"Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while."

Sunday Readings' Discussion Questions
Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, July 22, 2012 (16B)
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: What is the Communion of Saints?

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

First Reading
Jeremiah 23:1-6

1. In this First Reading the Lord speaks to the bad shepherds (leaders of his people). What are the priorities or values of a shepherd whose sheep tremble and fear? What are the priorities and values of a good shepherd?

2. Imagine that you are a caretaker of people like a shepherd is for sheep. What can you do about the fear people experience all over the world due to injustice? Can you do anything to remedy any of the injustice? Is there anything you can do about unfair situations in your own town?

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 23: 1-3, 3-4, 5, 6

1. Our Psalm speaks of the Lord as our shepherd. Do you believe you are one of His sheep? What does it mean to be counted among His flock?

2. Our psalmist says that the Lord anoints his head with oil. Are you one of the Lord's anointed? Describe how the Lord is using you as one of His anointed.

Second Reading
Ephesians 2:13-18

1. Paul was a Jew preaching to Gentiles and also a Christian preaching to Jews. There were a lot of barriers or dividing walls as Paul calls them. Discuss dividing walls present today among peoples of different beliefs, races or cultures.

2. What are the dividing walls in the Church today? Which ones seem most impenetrable to you? Using this Second Reading as a guide, what might people do who would like to resolve their differences, or break down walls that divide them?

Mark 6:30-34

1. What does Jesus do in this Gospel story that is an example of good shepherding? Discuss compassion versus power as attributes of leadership.

2. In the the First Reading (Jeremiah 23:3) God makes this touching statement: ”I myself will gather the remnant of my flock from all the lands to which I have driven them and bring them back to their meadow.” Discuss the relation of that promise from God to the following description of Jesus from the Gospel : “When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd” (Mark 6:34).

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.

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