"I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower."

Sunday Readings' Discussion Questions
Fifth Sunday of Easter
, May 6, 2012 (Easter5B)
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: "What are the four marks of the True Church?

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

First Reading
Acts 9:26-31

1. What motivated Paul to speak out boldly? Think of examples of people who speak out to bring about changes in social justice. How does the “speaking out” impact the speaker’s life? Do their efforts bring about immediate change? Explain.

2. What cries out to you to be changed? Name some ways to “speak out” without using your voice?

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 22: 26-27, 28, 30, 31-32

1. Our psalmist says, "I will fulfill my vows before those who fear the LORD." Does this verse inspire you to confirm your faith boldly and take up God's praise in the company of your fellow believers? Discuss.

2. The Psalm ends with an uplifting call for us to proclaim the Lord's truth to the next generation. Describe how you have answered the Lord's call and how you go about telling others about God's love.

Second Reading
Acts 9:26-31

1. St. John says to “walk the walk, not just talk the talk.” Where do you fit on a continuum between walkers and talkers?

2. What would your world look like if every day, you performed a kind deed for some unsuspecting person? Who would benefit from these acts?

John 15:1-8

1. How could you use this Gospel to explain Paul’s actions in the First Reading? If you (the branches) remain in Jesus (the vine), whose life runs through you? What kind of fruit will you yield?

2. “And every one that does (bear fruit) he prunes so that it bears more fruit.” Have you ever felt like you were being “pruned?” Explain. At times do you have “dead wood” that needs to be pruned? Discuss.

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 Lamont12:19 PM

    These verses form the conclusion of
    a psalm that begins with the songs
    of the suffering righteous man
    (the Messiah himself
    during the time of his Passion).
    The earlier verses include what
    Christ said to the Father when
    he was nailed to the cross,
    “My God, my God,
    why have you abandoned me?”

    These final verses are more uplifting
    and speak of the promise of salvation --
    “The lowly shall eat their fill.”
    (We who are poor in spirit are to live
    life abundantly.) and
    “May your hearts live forever!”
    (We can count on the Lord for salvation.)

    And in these verses we are told that
    the suffering of the righteous man
    has brought about something good
    in our human world.
    “All the ends of the earth
    will worship and turn to the Lord.”
    “The generations to come …
    will proclaim to a people yet unborn
    the deliverance you have brought.”
    Our hope returns in these final verses,
    and we join with all the families of nations
    in giving thanks to God,
    who rules the world and dispenses justice.

    Jesus says in today's Gospel,
    “You can only bear fruit if you remain in me.”
    And how do we remain in him?
    The psalm says, “I will fulfill my vows
    before those who fear the LORD.”
    (We are to keep his commandments.)

    Finally, our psalmist commits to the Lord
    that his descendants will serve Him,
    “The generation to come will be told of the Lord.”
    Here we are inspired by our 1st reading
    where Barnabas reports that Saul
    spoke out boldly in the name of Jesus.
    What better way for us to bear fruit,
    than to speak out boldly for our faith,
    to our children and grandchildren.

    “To him my soul shall live.”
    The Psalm ends with a reversal of
    the righteous man's condition;
    life is restored and the whole world
    celebrates his deliverance.
    What better Easter message is there than that?
    And what more inspiring words for the early
    Church as it reaches out to proclaim
    the Gospel to the Gentiles.