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 October 2, 2016 Sunday Mass
27th Sunday of Ordinary Time

First Reading

Habakkuk 1:2-3; 2:2-4
How long, O LORD? I cry for help
but you do not listen!
I cry out to you, “Violence!”
but you do not intervene.
Why do you let me see ruin;
why must I look at misery?
Destruction and violence are before me;
there is strife, and clamorous discord.
Then the LORD answered me and said:
Write down the vision clearly upon the tablets,
so that one can read it readily.
For the vision still has its time,
presses on to fulfillment, and will not disappoint;
if it delays, wait for it,
it will surely come, it will not be late.
The rash one has no integrity;
but the just one, because of his faith, shall live.

First Reading Discussion Questions
F1. Can you relate to this reading from Habakkuk? This writer could no longer endure violence, abuse and oppression everywhere in the world. What about you? Where do the challenges of discipleship come from for you?

F2. Habakkuk speaks of misery and violence. What helps you survive the misery in your life? In a tough situation can your faith sustain you? Do you need to exercise your faith in lesser matters in order to be ready?

Second Reading

Timothy 1:6-8, 13-14
Beloved:
I remind you, to stir into flame
the gift of God that you have through the imposition of my hands. 
For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice
but rather of power and love and self-control. 
So do not be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord,
nor of me, a prisoner for his sake;
but bear your share of hardship for the gospel
with the strength that comes from God.

Take as your norm the sound words that you heard from me,
in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 
Guard this rich trust with the help of the Holy Spirit
that dwells within us.

Second Reading Discussion Questions
S1. According to Paul, what did God give us instead of the “spirit of cowardice?” How can we “stir into flames” the power of love and self-control? Can love overcome cowardice and be a weapon for Christians?

S2. Discuss authoritarianism, empathy and openness. Are they signs of strength or weakness? Of love or cowardice?

Gospel

Luke 17:5-10
The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” 
The Lord replied,
“If you have faith the size of a mustard seed,
you would say to this mulberry tree,
‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.

“Who among you would say to your servant
who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field,
‘Come here immediately and take your place at table’? 
Would he not rather say to him,
‘Prepare something for me to eat.
Put on your apron and wait on me while I eat and drink.
You may eat and drink when I am finished’? 
Is he grateful to that servant because he did what was commanded? 
So should it be with you.
When you have done all you have been commanded,
say, ‘We are unprofitable servants;
we have done what we were obliged to do.’”

Gospel Discussion Questions
G1. Is quantity an issue when it comes to faith? Would an infinitely small amount of faith (a mustard seed’s-worth) fulfill what Jesus promised to the apostles?

G2. Do you know people, as Pope Francis suggests here, who, with incredibly strong faith, have moved mountains, or as this reading suggests, “uprooted mulberry trees”? Who are they? What have they accomplished? Can your faith help you do the kinds of things they did? Can it help you overcome obstacles?

The mustard seed is very small, but Jesus says that it is enough to have a faith like this, small, but true, sincere to do things that are humanly impossible, unthinkable. And it is true! We all know people who are simple, humble, but with an incredibly strong faith, who truly move mountains!

Pope Francis, Angelus Message, October 6, 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.