"For we walk by faith, not by sight"

Sunday Readings' Discussion Questions
Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, June 17, 2012 (11B)
From the
Center for Liturgy at Saint Louis University

Sunday Readings
Podcast of the Readings 
Video of Reflections on Readings
Lecturas y Comentarios 
New American Bible
Prayer of the Hours
BQ: Must we believe the Church 100% to be Catholic?

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

First Reading
Ezekiel 17: 22-24

1. What are the similarities between the “tender shoot” in this parable and the mustard seed in the Gospel? “Birds of every kind shall dwell beneath it, every winged thing in the shade of its boughs.” What do you think of when you read this?

2. Jesus referred to the “least” becoming the “greatest” numerous times. How is Jesus’ life an example of this? Can you think of others who follow(ed) this example?

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 92: 2-3, 13-14, 15-16

1. "Lord, you are holy indeed. It is right to give you thanks and praise .... " are familiar words to any Mass-goer. How do you sincerely give thanks to the Lord in your daily life?

2. How can you become more like the upright palm tree or the majestic and firmly-rooted Lebanese cedar? Do others see you as a just and righteous person through your everyday speech and actions? What can you change about yourself so that you, too, can "bear fruit even in old age?"

Second Reading
Corinthians 5: 6-10

1. “Walk by faith, and not by sight.” What does that mean to you? Paul mentions courage twice in this reading. Why would we need courage to walk by faith? What other virtues might we need?

2. Discuss Hans von Balthasar’s comment on this reading: “Paul’s confidence is constant, regardless of the current spiritual weather patterns in his life or in that of his congregation. ‘We walk by faith.’”

Mark 4:26-34

1. What is the farmer’s job in both of these parables? What is God’s job? Could you ask yourself the same two questions about your ministry…your job and God’s job? Can you trust God to do God’s job?

2. While the man sleeps and rises night and day the seed sprouts and grows, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. Are such accomplishments due to human beings, technology or the rules of the Kingdom of God?

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 Lamont1:30 PM

    Displaying an attitude of gratitude. Sending a thank-you note. Saying your "please and thank you’s”. Such are lessons we teach our children as we train them in what is socially proper.

    If only we would spend as much time considering what is proper in the spiritual sense.

    God our Creator is all-deserving and worthy of our praise. A well-known prayer guide pinpoints 5 essential elements of prayer. Adoration, Confession, Petition, and Intercession,are ALWAYS followed by Thanksgiving.

    Psalm 92:1 is often quoted in support: "It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to your name, Most High."

    Also to be noted is the use of the word "sing" in that first verse. The Lord loves to hear our voices in song. Thus, hymns of any sort are an integral part of worship. Something about singing focuses our hearts on Jesus and softens HIS heart to accept our prayerful pleas.

    Our Abba Father gives us our days in 24 hour increments. Could we handle any more? His grace is enough for each day; the psalmist writes (It is good...) "to proclaim your kindness at dawn and your faithfulness throughout the night."

    The cedar of Lebanon is a mighty and beautiful tree referenced throughout Scripture. In the first reading, a small cedar shoot is replanted and compared to a "majestic cedar" as it grows strong with its roots firmly planted. The Psalm says, “The just one shall flourish like the palm tree, like a cedar of Lebanon shall he grow."

    Later, the psalmist writes, "They shall bear fruit even in old age; vigorous and sturdy shall they be ...."

    Living in a righteous manner, with the foundations of our beliefs firmly rooted, we, too, are called to have the strength and fruitfulness of the cedar, even unto the very end of our earthly lives. The psalmist uses the imagery of being solid, he speaks of the Lord as "my rock."