"But who do you say that I am?"

Today's Gospel story is about affirmation, identity and purpose of Jesus' mission. Mark makes this episode the centerpiece of his gospel. It comes immediately after Jesus' healing of the blind man of Bethsaida.

Sunday Readings' Discussion Questions
Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sep. 16, 2012 (24B)
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 Sacrifice?

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

First Reading
Isaiah 50:5-9a

1. How does Isaiah’s description, “set his face like flint,” relate to the Gospel message, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself”? Why does Isaiah use “flint” in his simile?

2. They pull his beard and spit in his face. What allows him to endure? What allows you to go through suffering? Is it your faith?

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 114 (116): 1-2, 3-4, 5-6. 8-9

1. Our psalmist says that the "Lord has freed my soul from death." Speak about how the Lord has worked in your life to give you hope that you are saved and raised you up away from the "cords of death."

2. The Psalm says, The Lord keeps the little ones." Are you one of His 'little ones?' Explain how by humbling yourself you have a better chance of being pleasing in the eyes of God.

Second Reading
James 2:14-18

1. How do you respond to God’s call to serve your neighbor? With your entire life? In some of your actions? With a few words?

2. How deep is love if it is never expressed in actions? Discuss. How would you go about changing from a “talk the talk” person to a “walk the walk” person?

Mark 8:27-35

1. Do you want people you love to know you well? Do you think Christ wants you, personally, to know him well? Discuss his words, “But who do you say that I am?”. Who is Christ to you?

2. How can “losing your life” be a means to gaining life? Could this mean denying yourself, or letting go in some way?

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. 

1 comment:

  1. Barry Lamont10:48 AM

    “He has freed my soul from death.”

    It is said that Jesus sang this prayer
    on the night He was betrayed, and
    went to His death with these words
    on His lips.

    The psalm is a simple prayer of thanks
    to God that the psalmist might have
    used after escape from the “snares of
    the netherworld,” as he called upon God,
    “O Lord save my life!”

    But unlike the psalmist, our Savior
    does not ask to escape death; instead He
    begins to teach the disciples (in the Gospel)
    that the Son of Man must suffer greatly and
    be killed. Jesus summons the crowd
    and begins to preach on the redemptive
    value of His death, saying that 'whoever
    loses his life for my sake will save it.'

    Once this psalm becomes the prayer of
    Our Lord on the night of his Passion,
    it says to us believers that there is hope
    that we too will “walk before the Lord
    in the land of the living.”

    The prophet Isaiah (in our 1st reading)
    reminds us that the suffering servant
    is not disgraced, is not put to shame.
    It is that same spirit of defiance in the
    face of death that empowers the suffering
    servant to set his face like flint, knowing
    that the Lord God is his help.

    Because we are little and “brought low,”
    we depend on our God to “incline His ear”
    to us when we call. We cannot raise up
    ourselves; we are at the mercy of God's grace.
    We cannot become divine, and therefore
    God in His love for us became like us
    and inclined Himself to our humanity

    For this we are grateful, and we join with
    the psalmist who celebrates as we do,
    “For the Lord has freed my soul from death.”