"Be doers of the word and not hearers only"
In this Sunday's Gospel, Mark offers us a good opportunity to understand the role of the Pharisees in Judaism, and why Jesus and others had such strong feelings against their behavior.
Sunday Readings' Discussion Questions
Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sep. 2, 2012 (22B)
From the Center for Liturgy at Saint Louis University
Podcast of the Readings
Video of Reflections on Readings
Lecturas y Comentarios
New American Bible
Prayer of the Hours
BQ: "What is the Worst Sin?"
Questions on Sunday's Readings for use by discussion groups,
prayer groups, or for individual prayer.
Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-8
1. “What great nation has statutes and decrees that are as just as this whole law?” Can you answer Moses’ question? What makes a law just? State the law in one sentence, as Jesus did.
2. Discuss some human rights issues that would change if everyone in the world observed the law of love? How might your community or your work place change?
Psalm 15: 2-3, 3-4, 4-5
1. Our psalmist says whoever thinks the truth in his heart will live in the presence of the Lord. How do you go about preparing your heart so that you are able to receive the Lord?
2. The verses of the Psalm remind us not to slander, nor to blame our neighbor, nor to harm our fellow man, nor to hurt him economically. Explain how being a doer of the word is inspired by your love of the Lord.
James 1:17-18, 21b-22, 27
1. James says the law is planted in us. Would you like to see it planted in your mind or in your heart? What difference would it make? Discuss Karl Rahner’s statement, “In the heart of knowledge stands love, from which knowledge itself lives.”
2. Are you a hearer only or a doer of the word? Name some times when you “walked the walk” when you really just wanted to “talk the talk.”
Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23
1. What problems did Jesus have with all the washing and purifying? What was his problem with the add-on laws from traditions? Is there anything that the Church can learn from this part of Jesus’ message? The Pharisees questioned Jesus, with some smugness, about how his disciples were keeping the law. What is your attitude toward people who interpret laws differently than you do?
2. What was missing from the Pharisees’ observance of the law? If religious observance is exterior, what is it worth? On the other hand, if what you do comes from the Word living in your heart, whether it’s fishing or fasting, what is that worth?
Sunday Bible Study Group
Please share your thoughts on the Sunday Readings. May we be blessed by God's words as reflected in your thoughts and experience-sharing.