Discussion Questions

Staying Awake

First Reading
Isaiah 2:1-5

1. “Peoples shall come and say: ‘Come, let us climb the Lord’s mountain. … one nation shall not raise the sword against another, nor shall they train for war.” Doesn’t “Climbing the Lord’s mountain” together requires forgiveness of one another? Does this work on a smaller scale in our own neighborhood or family?

2. What words come to your mind when you think of  “swords” and “spears”? or “plowshares,” as in this wonderful reading? Do you have the equivalent of swords and spears in your office, parish, or your own life? How does, “They shall beat their swords into plowshares“ relate to you?

Second Reading
Romans 13:11-14

1. In all the places you live and work is there some dimness that you can brighten with your Christ light?

2. In Advent we look forward once more to Christ’s coming at Christmas, and anticipate his next coming. Does Christ come now also, every day? How? When?

Gospel
Matthew 24:37-44

1. Advent is about Christ coming to us. How can you become more aware of all the ways he comes to you everyday? Did you find Christ today? Do you ask yourself this every night?

2. Facing the fight against poverty is a way of “staying awake” and “being prepared,” according to Pope Francis, and as Jesus suggests in the Gospel. How ready are we for this fight?

… We cannot live without facing challenges, without responding to challenges. Whoever does not face challenges, whoever does not take up challenges, is not living. Your willingness and your abilities, combined with the power of the Holy Spirit who abides in each of us from the day of Baptism, allow you to be more than mere spectators, they allow you to be protagonists in contemporary events.

Please do not watch life go by from the balcony! Mingle where the challenges are calling you to help carry life and development forward, in the struggle over human dignity, in the fight against poverty, in the battle for values and in the many battles we encounter each day.

Vespers with Atheneum Students,
First Sunday of Advent, Nov. 30, 2013

Anne Osdieck

 

**From Saint Louis University

Kristin Clauson