"John is his name."
Sunday Readings' Discussion Questions
Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist,
June 24, 2012 (JBaptistB)
From the Center for Liturgy at Saint Louis University
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New American Bible
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BQ: Did John the Baptist go to heaven right after death?
Questions on Sunday's Readings for use by discussion groups,
prayer groups, or for individual prayer.
1. This reading is about the servant Israel who was chosen to be a beacon for all nations to see and be drawn back to God. Explain why this reading was chosen for today.
2. “For now the LORD has spoken who formed me as his servant from the womb.” The servant in this reading was called by God before he was born. Do you think God knew you before you were born? Do you think God will be with you as you make all your life choices? How might you be part of the plan to help salvation reach the ends of the earth?
Psalm 139: 1-3, 13-15
1. Our Psalm response is, "I praise you, for I am wonderfully made." Do you believe that you are created by God to do His will, that you are made for a purpose? Explain.
2. Our psalmist says, "O Lord, you have probed me, you know me." We cannot hide anything from our God; He is familiar with all our ways. Are you convicted by these words? Are there sins you commit that you would prefer to keep in the dark, or on a side porch, away from God's knowledge? In what way are you grateful for the scrutiny of the Lord?
1. Repentance draws people back into right relationship with God. How is John’s baptism of repentance different from Jesus’ baptism of the Holy Spirit?
2. What in this reading tells you John was a humble man? Did John direct people’s attention to himself or to Jesus? What was John’s whole life and ministry about? What is your ministry about?
Luke 1:57-66, 80
1. Was John chosen before he was born, as was the servant in the first reading? Zachariah doubted Gabriel’s words that Elizabeth would bear a son. How are you with insights from the Holy Spirit? Do you trust them? Do you act on them or dismiss them?
2. Compare Jesus’ and John’s birth announcements by the angels. John was in the desert until the day of his manifestation to Israel. Judging by his actions when he came out of the desert, what do you think he was doing while he was in the desert? Anthony de Mello, S.J. said “Peace is only found in yes.” In light of Zachariah’s experience, can you explain de Mello’s words?
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.