Accountability and Support

“Iron is sharpened by iron; one person sharpens another.”
– Proverbs 27:17

Monthly Focus on Study

What have I studied during the past 30 days to help me better understand the gifts of God?
M1.   Bible Reading
M2.  Books of Formation
M3.  Periodicals
M4.  Other

Discussion Questions for October 15, 2017
Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

First Reading

Isaiah 25:6-10
On this mountain the LORD of hosts
will provide for all peoples
a feast of rich food and choice wines,
juicy, rich food and pure, choice wines.
On this mountain he will destroy
the veil that veils all peoples,
the web that is woven over all nations;
he will destroy death forever.
The Lord GOD will wipe away
the tears from every face;
the reproach of his people he will remove
from the whole earth; for the LORD has spoken.
On that day it will be said:
"Behold our God, to whom we looked to save us!
This is the LORD for whom we looked;
let us rejoice and be glad that he has saved us!"
For the hand of the LORD will rest on this mountain.

First Reading Discussion Questions
F1.  Does banquet imagery describe well the fullness we will have in the presence of God? How can a feast—juicy, rich food and pure, choice wines—be a sacramental vision of the universe?

F2. In this reading, “veil” means anything that separates people from the divine presence of God. It says that God will destroy that veil and will also destroy death, and will wipe away all tears from every face. Do these images speak to you? Explain.

Second Reading

Philippians 4:12-14, 19-20
Brothers and sisters:
I know how to live in humble circumstances;
I know also how to live with abundance.
In every circumstance and in all things
I have learned the secret of being well fed and of going hungry,
of living in abundance and of being in need. 
I can do all things in him who strengthens me. 
Still, it was kind of you to share in my distress.

My God will fully supply whatever you need,
in accord with his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.
To our God and Father, glory forever and ever. Amen.

Second Reading Discussion Questions
S1. Will the Lord ever test you beyond your capacity? Will that Lord always be with you? When you face daily life, when difficulties arise, do you remember Paul’s words, “I can do all things in him who strengthens me”?

S2. The readings show God bestowing gifts without measure. Maybe we “measure” when we give. How could we be a little freer?

Gospel

Matthew 22:1-14
Jesus again in reply spoke to the chief priests and elders of the people
in parables, saying, 
"The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king
who gave a wedding feast for his son. 
He dispatched his servants
to summon the invited guests to the feast,
but they refused to come.
A second time he sent other servants, saying,
'Tell those invited: "Behold, I have prepared my banquet,
my calves and fattened cattle are killed,
and everything is ready; come to the feast."'
Some ignored the invitation and went away,
one to his farm, another to his business. 
The rest laid hold of his servants,
mistreated them, and killed them. 
The king was enraged and sent his troops,
destroyed those murderers, and burned their city. 
Then he said to his servants, 'The feast is ready,
but those who were invited were not worthy to come. 
Go out, therefore, into the main roads
and invite to the feast whomever you find.'
The servants went out into the streets
and gathered all they found, bad and good alike,
and the hall was filled with guests. 
But when the king came in to meet the guests,
he saw a man there not dressed in a wedding garment. 
The king said to him, 'My friend, how is it
that you came in here without a wedding garment?'
But he was reduced to silence.
Then the king said to his attendants, 'Bind his hands and feet,
and cast him into the darkness outside,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.'
Many are invited, but few are chosen."

Gospel Discussion Questions
G1. Besides answering God’s invitation to the feast, what is our job? Are we the guests or are we also the ones doing the inviting? How does this banquet not only sustain life but also transfigure it?

G2. When the Pope, then known as Cardinal Bergoglio, gave the three minute speech below, the Cardinals at the Conclave started thinking seriously about electing him. How does his speech relate to today’s Gospel, “Go out therefore, into the main roads and invite to the feast whomever you find.”

The Church is called to come out of herself and to go to the peripheries, not only in the geographical sense but also to go to the existential peripheries: those of the mysteries of sin, of pain, of injustice, of ignorance and of religious indifference, of thought, of all misery.”

Bergoglio's Conclave

**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.