"For whoever is not against us is for us."

It is not easy to understand the forcefulness of Jesus' language in the Gospel this Sunday, the pure penetrating power with which He spoke and continues to speak to His listeners. Yet, we can approach some kind of understanding if we pay close attention to the prophets of this world.

Sunday Readings' Discussion Questions
Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sep. 30, 2012 (26B)
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
Does the Church allow abortion if the mother's life is at risk?

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

First Reading
Numbers 11:25-29

1. Joshua wanted Moses to stop Eldad and Medad’s prophesying because they didn’t follow the rules. Can you relate to this kind of problem? What was Moses’ response? Is there any similarity to Jesus’ response in the Gospel?

2. Does the Spirit work in many religions? Ever? Always? What might the Spirit be doing religions other than your own? Do you look for gifts in other people to see what actions God might be taking through them?

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 19: 8, 10, 12-13, 14

1. Our Psalm Response this Sunday is "The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart." Do you believe that the Lord's commandments can be a source of joy, instead of a set of rules and restrictions? Explain.

2. Our psalmist says that the 'decree of the Lord gives wisdom to the simple.' Describe how God's Law inspires you to celebrate God's perfection and helps you to imitate the divine life.

Second Reading
James 5:1-6

1. Wages withheld from the harvesters cry aloud, James says. How does his message apply today?

2. The rich got their wealth at the expense of the poor. Explain this in terms of the harvesters in the reading. How does humane treatment relate to a living wage? To profound respect?

Mark 9:38-43, 45, 47-48

1. John in the Gospel and Joshua in the First Reading had the same problem: unauthorized people were prophesizing. What was Jesus’ response to the idea that no one outside the inner circle was to minister in his name? Can anyone lay exclusive claim to the reign of God as Jesus revealed it?

2. Did Jesus mean the words “cutting off of hands” literally? If not, how do you interpret his message?

Sunday Bible Study Group

Please share your thoughts online on the Sunday Readings. And please do use these questions for your own Bible study sessions with family and friends.

1 comment:

  1. Barry Lamont2:45 PM

    “The law of the Lord is perfect,
    refreshing the soul.”

    This Psalm celebrates the Law
    of the Lord, first given to Moses
    on Mt. Sinai. But it also tells us
    what God’s Law reveals about
    our Creator, and about the joy
    that is stirred up in our hearts
    when we follow the Lord’s commands.

    If we are to imitate the divine life,
    everything we need to know is found
    in God’s Law. Our psalmist David
    shows us that the Law of Moses is an
    instruction manual for life. We learn
    that obeying the Law does not prevent
    us from being happy or limit us in
    a negative way. Instead, obeying the
    Law brings much reward.

    We are kept from willful sins
    by the Law. Obey the Law and
    we will not be controlled by sin
    and instead will be able to walk
    as God fearing people. We may think
    of statutes as something intended to
    control us or restrict us. But as our
    psalmist explains, the Law of the Lord
    does the opposite – it is in fact a source
    of joy, something to be desired,
    because the Law gives us wisdom and
    provides us with something we can trust.

    “His ordinances are true, all of them just.”
    Far more than a set of rules that we
    cannot hope to follow, God’s commandments
    refresh our souls; they give ‘wisdom to
    the simple;’ they are more 'desirable than
    gold, sweeter also than honey.'

    It is through the inspired Word of God
    that we know His commandments
    and through this Psalm that we know
    His Law is a source of refreshment,
    a source of joy; His statutes do not
    bind us, they set us free.

    The reading of the Law should not
    make us sad, but be a source of rejoicing.
    Give us ears to hear!