1. “Led away on foot by their enemies … ” Led or chased, is this happening today as well as in the time of Baruch? Where is the hope for the Syrian refugee suffering in exile today? Can you help God lower “the lofty mountains” or “fill the depths and gorges” for them in any way? How?
2. God gave Jerusalem the name “the Peace of justice, the glory of God’s worship.” How does that name fit the Church today? If poorly, what would you do to make it fit? What would you like God to name your parish, your community, you?
Philippians 1:4-6, 8-11
1. As you remain on the path or the Way, St. Paul says, then “[t]he one who began a good work in you will complete it.” Who is the instigator of good work in you? Who do you trust, yourself or God to complete your good works?
2. “And this is my prayer: that your love may increase ever more and more in knowledge and every kind of perception, to discern what is of value … ” What challenge is he asking the Bishops to confront? Would he have them/us remain silent on the ISIS Paris bombings or discern an answer?
I encourage you, then, my brothers, to confront the challenging issues of our time. Ever present within each of them is life as gift and responsibility. The future freedom and dignity of our societies depends on how we face these challenges. The innocent victim of abortion, children who die of hunger or from bombings, immigrants who drown in the search for a better tomorrow, the elderly or the sick who are considered a burden, the victims of terrorism, wars, violence and drug trafficking, the environment devastated by man’s predatory relationship with nature—at stake in all of this is the gift of God, of which we are noble stewards but not masters. It is wrong, then, to look the other way or to remain silent. No less important is the Gospel of the Family.
Meeting with the Bishops of the United States of America
September 23, 2015
1. Why does Luke name the historical references at the beginning of this Gospel reading? Does it help to locate John the Baptist for you?
2. “All flesh shall see the salvation of God.” What are the implications for humanity? Is the entire world is included in this plan? What are the implications for you? Do you watch for God’s coming all year round?