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Discussion Questions
Thirty-first Sunday
of Ordinary Time A
November 5, 2017
Anne Osdieck

First Reading

Malachi 1:14b-2:2b, 8-10

1. The priests in this reading neglected their duty and are responsible for the erosion of faith among the people. In general what do you think are some contemporary issues that erode people’s faith? In particular what erodes your faith? What increases your faith?  

2. Malachi points out in this reading that the priests were showing partiality and not preaching the Torah with fidelity and good example. What serious responsibilities do privileged positions within a community bring with them?

Second Reading
1 Thessalonians 2:7b-9, 13

1. According to this reading explain what makes Paul such an effective minister. In whose message are you going to be more interested, the message given by someone who cares about you, or the message given by someone who doesn’t know your name?

2. Think of people about whom you can say, “I see God at work in that person.” What is it that you “see” in them? How is the word of God at work in you?


Matthew 23:1-12

1. As in Luke 22:26-27, Jesus says, “But not so with you; rather let the greatest among you become as the youngest and the leader as one who serves.” Jesus instituted an office of service. “Wide belts,” places of honor and titles helped the scribes and Pharisees increase their social status but did those things help them serve others better? What does help you serve?

2. At an Episcopal ordination, Pope Francis reminds the new bishop of Jesus’ words about being a servant. What does he ask the new bishop to teach in words and attitude? What does he ask him to be? Is this message for religious leaders relevant for all times? Is it relevant for you?

Indeed, episcopacy is the name of a service, not of an honor, since the bishop must strive to serve rather than to rule, according to the Master’s commandment: “whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all.” 

… As the start of the Year of Mercy draws near, I ask you as a brother to be merciful. The Church and the world need so much mercy. Teach the presbyters and seminarians the way of mercy. With words, yes, but above all with your attitude. The mercy of the Father always receives, there is always room in his heart, no one is ever pushed away. Wait, wait. ... I wish you this: so much mercy.

Holy Mass and Episcopal Ordination
9 November 2015

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