real love from everyone?

Second Reading

Hebrews 7:23-28

Brothers and sisters:
The levitical priests were many
because they were prevented by death from remaining in office,
but Jesus, because he remains forever,
has a priesthood that does not pass away.
Therefore, he is always able to save those who approach God through him, 
since he lives forever to make intercession for them.

It was fitting that we should have such a high priest:
holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners,
higher than the heavens.
He has no need, as did the high priests,
to offer sacrifice day after day,
first for his own sins and then for those of the people;
he did that once for all when he offered himself. 
For the law appoints men subject to weakness to be high priests,
but the word of the oath, which was taken after the law,
appoints a son,
who has been made perfect forever.

Second Reading Discussion Questions
S1.  Explain why Jesus’ sacrifice takes place now and always, as for instance in the Eucharist, as well as throughout history. Compare the love Jesus has for you with the love he had for his disciples.

S2. How do you feel about someone who “lives forever to make intercession for” you?

Gospel

Mark 12:28b-34

One of the scribes came to Jesus and asked him,
"Which is the first of all the commandments?" 
Jesus replied, "The first is this:
Hear, O Israel!
The Lord our God is Lord alone!
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your soul, 
with all your mind,
and with all your strength.

The second is this:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
There is no other commandment greater than these." 
The scribe said to him, "Well said, teacher.
You are right in saying,
'He is One and there is no other than he.'
And 'to love him with all your heart,
with all your understanding,
with all your strength,
and to love your neighbor as yourself'
is worth more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices."
And when Jesus saw that he answered with understanding,
he said to him,
"You are not far from the kingdom of God." 
And no one dared to ask him any more questions.

Gospel Discussion Questions
G1. Is it an easy thing for you or do you need help in loving God with your whole heart, soul, mind and strength and neighbor as yourself? From where does Pope Francis say the help comes?

What Jesus proposes in this Gospel passage is a wonderful ideal, which corresponds to our heart’s most authentic desire. Indeed, we were created to love and to be loved. God, who is Love, created us to make us participants in his life, to be loved by him and to love him, and with him to love all other people. This is God’s “dream” for humankind. And to accomplish it we need his grace; we need to receive within us the capacity to love which comes from God himself. Jesus offers himself to us in the Eucharist for this very reason. In it we receive Jesus in the utmost expression of his love, when he offered himself to the Father for our salvation.

Pope Francis, Angelus
October 29, 2017,
paragraph 4
 

G2. Did Jesus add the words, “And love your neighbor as yourself” to the commandment to love God with our whole heart or was it found throughout the Hebrew culture?

 

**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.