"And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us"

Sunday Readings' Discussion Questions
Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord
, Dec. 25, 2011 (XmasB)
From the
Center for Liturgy at Saint Louis University

Sunday Mass Readings
Podcast of the Readings 
Video of Reflections on Readings
Lecturas y Comentarios 
New American Bible
Prayer of the Hours
BQ: Why was Jesus born in a manger?

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

First Reading

Midnight Mass, Isaiah, Chapter 9, Verses 1-6
Christmas Dawn, Isaiah, Chapter 62, Verses 11-12

1. “For a child is born to us, a son is given us. They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace.” What do these names mean to you? Would you expect to see someone named God-Hero born in a stable? Why was he? Who would be the most likely candidate to be born in a stable, the child of a president of a country, a homeless person’s child or a soldier’s child? Who is actually born in stable-like places today?

2. “They shall be called a holy people, the redeemed of the Lord, and you shall be called ‘Frequented,’ a city that is not forsaken.” Why are they called holy? Who is with them? What is it that Emmanuel (God with us) does for all people? What does this mean to you in your daily life? Do you think you need God to be a God in the flesh?

Responsorial Psalm
Mass During the Day, Psalm 98: 1, 2-3, 3-4, 5-6

1. Our Psalm says, 'Sing to the Lord a new song.' In what way do these words inspire you to celebrate the birth of our Savior at Christmas? How is our song at Christmas different from the other songs we sing?

2. The Psalm says, 'All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God ... sing joyfully to the Lord, all you lands.' These words imply prophetically that even the Gentiles (ourselves) are included in Gods' salvation. What does it mean to you to have seen the 'saving power of God?'

Second Reading
Christmas Day, Hebrews, Chapter 1, Verses 1-6

1. “In time past, God spoke in partial and various ways.” What are some of the various ways God speaks to you? Do you look for God in the lowly events of your life as well as the great ones?

2. What does St. Paul mean when he says that the Son is the very “imprint of the Father’s being”? What would a person look like (be, act) if he/she were the imprint of Christ?

Midnight Mass, Luke, Chapter 2, Verses 1-14
Christmas Day, John, Chapter 1, Verses 1-18

1. Why do you think Jesus was born into earthly poverty? With what kind of people did he fraternize and care for? If you want to find God today where might you start looking?

2. “In the beginning was the Word, and Word was with God, and the Word was God. . . He was in the world.” What is John saying about Christ and his involvement in the creation of the world? What is John saying about the book of Genesis?

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

1 comment:

  1. Barry Lamont10:26 AM

    What better Psalm is there for us to sing
    at the Mass that celebrates our Savior’s birth?
    “The Lord has made his salvation known;
    He has revealed his triumph for the nations to see.”

    Isaiah tells us as well, in our 1st reading,
    to break out in song,
    “For the Lord comforts his people,
    and redeems Jerusalem.”
    The Psalm encourages us to sing joyfully
    to the Lord and to sing praise,
    “Sing joyfully to the Lord, all you lands;
    break into song, sing praise.”

    The Letter to the Hebrews (our 2nd reading)
    tells us that God speaks to us
    through the Son, and that Jesus takes his seat
    at the right hand of the Father.
    And the Psalm, in a prophetic way,
    glorifies God’s right hand –
    “[The Lord’s] right hand and holy arm
    have won the victory.”

    “[The Lord] has done marvelous deeds.”
    What could be more marvelous
    than the birth of our savior?
    The Son of God is to be the light of the world,
    as St. John tells us in the Gospel.
    What better reason do we have
    to shout with joy to the Lord?
    As the Psalm says, “Sing joyfully before the King, the Lord.”