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Posts Tagged ‘Catholic Lectionary’

Download 29th Sunday Reflection Document

Discussion Questions

  1. The Amelekites were a constant threat to the peaceful settlement of Godʼs people in the promised land. The battle scene is describing a theological point. Other countries made political and military alliances. Israel was to rely on God. And prayer works! What does the phrase ʻkeeping your hands raised upʼ mean for you? Have you asked anyone to pray to God for your protection? Can you remember an experience where you recognised the power of prayer?
  2. Moses, the leader of Godʼs people is getting tired. He needs Aaron and Hur to support his hands. Who do you recognise as a spiritual leader and guide for you? What support could you offer? Joshua was out fighting in the field. Aaron was being trained as a leader at the side of Moses. Hur is a hidden and unknown figure behind the scenes. Which character do you identify with? What is the next step for you in public leadership in the Church?
  3. It is not intellectual proofs of God that convince people, but witnesses. St Paul reminds Timothy of his grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice (2Tim 1,5) who taught and witnessed faith to him from his infancy. Who has been a great faith witness to you from your infancy?
  4. Scripture is inspired by God – literally ʻGod breathed! – and is able to continually inspire, encourage and challenge in a living way at every reading. Can you remember an experience when the word made you uncomfortable? Convinced you about some teaching? Challenged you deeply? Encouraged and comforted you?
  5. Jesus paints a picture of a ʻmeanʼ judge who does not listen or care about anyone. Jesus is saying that God is NOT like this judge. Evil as the judge is, he responds to the persistent prayer and is fearful of the widow who will (in Greek) ʻstrike me and give me a black eyeʼ! Jesus encourages us. God is not someone who we need to ʻwear downʼ by our constant prayer. We are to trust in God as a loving parent.
  6. Have you moved from ʻpraying with lots of wordsʼ to ʻpraying with lots of silenceʼ? What does the image of a baby silent in a parents arms symbolise for you?
  7. Widows were not allowed to inherit their husbands property. If without family they had no one to care or look after them. Judges were to ensure widows, orphans and ʻaliensʼ (foreigners) were looked after. This widow is obviously raising her voice to demand justice. She will not sit down, feel powerless, reduce herself to being broken and afraid. Silent. Jesusʼ parable reveals that God is on the side of the poor and listens to their prayers. Wow to those who allow the world to remain for many an unjust and inhospitable place. Have you ever raised your voice for the cause of justice? What area of need or justice project has caught your attention recently. What could you do to be involved?
  8. What is one action that you will do to be ʻlivingthewordʼ this week?

Download 28th Sunday Yr B

Reflection Questions

  1. The Book of Wisdom is thought to have been written by King Solomon. Today’s text links to the story of young King Solomon, newly married to a princess of Egypt, heavily aware of leadership responsibilities and following the example of his Father, King David. In 1 Kings 3:6-9 Solomon prays for wisdom – a heart to understand what is good and what is evil. Today is Solomon’s reflection on just what a precious gift wisdom is. Have you ever needed to search for and find a wise person to offer direction and guidance? How would you describe your need? What happened?
  2. ‘I chose to have her rather than the light’. Wisdom is not a ‘possession’ or equal to worldly wealth of Gold of Silver. It is the spiritual gift of knowing the truth and the very will of God. ‘Discernment’ of God’s will is a discipleship skill. It literally means ‘to cut away’. Consider a choice that you need to make. List the choices. Pray for wisdom. ‘Cut away’ options that are shallow, unspiritually motivated. Pay attention to the desire beneath the choice. Ask a wise person for advice.
  3. Hebrews is written for Jewish Christians struggling with persecution and the difficulties and fragility of the early christian church.They remembered with joy the clear Jewish laws and customs and the sacrificial practices of the Temple. The author of Hebrews points them to the penetrating power of the Word. Have you every experienced the powerful and personal way the scriptures can reach deeply inside you and speak to you deepest pain and questions? Reveal you to yourself? Challenge you? Inspire you? What scripture passage has done this for you? What happened?
  4. The theme of wisdom is contrasted with wealth in the Gospel. A rich young man faithful to the ‘laws’ still finds himself unsatisfied in life. His question: ‘What must I do?’ is still focussed on external actions of obedience. Jesus wishes to lead him from ‘observance of laws’ to ‘living in love’. The invitation to change the base of his security from possessions to ‘treasure in heaven’ causes his face to fall. What possessions would you be terrified of letting go? Why? Do you trust that God will supply everything you need?
  5. The invitation to a deeper discipleship does not necessarily require letting go of ‘wealth’ but letting go of its ‘attachment’. Jesus uses an image. To get a camel loaded with items for trade through a ‘narrow gate’ in Jerusalem required unloading items, the camel sometimes having to kneel down and crawl through a small space (eye of a needle). Some scholars also suggest a misspelling of a word means it is a ‘cable’ that is trying to be threaded through the eye of a needle. How would you describe your ‘use of wealth’. Is it available for building the Kingdom of God? The needs of the poor? How much ‘security’ and ‘life’ does your bank balance or possessions bring you? What does this story reveal to you personally?
  6. Peter implies a disciples question about reward and security. 100% is an incredibly fruitful return. Normally a return would be 10%. It will be mixed up ‘with persecutions’ however. Consider asking a Priest, Brother, Sister, Christian friend how they have experienced God’s faithfulness in relying on God for their security.
  7. What is one action that you will do to be ‘livingtheword’ this week?