Monday, March 30, 2015

Chriostai Group Discussion Questions Week of Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday Processional
Mark 11:1-10

1. Does Jesus enter the Holy City to get power and to dominate? Did some of the people waving palms and shouting “Hosanna” expect a Messiah like that? Could some have recognized Jesus as someone who reawakened hopes, understood misery and healed their bodies and souls? Which group would you have been in?

First Reading

Isaiah 50:4-7

1.  What is the relationship between listening daily to the Lord and living confidently as Christ’s disciple?
2. Name some people who have spoken on God’s behalf and have “set their faces like flint” when confronted by injustice. Are you restrained about standing up for justice if it involves some discomfort for you? What injustice do you feel strongly about? What can you do to help make it right? 
3. God opens your ears many times and in many ways. Give some reasons why God would come to you with messages “morning after morning.” What communications have you received from God? Do you get them through what others say or do? In your thoughts? Your heart? Your ears? Your eyes?

Second Reading

Philippians 2:6-11

1. Describe the “emptying” in Jesus’ life. Go from his birth to his death, as much as you are able. What is the power of emptiness?

2. What is the profound wisdom that lies behind the assertion, “… at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.”?

3. Which characteristic of Jesus would you most desire to have, or to have strengthened in your life? 

4. What does it mean practically, to bow the knee to Jesus; to confess with the tongue that He is Lord? 

1. The woman was “wasting” expensive perfumed oil on Jesus. Does this relate to God’s self-wasting love on humankind? How is the Eucharist a continuation of Christ’s self-giving love for us? Does your busy schedule allow time to “waste” on love?

2. What is the most “beautiful thing” you could do to express your love for the Lord? 

3. What examples of good intentions gone awry do you see in this passage? What were the reasons they were not kept? 

4. Who do you most identify with in this Gospel account?

5. How can we bring Christ to people who feel hopeless and abandoned?

6. After listening to the Palm Sunday Gospel account of how his disciples fell asleep before Jesus was betrayed by Judas, Pope Francis asked himself and the crowd gathered in St. Peter’s Square these questions: “Has my life fallen asleep?” and “Am I like Pilate? When I see that the situation is difficult, do I wash my hands?” (Palm Sunday 4/13/2014) Are those hard questions? How do you answer them?

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Deisceabal/Chriostai Group Notes for the Fifth week of Lent

First Reading
Jeremiah 31:31-34

1. Jesus’ covenant is written on hearts and requires interior as well as exterior commitment. Which one involves a relationship and comes with feelings? Do both awaken your love and open your spirit to others?

2. “ … I will forgive their evildoing and remember their sins no more.” Are you good at forgiving? How about forgetting?

3. What do these passages teach about our call to obedience? 

4. What are the evidences that God’s law is written on our hearts?

Second Reading

Hebrews 5:7-9

1. Jesus sent up “supplications with loud cries and tears,” and thus knows our worst pain as well.  How does this impact your own suffering? Do you have to endure suffering alone?

2. Jesus spent his life alleviating the suffering of others. Is he finished with that, or does he continue to care for people who suffer today? If so, how? Are you a caretaker or are you cared for?

3. What does Jesus’ experience teach us about obedience?

1. When Jesus thought about what was coming he said, “I am troubled now. Yet what should I say?” What are some of the things that trouble you? Who do you call on when you are troubled?

2. How should we respond when people we know express a desire to see and know Jesus? 

3. How does this passage clarify what it means to be glorified? 

4. What does Jesus teach about the purpose and focus of our lives? 

5. Which of the promises mentioned here are most compelling to you? 

6. Who, according to Pope Francis in the following homily, are the benefactors of the grain of wheat dying?
(This is the way of life that) will save us, give us joy and make us fruitful. For this journey of self-denial is undertaken in order to give life: it is the opposite of the journey of egoism ... which leads to one becoming attached to all goods only for oneself … (The Christian way is) open to others, for it is the same journey that Jesus made. (It is a journey) of self-emptying for the sake of giving life. The Christian way is precisely this way of humility, meekness, of gentleness. Whoever wishes to save his life will lose it. … Remember when he speaks about the grain of wheat: unless this grain dies, it will not bear much fruit (cf. Jn 12:24).
Given at the Mass at Santa Marta, the Christian Way, on 03/06/2014