Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Chriostai Notes for the Fifteenth Sunday of Kingdom Time

Questions from last week:

What does it mean to be under authority?

First Reading — Amos 7:12-15 

12 And Amaziah said to Amos, “O seer, go, flee away to the land of Judah, and eat bread there, and prophesy there; 13 but never again prophesy at Bethel, for it is the king’s sanctuary, and it is a temple of the kingdom.” 14 Then Amos answered Amaziah, “I am no prophet, nor a prophet’s son; but I am a herdsman, and a dresser of sycamore trees, 15 and the LORD took me from following the flock, and the LORD said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’” 

1. Explain the difference between being a prophet and being a witness. 

2. How do you feel about rejection? Can you think of any prophet who didn’t experience rejection? They chased Amos out of Bethel. What do you do when you think something needs to be done that makes everyone uncomfortable? What are some situations today that need prophets? Are you willing to take on the job?

3. Amos points out to Amaziah that he was a shepherd and it wasn’t his idea to be a prophet anyway. Are education, occupation, eloquence, talent or intelligence prerequisites for a prophet? Then what is necessary? If you were called to be a prophet, would you be as reluctant as Amos was?

Second Reading — Ephesians 1:3-14 

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. 5 He destined us in love to be his sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace which he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace 8 which he lavished upon us. 9 For he has made known to us in all wisdom and insight the mystery of his will, according to his purpose which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. 11 In him, according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to the counsel of his will, 12we who first hoped in Christ have been destined and appointed to live for the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, who have heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and have believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. 

1. Can you accept St. Paul’s statement that you have been in the mind of God from all eternity before the creation of the world? What is your response?

2. “In him you also … were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit …” Think of ways the Holy Spirit is active in your life, guiding, fixing, enlightening, giving courage. Has God lavished his grace on you, through the Holy Spirit, this year? This week? Today?

3. In the Second Reading mark the things that have already been done for us regarding salvation. What new aspect of salvation have you discovered? 

4. What is man’s responsibility in salvation according to this passage? 

5. What are the purposes of salvation revealed here?

Gospel Reading — Mark 6:7-13 

7 And he called to him the twelve, and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. 8 He charged them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts; 9 but to wear sandals and not put on two tunics. 10 And he said to them, “Where you enter a house, stay there until you leave the place. 11 And if any place will not receive you and they refuse to hear you, when you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet for a testimony against them.” 12 So they went out and preached that men should repent. 13 And they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many that were sick and healed them 

1. “Evangelizing” means to bring the Good News to all humanity, and through its influence to make humanity new, transform it from within. How can you transform humanity around you in your daily life?   

2. Pope Francis said that the Gospel “must be proclaimed in poverty,” and that Jesus wanted the disciples to have a “no frills attached” attitude—“no food, no sack, no money in their belts.” How does this kind of detachment help disciples heal the “wounded and oppressed” mentioned below?

This is the mission of the Church: the Church that heals, that cares [for people]. I sometimes describe the Church as a field hospital. True, there are many wounded, how many wounded! How many people who need their wounds to be healed! This is the mission of the Church: to heal the wounded hearts, to open doors, to free [people], to say that God is good, God forgives all, that God is our Father, God is tender, that God is always waiting for us.
Mass at Santa Marta, May 2, 2015

3. What principles for sharing the Good News do you discover from this passage? 

4. What are some advantages of two people partnering in the process of sharing the Good News? 

5. Why do you think that Jesus didn’t send more “stuff” with them? How is that applicable to us?

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