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
M3.  Periodicals
M4.  Other

Discussion Questions for November 17, 2019
Thirty-third Sunday of Ordinary Time

First Reading

Malachi 3:19-20A

Lo, the day is coming, blazing like an oven,
when all the proud and all evildoers will be stubble,
and the day that is coming will set them on fire,
leaving them neither root nor branch,
says the LORD of hosts.
But for you who fear my name, there will arise
the sun of justice with its healing rays.

First Reading Discussion Questions

F1.  “But for you who fear my name, there will arise the sun of justice with its healing rays.” When you read this do you interpret “you who fear my name” as cowering in terror? Or being filled with wonder and awe when you think of God’s name?

F2. Name some ways in which justice can heal. Is there any kind of healing you would like to bring about in the world through justice? Where do you think “alleviating the grave evil of poverty” should fall on the priorities of the Church’s mission? Is it optional?

Second Reading

2 Thessalonians 2:17-12

Brothers and sisters:
You know how one must imitate us.
For we did not act in a disorderly way among you,
nor did we eat food received free from anyone.
On the contrary, in toil and drudgery, night and day
we worked, so as not to burden any of you.
Not that we do not have the right.
Rather, we wanted to present ourselves as a model for you,
so that you might imitate us.
In fact, when we were with you,
we instructed you that if anyone was unwilling to work,
neither should that one eat.
We hear that some are conducting themselves among you in a
disorderly way,
by not keeping busy but minding the business of others.
Such people we instruct and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to work quietly
and to eat their own food.

Second Reading Discussion Questions

S1.  Paul says to the Christians in Thessalonica, “We wanted to present ourselves as a model for you.” Are there models for you in the present age? Which would you name: saints, or leaders/people in the Church, world or community? How might you imitate them?

S2. What does St. Paul name that drove him to “work in toil and drudgery, night and day”? What would he have toiled at today? Do you work to bring about the kingdom? How?

Gospel

Luke 21:5-19

While some people were speaking about
how the temple was adorned with costly stones and votive offerings,
Jesus said, "All that you see here--
the days will come when there will not be left
a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down."

Then they asked him,
"Teacher, when will this happen?
And what sign will there be when all these things are about to happen?"
He answered,
"See that you not be deceived,
for many will come in my name, saying,
'I am he,' and 'The time has come.'
Do not follow them!
When you hear of wars and insurrections,
do not be terrified; for such things must happen first,
but it will not immediately be the end."
Then he said to them,
"Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.
There will be powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues
from place to place;
and awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky.

"Before all this happens, however,
they will seize and persecute you,
they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons,
and they will have you led before kings and governors
because of my name.
It will lead to your giving testimony.
Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand,
for I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking
that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute.
You will even be handed over by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends,
and they will put some of you to death.
You will be hated by all because of my name,
but not a hair on your head will be destroyed.
By your perseverance you will secure your lives."

Gospel Discussion Questions

G1. Jesus says, “Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand, for I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking.” How does this statement and “Not a hair of your head will perish” impact your trust in God?

G2. Are Jesus’ words relevant for us today in the 21st century? What does Pope Francis say are the two important points for us in this Gospel?

Jesus predicts that his disciples will have to suffer painful trials and persecution for his sake. He reassures them, however, first, not to let oneself be fooled by false prophets nor to be paralyzed by fear.

Secondly, to live this time of expectation as a time of witness and perseverance. …

saying: “Not a hair of your head will perish” (Gospel). This reminds us that we are completely in God’s hands! The trials we encounter for our faith and our commitment to the Gospel are occasions to give witness; we must not distance ourselves from the Lord, but instead abandon ourselves even more to him, to the power of his Spirit and his grace.

Angelus, Saint Peter’s Square, Nov 17 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.