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Discussion Questions
Nineteenth Sunday
of Ordinary Time A
August 13, 2017
Anne Osdieck

First Reading

1 Kings 19:9a, 11-13a

1. Some of us have to have a “great wind,” an “earthquake,” or a “fire” in our lives before we look for God. But do you ever take time to listen for the “tiny whispering sound”? Could you if you created a quiet time in your life each day?

 2. Discuss the traces of God you find in your life, or the ways God can/does speak to you. When is it easiest to hear? When in your life is it the hardest? At the end of the day do you ask yourself when you saw these traces?

Second Reading

Romans 9:1-5

1. Paul is in “great sorrow and constant anguish” because some of his own people, the Israelites, have not accepted the fact that the Messiah has come. Is this because he wishes the best for them and would even sacrifice himself to help them? What do you do when your loved ones reject some beliefs that are important to you?

2. How can Paul say, “I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my own people, my kindred according to the flesh”? Is it really moral to give away not just your life but your eternal salvation for the sake of others? Or is Paul exaggerating for the sake of emphasis, and should not be taken literally?


Matthew 14:22-23

1. Peter was walking toward Jesus and doing fine. What caused him to suddenly sink? What causes you to move away from your “leap of faith”? What do you think would have helped Peter stay afloat? What might help you?

 2. According to Pope Francis, how is the Church today like the boat full of disciples in a storm?

[Here] is an effective image of the Church: a boat which must brave the storms and sometimes seems on the point of capsizing. What saves her is not the skill and courage of her crew members, but faith which allows her to walk, even in the dark, amid hardships. Faith gives us the certainty of Jesus’ presence always beside us, of his hand which grasps us to pull us back from danger. We are all on this boat, and we feel secure here despite our limitations and our weaknesses.

Pope Francis preaching the Angelus, Sunday, August 10, 2014

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