Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Chriostai Notes for the 24th Sunday of Kingdom Time

Questions From Last Week:

-  Should we expect peace, rest and an entrance into the promised land, both spiritually and physically?

- In a society where our beliefs are interpreted as hate, how we can be seen as merciful more than judgmental?

- How will we respond to getting muddy like the OT prophets?

- Like God wanted the Israelites to recognize that He should be their focus, we should see Him as our place of rest.

- How can God's sacred areas and be a place of rest for the sick, weary and needy, not of condemnation?

First Reading — Isaiah 50:5-9

5 The Lord GOD has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious, I turned not backward. 6 I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard; I hid not my face from shame and spitting. 7 For the Lord GOD helps me; therefore I have not been confounded; therefore I have set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame; 8 he who vindicates me is near. Who will contend with me? Let us stand up together. Who is my adversary? Let him come near to me. 9 Behold, the Lord GOD helps me; who will declare me guilty? Behold, all of them will wear out like a garment; the moth will eat them up.

1. The words of this reading are those of the famous “Suffering Servant,” in the writings of Isaiah centuries before Christ. How do you think God upheld the rights of this Suffering Servant? Of Jesus?

2. Jesus says, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself.” How does this relate to the words we find in today’s First Reading, “I have set my face like flint, knowing that I shall not be put to shame”?

3. In what way does Isaiah’s prophesy inspire you?

4. How was God’s help manifested to Isaiah?

Second Reading — James 2:14-18

14 What does it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has faith but has not works? Can his faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is ill-clad and in lack of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.
18 But some one will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith

1. The letter of James tells us to serve our neighbor. Do you ever respond to such call? If so, how? With your entire life?  In some of your actions? With a few words?

2. Why does Pope Francis say we must have a faith that “engages us”?
[T]he Gospels also contain stories of “people who don't know doctrine but have a lot of faith,” such as the Samaritan woman at the well who opened her heart to the Lord because she “met not abstract truth,” but the person of Jesus Christ.
This encounter in faith always leads a Christian to move outward toward others.

Faith always leads to witness. Faith is a meeting with Jesus Christ, with God, and it is born from that and leads you to witness.
Without such fruit, faith is lifeless. A faith without works, a faith that doesn't engage you, that doesn't lead you to witness, isn't faith. It is words, and nothing more than words.

3. What is the relationship between faith and works?

Gospel Reading — Mark 8:27-35

27 And Jesus went on with his disciples, to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his disciples, “Who do men say that I am?” 28 And they told him, “John the Baptist; and others say, Elijah; and others one of the prophets.” 29 And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Christ.” 30 And he charged them to tell no one about him.
31 And he began to teach them that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 And he said this plainly. And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him. 33 But turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter, and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are not on the side of God, but of men.”
34 And he called to him the multitude with his disciples, and said to them, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 35 For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.”

1. Do you want people you love to know you well? Do you think Christ wants you to know him well and personally? He asks the apostles, “Who do you say that I am?” What if he asked that question of you? Do you answer it differently at different times in your life?

2. “The Son of Man must suffer greatly … ” In these words Jesus is telling the apostles what discipleship is all about. How does Peter handle this message? How do you? Can “losing your life” be a means to gaining life? Can you desire to follow him in such a way?
3. What is encompassed in the statement, “You are the Christ”?
4. Why did Jesus say that Peter’s rebuke represented the side of men rather than the side of God

5. When has it cost you to follow Christ?

6. How do you respond to Jesus’ challenge in verses 34-35?

No comments: