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20th Sunday of Ordinary Time C
August 18, 2019
Anne Osdieck

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

1. They threw Jeremiah the prophet into a cistern to die, for speaking out against Israel’s waging war. Can you think of people in the present time that were/are treated the same way for speaking out against injustice? Do you join, or think about joining, the people arrested last month for the treatment of children at the border?

2. Besides Jeremiah, who else is in this reading do you think you could count on if you were in trouble? Why? Do you have friends who will help you when you are in need? Are you such a friend to anyone else?

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 others? Do you have favorite people in such a 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 the following “lesson” on contemplative prayer as he reflected on our readings during his morning homily at Casa Santa Marta.

Make [a] prayer of contemplation. “But I have so much to do!” “Well, in your home for fifteen minutes, take the Gospel, a small passage, imagine what happened and speak with Jesus about it. Thus your gaze will be fixed on Jesus, for example, and not on soap operas. Your ears will be fixed on the words of Jesus and not so much on the gossip of the neighbors.

Pope Francis: A Lesson in Contemplative Prayer
February 4th, 2015

What is the outcome of developing a habit of contemplation?


Luke 12:49-53

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

2. Could the “division”* Jesus speaks of in this Gospel refer to those consumed with injustice toward others, who are resisting the fire of Jesus’ unconditional love that consumes others?

Anne Osdieck
 * Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth?
No, I tell you, but rather division. (Gospel)

Art by Martin (Steve) 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