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 9, 2016 Sunday Mass
28th Sunday of Ordinary Time

First Reading

2 Kings 5:14-17
Naaman went down and plunged into the Jordan seven times
at the word of Elisha, the man of God. 
His flesh became again like the flesh of a little child,
and he was clean of his leprosy.

Naaman returned with his whole retinue to the man of God. 
On his arrival he stood before Elisha and said,
“Now I know that there is no God in all the earth,
except in Israel.
Please accept a gift from your servant.”

Elisha replied, “As the LORD lives whom I serve, I will not take it;”
and despite Naaman's urging, he still refused. 
Naaman said: “If you will not accept,
please let me, your servant, have two mule-loads of earth,
for I will no longer offer holocaust or sacrifice
to any other god except to the LORD.”

First Reading Discussion Questions
F1. Naaman must have expected special and involved treatment, though he got ordinary directions from Elisha to wash in the river. How could this be sufficient to cure his illness? Which do you think God uses more often to communicate with you, extraordinary signs or ordinary ones? Explain.

F2. Have you ever brought sand, shells or rocks from foreign places back to your home? What does Naaman’s taking holy ground back to Syria say to you? Where is your holy ground?

Second Reading

2 Timothy 2:8-13
Beloved:
Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, a descendant of David:
such is my gospel, for which I am suffering,
even to the point of chains, like a criminal.
But the word of God is not chained.
Therefore, I bear with everything for the sake of those who are chosen,
so that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, 
together with eternal glory.
This saying is trustworthy:
If we have died with him
we shall also live with him;
if we persevere
we shall also reign with him.
But if we deny him
he will deny us.
If we are unfaithful
he remains faithful,
for he cannot deny himself.

Second Reading Discussion Questions
S1. Name some people whom you would say have suffered for the gospel. Who suffers for the gospel today? Do you? in what ways?

S2. Paul says, “I bear with everything for the sake of those who are chosen so that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus.” How would this work? Is Paul saying that your suffering is linked with the salvation of others? Has your faith been affected by the cloud of witnesses who surround you and who have gone before you?

Gospel

Luke 17:11-19
As Jesus continued his journey to Jerusalem,
he traveled through Samaria and Galilee.
As he was entering a village, ten lepers met him.
They stood at a distance from him and raised their voices, saying,
“Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!”
And when he saw them, he said,
“Go show yourselves to the priests.”
As they were going they were cleansed. 
And one of them, realizing he had been healed,
returned, glorifying God in a loud voice;
and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. 
He was a Samaritan.
Jesus said in reply,
“Ten were cleansed, were they not?
Where are the other nine? 
Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?”
Then he said to him, “Stand up and go;
your faith has saved you.”

Gospel Discussion Questions
G1. This Sunday we see foreigners who were grateful: the Syrian blind man, and in the First Reading the foreigner Naaman. Does God offer generous love regardless of a person’s origins or accomplishments? Do you give of yourself or your goods when you suspect ingratitude? Do you take note when God pours grace into your life? Are you grateful?

G2. According to Pope Francis in his homily at the Mass with the new Cardinals, what is a most important message Jesus gives us in his healing of the ten lepers? Is there any little thing you can do to heal a person’s wounds?

I urge you to serve Jesus crucified in every person who is emarginated, for whatever reason; to see the Lord in every excluded person who is hungry, thirsty, naked; to see the Lord present even in those who have lost their faith, or turned away from the practice of their faith, or say that they are atheists; to see the Lord who is imprisoned, sick, unemployed, persecuted; to see the Lord in the leper—whether in body or soul—who encounters discrimination! We will not find the Lord unless we truly accept the marginalized!

Pope Francis, Holy Mass with the New Cardinals, October 6, 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.