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Discussion Questions
19th Sunday of Ordinary Time
August 7, 2016
Anne Osdieck

Questions on Sunday’s readings for use by discussion
groups, prayer groups, or for individual prayer.

First Reading
Wisdom 18:6-9

1. Are you certain enough of God’s covenant with us that you can carry out a “leap of faith”? What gave the Israelites the courage to begin their journey into the unknown? How do you yourself make smaller leaps, maybe hops, of faith in your everyday life?

2. What is “the Passover”? Can you trace it to the Hebrew testament? Was it of “divine institution”?

Second Reading
Hebrews 11:1-2, 8-19 or 11:1-2, 8-12

1. Abraham was called to an unknown country. Do you ever feel you are in uncharted faith territory? Who helps you with certainty and responsibility in these unmapped areas of faith? What tests your faith? Why would God ever call you to unknown places?

2. God promised Abraham that he would have many descendants. What allowed Abraham to offer his only child? Can you relate to this story in any way? How is your trust?

Luke 12:32-48 or 12:35-40

1. In the Gospel, Jesus says to “be like servants who await their master’s return from a wedding, ready to open immediately when he comes and knocks” The servants are watching for the master. Do you “watch” for God in your everyday life? Where do you find him?

2. When you look for what Jesus calls the “inexhaustible treasure,” he suggests: “Sell your belongings and give alms … for where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.” Pope Francis, speaking to the youth in the Philippines, tells them to “become beggars,” so they might learn to receive. If they (we) are evangelized by the poor, what “inexhaustible treasure” will we receive from them?

You still lack one thing. Become a beggar. This is what you still lack. Learn how to beg. This isn't easy to understand. To learn how to beg. To learn how to receive with humility. To learn to be evangelized by the poor, by those we help, the sick, orphans, they have so much to give us. Have I learned how to beg? Or am I self-sufficient? Do I think I need nothing? Do you know you too are poor? Do you know your own poverty and your need to receive? Do you let yourselves be evangelized by those you serve? This is what helps you mature in your commitment to give to others. Learn how to open your hand from your very own poverty.

(Moved by young Filipinos who read their messages and told their stories, Pope Francis discarded his prepared message and did impromptu remarks in, Spanish translated by Msgr. Mark Miles in English.)

Anne Osdieck

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