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 6, 2016 Sunday Mass
32nd Sunday of Ordinary Time

First Reading

2 Maccabees 7: 1-2, 9-14
It happened that seven brothers with their mother were arrested
and tortured with whips and scourges by the king,
to force them to eat pork in violation of God's law. 
One of the brothers, speaking for the others, said:
“What do you expect to achieve by questioning us? 
We are ready to die rather than transgress the laws of our ancestors.”

At the point of death he said:
“You accursed fiend, you are depriving us of this present life,
but the King of the world will raise us up to live again forever. 
It is for his laws that we are dying.”

After him the third suffered their cruel sport.
He put out his tongue at once when told to do so,
and bravely held out his hands, as he spoke these noble words:
“It was from Heaven that I received these;
for the sake of his laws I disdain them;
from him I hope to receive them again.”
Even the king and his attendants marveled at the young man's courage,
because he regarded his sufferings as nothing.

After he had died,
they tortured and maltreated the fourth brother in the same way. 
When he was near death, he said,
“It is my choice to die at the hands of men
with the hope God gives of being raised up by him;
but for you, there will be no resurrection to life.”

First Reading Discussion Questions
F1. Who are your resurrection people? Jesus, of course. Archbishop Romero? All the martyrs in El Salvador? Rev. Jacques Hamel, 85 yr. old French priest, killed by ISIS on 7/26/16? The ones who died to bring social justice to their country like Rev. Gregorio Lopez Gorostieta of southern Mexico, whose death is one of the latest in a series of abductions, attacks and highway robberies against Roman Catholic clerics in the state which is dominated by drug cartels? Who else?

F2. What are some other burdensome earthly trials besides martyrdom that people might be able to endure because of the hope of the resurrection? What suffering could this hope allow you to endure?

Second Reading

2 Thessalonians 2:6-3:5
Brothers and sisters:
May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father,
who has loved us and given us everlasting encouragement
and good hope through his grace,
encourage your hearts and strengthen them in every good deed
and word.

Finally, brothers and sisters, pray for us,
so that the word of the Lord may speed forward and be glorified,
as it did among you,
and that we may be delivered from perverse and wicked people,
for not all have faith.
But the Lord is faithful;
he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one. 
We are confident of you in the Lord that what we instruct you,
you are doing and will continue to do. 
May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God
and to the endurance of Christ.

Second Reading Discussion Questions
S1.  Does Paul pray that his and his friends’ ministry speed forward or that the Word of the Lord do the same through their efforts? Discuss. What is the difference?

S2. Are you saving the world in your ministry. Are you part of God’s plan to save the world? How might it happen?

Gospel

Luke 20:27-38
Some Sadducees, those who deny that there is a resurrection,
came forward and put this question to Jesus, saying,
“Teacher, Moses wrote for us,
If someone's brother dies leaving a wife but no child,
his brother must take the wife
and raise up descendants for his brother.
Now there were seven brothers;
the first married a woman but died childless.
Then the second and the third married her,
and likewise all the seven died childless. 
Finally the woman also died. 
Now at the resurrection whose wife will that woman be?
For all seven had been married to her.”
Jesus said to them,
“The children of this age marry and remarry;
but those who are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age
and to the resurrection of the dead
neither marry nor are given in marriage.
They can no longer die,
for they are like angels;
and they are the children of God
because they are the ones who will rise. 
That the dead will rise
even Moses made known in the passage about the bush,
when he called out ‘Lord,’
the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob;
and he is not God of the dead, but of the living,
for to him all are alive.”

Gospel Discussion Questions
G1. When you encounter Christ in the Sacraments, in your fellow human beings, in community, might you get a taste of eternity? If God is love, when you experience real love, might you get a taste of the risen life?

G2. The Sadducees thought that this present life was the standard for eternity. What does Pope Francis say God has in store for us that turns the Sadducees’ way of looking at eternity on its head?

This is why Jesus affirms: “He is not the God of the dead, but of the living: for all live to Him” (Luke 20:38). And the most important tie is with Jesus: He is the Alliance, he is the Life and the Resurrection, because with his crucified love he defeated death. In Jesus, the Pope said, God gives us eternal life: He gives it to everyone, and everyone, thanks to Him, can hope to live a life even more real than this one. The life that God has in store for us is not simply a better version of this one: it goes beyond our imagination, because God continually surprises us with his love and mercy.

Pope Francis: death is behind us, in front of us God of the living
Nov. 10, 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.