Accountability and Support
“Iron is sharpened by iron; one person sharpens another.”
– Proverbs 27:17
Monthly Focus on Study
What have I studied during the past 30 days to help me better understand the gifts of God?
M1. Bible Reading
M2. Books of Formation
Discussion Questions for July 21, 2019
Sixteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time
The LORD appeared to Abraham by the terebinth of Mamre,
as he sat in the entrance of his tent,
while the day was growing hot.
Looking up, Abraham saw three men standing nearby.
When he saw them, he ran from the entrance of the tent to greet them;
and bowing to the ground, he said:
"Sir, if I may ask you this favor,
please do not go on past your servant.
Let some water be brought, that you may bathe your feet,
and then rest yourselves under the tree.
Now that you have come this close to your servant,
let me bring you a little food, that you may refresh yourselves;
and afterward you may go on your way."
The men replied, "Very well, do as you have said."
Abraham hastened into the tent and told Sarah,
"Quick, three measures of fine flour! Knead it and make rolls."
He ran to the herd, picked out a tender, choice steer,
and gave it to a servant, who quickly prepared it.
Then Abraham got some curds and milk,
as well as the steer that had been prepared,
and set these before the three men;
and he waited on them under the tree while they ate.
They asked Abraham, "Where is your wife Sarah?"
He replied, "There in the tent."
One of them said, "I will surely return to you about this time next year,
and Sarah will then have a son."
First Reading Discussion Questions
F1. Please review the Reading. What does this story of Abraham’s hospitality signify? What part of the story is most meaningful to you? Why? Why do you think God intervened in human history? Does the fact that there were three men have any significance?
F2. Do you think Abraham went overboard in welcoming the three men? What determines your degree of hospitality?
Brothers and sisters:
Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake,
and in my flesh I am filling up
what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ
on behalf of his body, which is the church,
of which I am a minister
in accordance with God's stewardship given to me
to bring to completion for you the word of God,
the mystery hidden from ages and from generations past.
But now it has been manifested to his holy ones,
to whom God chose to make known the riches of the glory
of this mystery among the Gentiles;
it is Christ in you, the hope for glory.
It is he whom we proclaim,
admonishing everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom,
that we may present everyone perfect in Christ.
Second Reading Discussion Questions
S1. “I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body.” Where is this “lack”? What happens to people when they unite their suffering with Christ’s for other people?
S2. Does knowing Christianity as a religion change your attitude toward suffering for others with Christ? What might your attitude be (concerning suffering with him for others) if you might know Christ as a real person?
Jesus entered a village
where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him.
She had a sister named Mary
who sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak.
Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said,
"Lord, do you not care
that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving?
Tell her to help me."
The Lord said to her in reply,
"Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things.
There is need of only one thing.
Mary has chosen the better part
and it will not be taken from her."
Gospel Discussion Questions
G1. Are you Martha or Mary? Are you a little of each? Would you be agitated at Mary for not pitching in? If you were Martha what would you have done differently? Is it possible to be contemplative and active in ministry at the same time? How?
G2. Was Martha wrong and Mary right? Which is an example of ministry to others? Which is an example of the root of ministry? If they are both right, what does Pope Francis say was the reason for the reprimand?
It is important to understand that this is not the contrast between two attitudes: listening to the word of the Lord in contemplation, and practical service to others. They are not two opposing attitudes, but, on the contrary, they are two essential aspects of our Christian life, aspects that should never be separated, but lived in profound unity and harmony. …
Why is Martha rebuked, even if gently, by Jesus? Because she considered only what she was doing essential, because she was too self-absorbed and preoccupied by things. … For a Christian, the works of service and charity are never detached from the main source of all our actions: listening to the Word of the Lord, being, like Mary, at the feet of Jesus, in the attitude of the disciple.
And this is why Martha is reprimanded.
July 21, 2013: Pope Francis,
Like Martha and Mary, Christians Need Contemplation and Service
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.