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 July 14, 2019 Sunday Mass

Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

First Reading

Deuteronomy 30:10-14

Moses said to the people:
"If only you would heed the voice of the LORD, your God,
and keep his commandments and statutes
that are written in this book of the law,
when you return to the LORD, your God,
with all your heart and all your soul.

"For this command that I enjoin on you today
is not too mysterious and remote for you.
It is not up in the sky, that you should say,
'Who will go up in the sky to get it for us
and tell us of it, that we may carry it out?'
Nor is it across the sea, that you should say,
'Who will cross the sea to get it for us
and tell us of it, that we may carry it out?'
No, it is something very near to you,
already in your mouths and in your hearts;
you have only to carry it out."

First Discussion Questions
F1. Moses refers to commandments in this reading. What do you think inspired these? Are they hard to understand?

F2. Where do we find God’s commandment? According to Jesus it consists of this: love God and love your neighbor. Do you find yourself relying on codes and guidelines more than on the underlying commandment?

Second Reading

Colossians 1:15-20

Christ Jesus is the image of the invisible God,
the firstborn of all creation.
For in him were created all things in heaven and on earth,
the visible and the invisible,
whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers;
all things were created through him and for him.
He is before all things,
and in him all things hold together.
He is the head of the body, the church.
He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead,
that in all things he himself might be preeminent.
For in him all the fullness was pleased to dwell,
and through him to reconcile all things for him,
making peace by the blood of his cross
through him, whether those on earth or those in heaven.

Second Reading Discussion Questions

S1. He was “Christ Jesus, the one who is before all things, the firstborn of all creation.”With whom did he spend time? With whom do you want to spend time? Do you make an effort to give your time to God and the people you love or are you always in a hurry to do more important things?

S2. This reading says that Christ reconciled all things, making peace by the blood of his cross. In the Gospel’s story of the Good Samaritan, what are the things that need reconciling? What still needs reconciling in the besieged environment today? In the arena of human rights? Will you be a passerby or will you share in the work of creation, redemption and renewal?

Gospel Reading

Luke 10:25-37

There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test Jesus and said,
"Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
Jesus said to him, "What is written in the law?
How do you read it?"
He said in reply,
"You shall love the Lord, your God,
with all your heart,
with all your being,
with all your strength,
and with all your mind,
and your neighbor as yourself."

He replied to him, "You have answered correctly;
do this and you will live."

But because he wished to justify himself, he said to Jesus,
"And who is my neighbor?"
Jesus replied,
"A man fell victim to robbers
as he went down from Jerusalem to Jericho.
They stripped and beat him and went off leaving him half-dead.
A priest happened to be going down that road,
but when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side.
Likewise a Levite came to the place,
and when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side.
But a Samaritan traveler who came upon him
was moved with compassion at the sight.
He approached the victim,
poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them.
Then he lifted him up on his own animal,
took him to an inn, and cared for him.
The next day he took out two silver coins
and gave them to the innkeeper with the instruction,
'Take care of him.
If you spend more than what I have given you,
I shall repay you on my way back.'
Which of these three, in your opinion,
was neighbor to the robbers' victim?"
He answered, "The one who treated him with mercy."
Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise."

Gospel Reading Discussion Questions
G1. Think of the Good Samaritan story in terms of today’s world. What groups need the Samaritan? The trafficked? The immigrants? Gun control groups? The homeless? the hungry? Whether it is large or small, is there anything you can do to help any of these?

G2. At one of his General Audiences Pope Francis reflected on the Good Samaritan. Which man is the neighbor, the one in need or the one showing compassion to the one in need?

Love, the Lord tells us, is never abstract or distant; it “sees” and it responds. The compassion shown by the Samaritan is an image of the infinite mercy of God, who always sees our needs and draws near to us in love. The command to love God and neighbor, then, is supremely practical; it entails caring for others even to the point of personal sacrifice.

By the end of the parable, we see that the “neighbor” is not so much the man in need, but rather the one who responded to that need with compassion. Jesus tells all of us to be neighbors in this sense: “Go and do likewise.” He himself is the model of the Good Samaritan; by imitating his love and compassion, we show ourselves truly to be his followers.

Pope Francis: A True Christian Must be Like a Lamb
February 17, 2014

**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.