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 May 12, 2019 Sunday Mass
Fourth Sunday of Easter
Acts 13:14, 43-52
Paul and Barnabas continued on from Perga
and reached Antioch in Pisidia.
On the sabbath they entered the synagogue and took their seats.
Many Jews and worshipers who were converts to Judaism
followed Paul and Barnabas, who spoke to them
and urged them to remain faithful to the grace of God.
On the following sabbath almost the whole city gathered
to hear the word of the Lord.
When the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy
and with violent abuse contradicted what Paul said.
Both Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and said,
“It was necessary that the word of God be spoken to you first,
but since you reject it
and condemn yourselves as unworthy of eternal life,
we now turn to the Gentiles.
For so the Lord has commanded us,
I have made you a light to the Gentiles,
that you may be an instrument of salvation
to the ends of the earth.”
The Gentiles were delighted when they heard this
and glorified the word of the Lord.
All who were destined for eternal life came to believe,
and the word of the Lord continued to spread
through the whole region.
The Jews, however, incited the women of prominence who were worshipers
and the leading men of the city,
stirred up a persecution against Paul and Barnabas,
and expelled them from their territory.
So they shook the dust from their feet in protest against them,
and went to Iconium.
The disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.
First Discussion Questions
F1. “Almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord.” Does it seem that they liked what they heard? What made Paul and Barnabas decide to preach to the Gentiles? Was salvation planned for the Gentiles from the beginning or was this a change of plans?
F2. Were Paul and Barnabas instruments of salvation? Are you an instrument in any way? Explain. What did they do when they met with opposition? Is there any situation where “shaking the dust off your feet in protest” and moving on, might help you?
Revelations 7:9, 14B-17
I, John, had a vision of a great multitude,
which no one could count,
from every nation, race, people, and tongue.
They stood before the throne and before the Lamb,
wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands.
Then one of the elders said to me,
“These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress;
they have washed their robes
and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
“For this reason they stand before God’s throne
and worship him day and night in his temple.
The one who sits on the throne will shelter them.
They will not hunger or thirst anymore,
nor will the sun or any heat strike them.
For the Lamb who is in the center of the throne
will shepherd them
and lead them to springs of life-giving water,
and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
Second Reading Discussion Questions
S1. Do you like to hear the words, “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes,” or are they for other people?
S2. “They will not hunger or thirst anymore.” When you encounter conflict regarding social justice and the people suffering from it, what do you do? What would you like to do?
Gospel JN 10:27-30
“My sheep hear my voice;
I know them, and they follow me.
I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.
No one can take them out of my hand.
My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all,
and no one can take them out of the Father’s hand.
The Father and I are one.”
Gospel Reading Discussion Questions
G1. Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice.” Do you? Maybe in your heart? Or in homilies, or in the poor, or in people around you? In books, poems, nature? Any of the above? All of the above?
G2. According to Pope Francis, how do we recognize Jesus’ voice among all the other “voices” we hear?
We can study the whole history of salvation, we can study the whole of Theology, but without the Spirit we cannot understand. It is the Spirit that makes us realize the truth or—in the words of Our Lord—it is the Spirit that makes us know the voice of Jesus. Jesus, the Good Pastor, says, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them and they follow me.”
Pope Francis: Humble Prayer is the Key to Discernment
Vatican Radio, April 28, 2015
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.