Accountability and Support

“Two are better than one: They get a good wage for their toil. If the one falls, the other will help the fallen one. But woe to the solitary person! If that one should fall, there is no other to help. So also, if two sleep together, they keep each other warm. How can one alone keep warm? Where one alone may be overcome, two together can resist. A three-ply cord is not easily broken.”
– Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Monthly Focus on Action

“I will make you fishers of men.”
M1.   What apostolic success did the Lord accomplish through me during the past 30 days to extend the kingdom? In my family? In my work? In my environment?
M2.  With what apostolic failure did the Lord wish to test me during the past 30 days? In my family? In my work? In my environment?
M3.  How did I fulfill last month’s plan?
M4.  What do I need to work on?

Discussion Questions for September 23, 2018
Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

First Reading 

Wisdom 2:12, 17-20

The wicked say:
Let us beset the just one, because he is obnoxious to us;
he sets himself against our doings,
reproaches us for transgressions of the law
and charges us with violations of our training.
Let us see whether his words be true;
let us find out what will happen to him.
For if the just one be the son of God, God will defend him
and deliver him from the hand of his foes.
With revilement and torture let us put the just one to the test
that we may have proof of his gentleness
and try his patience.
Let us condemn him to a shameful death;
for according to his own words, God will take care of him.

First Reading Discussion Questions
F1.“Let us beset the just one, because he is obnoxious to us, he sets himself against our doings.” If you were to speak out against unjust “doings,”might you be considered obnoxious? Does that stop you?

F2. Today, who are the “just ones,” enduring persecution by wicked ones? Is there an injustice that “tries your patience”?

Second Reading 

James 3:16-4:3

Beloved:
Where jealousy and selfish ambition exist,
there is disorder and every foul practice. 
But the wisdom from above is first of all pure,
then peaceable, gentle, compliant,
full of mercy and good fruits,
without inconstancy or insincerity. 
And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace
for those who cultivate peace.

Where do the wars
and where do the conflicts among you come from? 
Is it not from your passions
that make war within your members? 
You covet but do not possess. 
You kill and envy but you cannot obtain;
you fight and wage war. 
You do not possess because you do not ask. 
You ask but do not receive,
because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.

Second Reading Discussion Questions
S1. Ambition for power and greatness: where does it lead? What does it do to a country? To a business? To a Church? Is there a way to cultivate peace?

S2. St. James asks, “ … where do the conflicts among you come from?” In today’s Gospel the disciples had been arguing and “discussing among themselves on the way who was the greatest.” Do you think their discussion could have ended in anything but conflict? Why?

Gospel

Mark 9:30-37

Jesus and his disciples left from there and began a journey through Galilee,
but he did not wish anyone to know about it. 
He was teaching his disciples and telling them,
“The Son of Man is to be handed over to men
and they will kill him,
and three days after his death the Son of Man will rise.” 
But they did not understand the saying,
and they were afraid to question him.

They came to Capernaum and, once inside the house,
he began to ask them,
“What were you arguing about on the way?” 
But they remained silent.
They had been discussing among themselves on the way
who was the greatest. 
Then he sat down, called the Twelve, and said to them,
“If anyone wishes to be first,
he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.” 
Taking a child, he placed it in their midst,
and putting his arms around it, he said to them,
“Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me;
and whoever receives me,
receives not me but the One who sent me.”

Gospel Discussion Questions

G1. Jesus tells the disciples that they should be servants of all, in order to rank first. To whom would you be a servant if you could? Anyone close to you? How do you rate your parish in taking care of people in need? Where do you rank yourself? 

G2. In his message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, Pope Francis says that when we receive one migrant or refugee child, it teaches us to welcome others. What does giving a welcome have to do with faith, hope and love? Why do you think Jesus came as a child, small and weak?

Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me” (Mk 9:37; cf. Mt 18:5; Lk 9:48; Jn 13:20). With these words, the Evangelists remind the Christian community of Jesus’ teaching, which both inspires and challenges. This phrase traces the sure path which leads to God; it begins with the smallest and, through the grace of our Savior, it grows into the practice of welcoming others. To be welcoming is a necessary condition for making this journey a concrete reality: God made himself one of us. In Jesus God became a child, and the openness of faith to God, which nourishes hope, is expressed in loving proximity to the smallest and the weakest. Charity, faith and hope are all actively present in the spiritual and corporal works of mercy.

Pope Francis
World Day Of Migrants And Refugees
2017

 

Anne Osdieck

 

**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.