"Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature"

Sunday Readings' Discussion Questions
Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord, May 20, 2012 (AscensionB)
From the
Center for Liturgy at Saint Louis University

Sunday Readings: Seventh Sunday of Easter 
Sunday Readings: Ascension of the Lord
Podcast of the Readings 
Video of Reflections on Readings
Lecturas y Comentarios 
New American Bible
Prayer of the Hours
BQ: Why don't Catholics evangelize door-to-door?

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

First Reading
Acts 1: 1-11

1. Jesus was insistent that the disciples stay and wait for the Spirit he had been promising them. Why was his anticipation so high? Is there a relation between Jesus’ Ascension and the arrival of the Holy Spirit?

2. The disciples’ guesses were pretty far off about Jesus’ plan for them. Would yours have been too? Is your relationship with the Holy Spirit exciting or unnerving?

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 47: 2-3, 6-7, 8-9

1. Over and over our psalmist calls for us to shout to God and sing praise to God, as God mounts his throne. Tell of how you personally praise the Lord with 'cries of gladness.'

2. The verses of our psalm for this Ascension Sunday place our Lord in his kingship and on his throne, and make it seem that God is so far above us that we may not be able to approach Him easily. How do you handle this apparent dilemma? How do you approach our Lord?

Second Reading
Ephesians 1:17-23 or Ephesians 4:1-13

1. Why does God give certain people gifts? What gifts have you received? At the end of our lives will we be able to say this about our gifts, “See, God, I used them?”

2. Does our “maturing to the full stature of Christ” imply some growing pains? Where is Christ most recognizable in your life? In your humility? Gentleness? Patience? Care for the poor and needy? Is he unrecognizable anywhere in your life?

Mk 16:15-20

1. Sometimes it’s hard to get to the end of your own city block. How are you going to go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature? Does preaching the Gospel to every creature relate to the sustainability of the Earth? How?

2. Jesus said signs would accompany those who believed. Most of us will probably not be picking up serpents with our hands and drinking deadly things without being harmed. What kinds of signs do you see now when you or someone else is proclaiming the Gospel in some way?

Sunday Bible Study Group

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

1 comment:

  1. Barry Lamont2:02 PM

    God mounts his throne amid shouts of joy ....”
    Our God is an awesome God.
    This week we celebrate
    the Ascension of our Lord,
    who was taken up to heaven
    to be seated at the right hand of the Father,
    far above every principality,
    with authority over every nation,
    as our 2nd reading tells us.
    With such an awesome God on his throne,
    what hope do we have as mere human beings
    that we will even be able to approach Him?
    How far above us can this Jesus be,
    if he is taken up to heaven
    and has all things put beneath his feet ?

    “Our God is an awesome God,
    he reigns with power and love.”
    Power is often associated with arrogance
    and brutal treatment, but our God
    uses his power to work miracles,
    and bring about healing.
    And his power is expressed by his love,
    by which we are raised up with Jesus.

    Fortunately, for us men, Jesus has a plan for us –
    we can feel his power and presence within us,
    so long as we repent from our sins and believe in Him.
    He is risen, and is seated at the right hand
    of the Father in heaven.
    Knowing this, we are the ones who shout with joy,
    and we praise Him,
    not only because he is risen Lord,
    but because he leaves with us
    a way to share in His divinity
    (through the holy Spirit which he gives to us).

    That same promise Jesus made to his disciples
    is available to us – the promise of the Father,
    the gift of the holy Spirit.
    After Jesus' Ascension, the disciples begin
    their active ministry empowered by the holy Spirit.
    That same power is given to us
    so long as we believe – we too are called to ministry.
    And for that we are inspired to praise the Lord;
    as the psalmist says, “Clap your hands,
    shout to God with cries of gladness ... sing praise to God!”

    Just as Jesus instructed the Apostles,
    through the Holy Spirit,
    so too, will he instruct us.
    “For the Lord, the Most High, inspires awe.”
    That same power that enabled the
    Disciples to drive out demons
    is available to us, so long as we believe.
    Just as the Lord worked with the Apostles,
    so too will he accompany us,
    as we are called to go into the world
    and proclaim the Gospel.