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 September 10, 2017 Sunday Mass

23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time 

First Reading

Ezekiel 33:7-9
Thus says the LORD:
You, son of man, I have appointed watchman for the house of Israel;
when you hear me say anything, you shall warn them for me.
If I tell the wicked, "O wicked one, you shall surely die, "
and you do not speak out to dissuade the wicked from his way,
the wicked shall die for his guilt,
but I will hold you responsible for his death.
But if you warn the wicked,
trying to turn him from his way,
and he refuses to turn from his way,
he shall die for his guilt,
but you shall save yourself.

First Discussion Questions
F1. Does God still send watchmen or watch-women or prophets to address injustice in the world today? Who are they? Are they always successful and do they live long, happy lives?

F2. Do we have a shared responsibility for others and the world? Are you a “watchperson” in some way? What seems unjust as you watch? Can you think of new ways of bringing justice and divine love into the lives of those people you care for? Into your workplace? Into other places in your life?

Second Reading

Romans 13:8-10
Brothers and sisters:
Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another;
for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.
The commandments, "You shall not commit adultery;
you shall not kill; you shall not steal; you shall not covet, "
and whatever other commandment there may be,
are summed up in this saying, namely,
"You shall love your neighbor as yourself." 
Love does no evil to the neighbor;
hence, love is the fulfillment of the law.

Second Reading Discussion Questions
S1. What commandment sums up all the rest? How does it fulfill the whole law?

S2. Which ranks highest: How much you love? How much you do? How smart or powerful you are? According to Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritain (Luke 10: 29-37), who is your neighbor?

Gospel Reading

Matthew 18:15-20Jesus said to his disciples:
"If your brother sins against you,
go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. 
If he listens to you, you have won over your brother.
If he does not listen,
take one or two others along with you,
so that 'every fact may be established
on the testimony of two or three witnesses.'
If he refuses to listen to them, tell the church. 
If he refuses to listen even to the church,
then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector.
Amen, I say to you,
whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven,
and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
Again, amen, I say to you,
if two of you agree on earth
about anything for which they are to pray,
it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father. 
For where two or three are gathered together in my name,
there am I in the midst of them."

Gospel Reading Discussion Questions
G1. Can you rely on God to grant your request in some way when you and another person agree to pray about something? Do you trust God’s promise?

G2. Pope Francis thought it was important enough to send out an urgent request for all Catholics to join him in prayer when he met with leaders from Israel and Palesine to pray for world peace. Do you always remember that “if two or you agree on earth about anything for which they (you) are to pray, it shall be granted to them (you)”?

Pope Francis invited Catholics to join him in prayer for world peace, to participate spiritually in this great act of solidarity by uniting themselves in prayer with him on that special day, when he met with Israel's President Shimon Peres and President of Palestine Mahmoud Abbas in the Vatican that Sunday afternoon.

As he stated,

In this way, the invocation for world peace, emanating from the tomb of St Peter, will extend throughout the earth. Let us be confident that the promise of the Lord may be fulfilled: “if two of you agree on earth about anything for which they are to pray, it shall be granted to them by my Heavenly Father” (Gospel).

Pope Francis, But who do you say that I am?

**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.