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Discussion Questions
Sixteenth Sunday
in Ordinary Time A
July 23, 2017
Anne Osdieck

First Reading

Wisdom 12:13, 16-19

1. Care, justice, mercy and kindness. What would world history be like if all leaders had possessed these qualities? Are you full of mercy, kindness and caring or could you use a little “topping off’?

2. Does it give you hope that you can repent for sins? How does this translate into your dealings with other people?

Second Reading

Romans 8:26-27

1. Discuss this quote from Prayer by Hans Urs von Balthasar:

I have the conviction that my inadequate attempt to understand is supported by the wisdom of the Holy Spirit dwelling within me, that my acts of worship, petition and thanksgiving are borne along and remodeled by the Spirit’s infinite and eternal acts. … “The Spirit breaks forth out of the very core of the believer’s spiritual life, showing him [her] the way, stirring [them] to action, thinking, willing and praying with him [her].

2. Do you remember that the Spirit is present with you? What gives nobility to your small efforts, sufferings and weaknesses? Do you ever call on the Spirit when you are in need? Think of all the ways the Spirit has come to your aid when you have needed help.


Matthew 13:24-43

1. Can you always tell the weeds from the flowers, or saints from sinners? If you are quick to judge might you mistake a saint for a sinner? Is God patient with you regarding the “weeds” in your own garden? How patient are you with others? With yourself?

2. According to Pope Francis what is the important lesson that comes from the parables of the mustard seed and the leaven? Our cooperation is required, but are we in control?

An important lesson comes to us from these two parables: God’s Kingdom requires our cooperation, but it is above all the initiative and gift of the Lord. Our weak effort, seemingly small before the complexity of the problems of the world, when integrated with God’s effort, fears no difficulty. The victory of the Lord is certain: his love will make every seed of goodness present on the ground sprout and grow. This opens us up to trust and hope, despite the tragedies, the injustices, the sufferings that we encounter. The seed of goodness and peace sprouts and develops, because the merciful love of God makes it ripen.

Pope Francis: The Seed of God's Teaching, June 14, 2015

Anne Osdieck
Art by Martin Erspamer, OSB
from Religious Clip Art for the Liturgical Year (A, B, and C). This art may be reproduced only by parishes who purchase the collection in book or CD-ROM form. For more information go