1. God’s love brought the Israelites out of Egypt where they had been aliens. According to this reading, how were they to repay God’s love? How do you repay God’s love for you? How does this First Reading relate to the Gospel reading?
2. Widows, the oppressed, the poor, the orphans and the immigrants are precious to God. Is there anything you could do to make the life of one person in one of these groups better? Discuss.
1 Thessalonians 1:5c-10
1. “And you … receiving the word in great affliction, with joy from the Holy Spirit … ” Is the Holy Spirit the great forgotten one for you, or do you guard or even cherish the gift that gives you peace, teaches you to love and fills you with joy?
2. Every place the Thessalonians went, the “word of the Lord sounded forth.” How can you yourself “sound forth” (without preaching)? Do you know anyone in the world who does that today? in your parish? in your workplace? Can you “sound forth” with actions instead of words?
1. You were made in God’s image and likeness, and every good thing you have comes from God. What does God ask in return? Whatever your answer, is it always easy? Discuss whether “love your neighbor” includes your arrogant neighbor or just your kind neighbor.
2. Pope Francis made remarks about love and one of the first steps toward that love. In overcoming anger or rivalry, etc. he suggests praying for the other person. Would that help you accept the other as brother or sister?
What is the law of the People of God? It is the law of love, love for God and love for neighbor according to the new commandment that the Lord left to us (cf. Jn 13:34). It is a love, however, that is not sterile sentimentality or something vague, but the acknowledgment of God as the one Lord of life and, at the same time, the acceptance of the other as my true brother, overcoming division, rivalry, misunderstanding, selfishness; these two things go together. … We must ask the Lord to make us correctly understand this law of love. How beautiful it is to love one another as true brothers and sisters. How beautiful!
Pope Francis General Audience
St. Peter’s Square
June 12, 2013