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Discussion Questions
Twenty-sixth Sunday
of Ordinary Time A
October 1, 2017
Anne Osdieck

First Reading

Ezekiel 18:25-28

1. If we turn away from “wickedness” we are turning ourselves toward God. Spiritual writers call this turning toward God by the name, “conversion.” Are we converted just once or do we experience conversion many times in our lifetime? If so, why?

2. What do you think the Pope means when he refers to the “difficulty of daily conversion”?

We face so many challenges in life: poverty, distress, humiliation, the struggle for justice, persecutions, the difficulty of daily conversion, the effort to remain faithful to our call to holiness, and many others. But if we open the door to Jesus and allow him to be part of our lives, if we share our joys and sorrows with him, then we will experience the peace and joy that only God, who is infinite love, can give.

Pope Francis, World Youth Day, 2014

Second Reading
Philippians 2:1-11 or 2:1-5

1. This reading says, “… humbly regard others as more important than yourselves, each looking out not for his own interests, but also for those of others.” Is this easy to practice? Who are the people in your life who act like this? Name some holy people and saints who do.

2. Paul says that Christ, “who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness … ” Does this allow us to be one with God? What else is needed?


Matthew 21:28-32

1. Using the idea of “conversion,” discuss the two sons from this reading. Which one needed to change and turn toward his father? Are you presently in need of conversion in any area of your life? What counts more in building community, saying some good words, or actually doing some good deeds? At which one are you better, words or deeds?

2. Jesus told the chief priests and elders that “when John came to you in the way of righteousness, you did not believe him.” Why didn’t they believe John the Baptist? Was it hard for them to change their minds and think in new ways? Is it hard for you?
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