"John is his name."

In the Readings for Sunday, June 24, 2012, we hear the story of the birth of John the Baptist. We encourage you to engage your family, friends or church groups and talk about this. And please do use these Discussion Questions as your Bible study guide.

Sunday Readings' Discussion Questions
Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist,
June 24, 2012


From the Center for Liturgy at Saint Louis University
Sunday Readings - Vigil Mass
Sunday Readings - Mass duruing the day
Podcast of the Readings 
Video of Reflections on Readings
Lecturas y Comentarios 
New American Bible
Prayer of the Hours
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.
First Reading
Isaiah 49:1-6

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?

Responsorial Psalm
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?

Second Reading
Acts 13:22-26
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. 

1 comment:

  1. Barry Lamont1:53 PM

    “Lord, you have probed me, you know me.”

    Our psalmist David tells us
    that there is no way to hide from God,
    who is all knowing,
    and who is present to us always.

    David says later in the Psalm,
    “Where can I hide from your spirit?
    From your presence, where can I flee?”
    There really is no need for us
    to run away from the Lord.
    His presence within us draws us closer to Him.
    There is no reason for anxiety
    just because He knows all our inner secrets
    (“With all my ways you are familiar.”)

    In fact his presence is merely to confirm
    that we have a share in His divinity,
    After all, God is the one
    “Who knit us in our mother's womb.”
    He is our Creator, so why would we run from Him?
    On the contrary, we are drawn to Him,
    and we are led by Him along right paths.

    “Truly you have formed my inmost being;
    you knit me in my mother's womb.”
    When we hear these words,
    we are reminded that John the Baptist
    leaps in his mother's womb
    when Mary visits Elizabeth.
    John heralds the coming of Christ
    even while he remains in the depths
    of his mother’s womb.
    Surely John the Baptist was
    wonderfully made and so much of what
    our psalmist says seems fit to apply to John.

    As for us, truly the Lord is familiar
    with all our ways; he knows our soul full well,
    and he knows our frame as well.
    Just as the hand of God was with John
    from the moment of his conception,
    so the Lord has a plan for each of us as well.

    We are wonderfully made because the Lord
    wouldn't have it any other way.
    He equips us to do his work;
    to be a light to our families and our communities;
    to peach the Gospel and 'when necessary use words.'

    We may not all be headed for a sojourn
    in the desert, but the Lord knows
    when we sit and when we stand;
    he scrutinizes our journeys,
    and he has made us for a purpose.