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Discussion Questions
20th Sunday of Ordinary Time
August 14, 2016
Anne Osdieck

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

First Reading
Jeremiah 38:4-6, 8-10

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 12:1-4

1. What is the “cloud of witnesses” Paul refers to? What does everyone in the “cloud” have in common with the others? Do you have favorites in this cloud? Why? Do you think many of them were “thrown in the mud” or treated like Jeremiah? Did everyone in the “cloud” keep his/her eyes on Jesus?

2. Pope Francis gave this “lesson” on contemplative prayer as he reflected on our Gospel Reading at Casa Santa Marta.

We should all carry out this contemplative prayer. ‘But I have so much to do!’ At home, [take] 15 minutes, pick up the Gospel, a small passage, imagine what happened and talk with Jesus about it. So your gaze will be fixed on Jesus and not so much on a TV soap opera, for example. Your ears will be focused on the words of Jesus and not so much on your neighborhood gossip.”

Pope Francis: A lesson in contemplative prayer, February 4, 2015

If your eyes are on Jesus, what are they not on? What is the outcome of developing a habit of contemplation?

Luke 12:49-53

1. According to this Gospel, what did Jesus come on earth to do? What does he wish? What is the “fire” he wants the earth consumed with? Does part of that fire consume you?

2. God seems to have a radical, unconditional love for us. Could the resistance to it that some people have cause the divisions Jesus mentions in this Gospel?

Anne Osdieck

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Copyright © 2016, Anne M. Osdieck.
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