"If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all."

In Sunday's Gospel passage (Mark 9:30-37), Jesus' announcement of his passion and death leaves the disciples without words. In the meantime, they argue who was the most important among them. We find the same pattern as in last week's Gospel -- the prediction, misunderstanding, and instruction on the nature of discipleship.

Sunday Readings' Discussion Questions
Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sep. 23, 2012 (25B)
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: Is it more noble to volunteer for secular or church work?

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

First Reading
Wisdom 2:12, 17-20

1. “Let us find out what will happen to him,” they said. What did they find out? Did God take care of the just one? Did God give help? Maybe you have asked God for something and received something quite different. What happened to you?

2. “Let us beset the just one, because he is obnoxious to us, he sets himself against our doings.” About whom does this speak? Why? Are you obnoxious to anyone because you speak out against doings you consider wrong?

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 54: 3-4, 5, 6, 8

1. Our psalmist is fighting against forces that threaten him; he says, "The ruthless seek my life." Are you aware of powerful forces, both external and internal, that put your faith in jeopardy? Explain.

2. The Psalm says, "The Lord upholds my life." Speak of how your life is sustained by the Lord when you are under threat both physically and spiritually.

Second Reading
James 3:16 - 4:3

1. Where does ambition for power and greatness lead? What does it do to a country? to a business? to a Church? Is there a way to cultivate peace?

2. Know them by their fruits. If a work produces jealousy, selfish ambition, conflicts and close-mindedness, how good is the tree? What about mercy, compliance, constancy, sincerity, and peace? Which kind of tree are you?

Mark 9:30-37

1. The disciples didn’t understand the “servant” idea. They still wanted choice positions in Jesus’ kingdom. So Jesus sat down to teach them what it means to serve. Why does he direct their attention to a child who needs to have everything done for him?

2. In order to rank first, Jesus tells the disciples they should be the servants of all. Who would you serve if you could? Anyone close to you? Where do you think your parish ranks in taking care of people in need? Where would you rank yourself?

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 Lamont9:23 AM

    The psalm is a prayer sung by David
    at a time when he was being hunted
    by King Saul. David was in great peril
    at the time, threatened by the “ruthless.”
    He says, “The ruthless seek my life;
    they set not God before their eyes.”

    We may not be threatened
    by King Saul and his troops,
    but we are surely under threat by satan
    and his band of fallen angels.
    And where does the threat come from?
    Is it from outside? Or is it from within?
    For all our proclamations of trust in God,
    we can sense the wavering which besets us all.
    Are we perhaps a 'Judas' ourselves?
    Have we betrayed Christ? Do we?

    Just as David turns to the Lord for protection,
    so too should we pray to the Lord to save us.
    David sings, ”O God, by your name save me.”
    For us that name is the name of Jesus.
    Where else would we turn for a shield in time of battle?
    Or a sword in time of peril?
    With Christ present as our helper,
    we can turn back the evil which lurks within our hearts.

    David writes about the the 'haughty men'
    who have risen against him. Are we one of them?
    Are we one of those described in Wisdom (1st reading)
    who resent the just one? Are we part of the crowd
    who condemn Jesus to a shameful death to test
    if he is truly the son of God and to let God take care of him?

    Are jealousy and selfish ambition lurking within us,
    causing disorder and every foul practice,
    as St. James warns us in our 2nd reading?
    Are we like the disciples on that journey through Galilee
    who were arguing about who is the greatest?

    If so, then we too had better call upon the name
    above all names to save us, as David does.
    We had better pray that we will approach God
    in proper humility and pray that we shall 'undertake to
    become the last of all and the servant of all.' (Gospel)

    “God is my helper; the Lord sustains my life.”
    We had better receive Him;
    we had better gain His peace to quiet the battle within.
    We had better keep our eyes fixed on the cross;
    we had better be open to rescue and redemption.