Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Chriostai Study Notes for the 6th week of Easter

First Reading — Acts 10:25-26, 34-35, 44-48 25 

When Peter entered, Cornelius met him and fell down at his feet and worshiped him. 26 But Peter lifted him up, saying, “Stand up; I too am a man.” … 34 And Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I perceive that God shows no partiality, 35 but in every nation any one who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. … 44 While Peter was still saying this, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word. 45 And the believers from among the circumcised who came with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. 46 For they heard them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter declared, 47 “Can any one forbid water for baptizing these people who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” 48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to remain for some days.

1. In this reading the gift of the Holy Spirit is poured out on the Gentiles as well as the Israelis. Is grace available to all people? Do you listen to the Holy Spirit on a regular basis, or just now and then? How does the Holy Spirit speak to you? What discernment process do you use on the communication between you and the Holy Spirit?

2. Are there some areas that are off limits or do you invite the Holy Spirit into every part of your life?

3. What are some areas where we might think that God is partial?

Second Reading — 1 John 4:7-10 7 

Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God, and he who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God; for God is love. 9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins. 

1. How was “the love of God revealed to us?” Had Jesus not come into the world, what would you know about God?

2. So what was the message God sent through Jesus about God’s own self? What is your response to that message?

3. What are the evidences seen in this passage of being born of God? Which ones are normative and which ones are extraordinary? 

4. How many specific truths about love can you identify? Which one is most important to you?

Gospel Reading — John 15:9-17

9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you; abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. 12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide; so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. 17 This I command you, to love one another. 

1. The one thing Jesus asks of us is that we love our neighbor. How would you rate this assignment on a “difficulty” scale from 1-10? Explain. What gift (First Reading) does God give you to help with this assignment?

2. According to Pope Francis, how can we get to know and love God?
This is the doctrine of two Commandments: the most important is “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” To get to the first we must ascend the steps of the second: that means that through our love for our neighbor we can get to know God, who is love. Only through loving can we reach love.”
Homily at Mass at Casa Santa Marta, January 10, 2015

3. What is the difference between joy and happiness? 

4. What is the significance of Jesus’ moving the disciples from the position of servant to one of friend? How are these relationships, servant and friend, different? 

5. To what degree do you believe that we, the members of Christ’s Church, have been “chosen” to “go” and to “bear fruit”? 

6. For you, what is the most difficult aspect of loving others? The most enjoyable aspect?

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