"Whoever exalts himself will be humbled"

One of Luke's favorite themes, the reversal brought about by the coming of Jesus, is beautifully illustrated in the Sunday Gospel (30C) for Oct. 27, 2013. The story of the Pharisee and the tax collector is directed to a particular kind of people: those who were law-abiding in their own eyes but who looked down on everyone else. 

Sunday Readings' Discussion Questions
Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Oct. 27, 2013 (30C)
From the Center for Liturgy at Saint Louis University

Sunday Mass Readings
Podcast of the Readings
Video of Reflections on Readings
Lecturas y Comentarios
Prayer of the Hours
Burning Question: What is conscience?

Questions on Sunday's Readings for use by discussion groups,
prayer groups, or for individual prayer.

First Reading
Book of Sirach, Chapter 35, Verses 12-14, 16-18

1. “The prayer of the lowly pierces the clouds.” How are the orphan, widow and oppressed mentioned in the reading, lowly or humble? Name some people you know who fit this description. What does humility look like on them? How is your humility; are you honest with God?

2. Do you do anything when you hear the cry of the oppressed, the wail of the orphan or the widow’s complaint? Is there something you could do that you are not doing now, to help anyone in need?

Responsorial Psalms
Psalm 34: 2-3, 17-18, 19, 23

1. The Psalm tells us that God lifts up those who are crushed in spirit. However difficult it may be for us to be humble in spirit, we can speak of how gratifying it is for us to depend solely on the Lord for our salvation. Tell of what this means to you personally.

2. The verses of the Psalm tell us how to be sure that our prayers are heard. Our psalmist encourages us to have a right relationship with the Lord before we pray. What is it that you do to be sure that your prayers reach the ears of the Lord?

Second Reading
Second Letter of St. Paul to Timothy, Chapter 4, Verses 6-8, 16-18

1. Do you feel like you are being “poured out like a libation” sometimes, or that everyone has deserted you? What do you think Paul did to combat these feelings in himself? What do you think would help you?

2. Paul was rescued from the lion’s mouth and he trusted that he would be safe from every evil threat. What are the evil threats to the Church? What are threats to you? How is your trust?

According to Luke, Chapter 18, Verses 9-14

1. If you were in God’s place, what kind of prayers would you answer first? Is the Pharisee saying the prayer to God or to himself?

2. The Pharisee set himself off from the rest of humanity. Are you like him in any way? Do you set yourself apart from others? In what way? And, are there ways you are like the tax collector?

Online Sunday Bible Study Group
Please share below your reflections on the above Sunday Readings. May we be blessed by God's words as reflected in your thoughts and experience-sharing.

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