12th Sunday of Year A
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Jeremiah expresses total confidence that the Lord will protect him even though he is in a volatile situation where even one-time friends are out to trip him up. Have you ever felt trapped and surrounded by difficulties out of your control? How did you relate with God through that time?
How hard is it for you to ‘trust your cause’ to God like Jeremiah? What do you need to be able to move from knowledge about faith to faith in a warm honest deep relationship of trust in which you experience the love, power, mercy, faithfulness and justice of God at ‘gut’ level in your life? Try praying the prayer of Jeremiah and keep a record of how God works in your situation.
What aspect of your life are you struggling most with? Ask Jesus to give you the grace of what you need to be set free in that area today.
The Gospel tells us that anyone who acknowledges Jesus before others will be acknowledged by Jesus before the Father. What opportunities to share Gods love will you take this week? How do you feel knowing that Jesus speaks up for you and your needs?
SOURCE: Living the Word resources are created by Fr Frank Bird a Marist priest and Mrs Bev McDonald, ACSD, distributed by Marist Laity Auckland, NZ
1. ‘Do not fear’ is the unifying theme in this passage which is set in the context of a mission sermon by Jesus, preparing his disciples for what lay ahead. He urges them to have courage in speaking his message and living his message, drawing strength from their trust in the Father whose care for us exceeds his care for hundreds of sparrows. How has trust in God been a source of strength in life for you?
2. The body/soul terminology presup- poses an anthropology in which the soul represents one’s real self and the body is the perishable shell. For Jesus the impor- tant thing is to be true to one’s real self, even if this does involve some material or physical loss or pain. When you have had that kind of courage, what was it like for you?
3. There is no such thing as secret disci- pleship. It is in declaring their allegiance to Jesus that his followers will find life. They will be the losers if they hide their discipleship. Does this resonate with your experience?
SOURCE: Hearers of the Word
How can trust help you handle a situation when you are surrounded by “terror on every side”? How can you build this trust? Should you wait for “terror” to arrive before you start trusting?
Discuss the fact that proclaiming the gospel brings some suffering with it. If you let your sufferings be absorbed into Christ’s do you think they acquire saving significance for the community or for those you love?
If Christ says to “speak in the light” that which he has said in darkness, is that speaking meant to dispel the darkness? Can you “proclaim” the Good News today “from the housetops”? What does that mean in terms of ending racial bias?
Are you able to talk about your fears to anyone at all? Who would you trust to tell what most frightens you in this life? Why do men find it most difficult to talk about what they fear? Do you have any fear of God? Why?
Can you talk about your fears to Jesus in prayer? Do you sometimes have to admit that you need his intercession and his intervention? What kinds of things move you so deeply that you turn to God with for relief?
To what degree have you grown from an immature fear of God to the kind of respect that is motivated by love? Can you remember a time when you were actually afraid to approach God with a problem, with your guilt over having done wrong? How has that changed over time? And why?
SOURCE: Portland Diocese
Can you recall a time or experience when God was with you like a ‘mighty champion’? Have you ever asked God to strike down those who have hurt you grievously?
What can strike fear into your heart? What helps you deal with fear?
Name one thing today’s Gospel says to us that we disciples of Jesus need to heed and act on.
SOURCE: Ascension Catholic Parish, Melbourne, FL
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by Edrianne Ezell
In the second reading, what is the situation of the prophet Jeremiah? What is the Lord’s response to his lament? What is response of Jeremiah’s heart? How is this reflective of the mission of Jesus’ disciples?
In the second reading, how are we to understand the introduction of death into the world through Adam? What kind of death was this? Why are all men said to sin if only Adam did? (see CCC 400-404)
In the Gospel reading, who is the “them” that that the disciples are told not to be afraid of? Who wouldpersecute them (Mt 10:17-18, 21-22)? Why?
In times of persecution, what could the disciples expect from God (Mt 10:19-20, 22, 32, 39, 41-42)?
If the disciples are not to fear “those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul”, whom should they fear,and why?
What kind of fears do you have in standing up for the Lord and proclaiming the Gospel? Physicaldanger? Ridicule? Shunning? What does the Lord say about such fears? How can you better place your trust in him to see you through persecution?
What reward and penalty does the Lord promise for those who are faithful and not faithful? Howseriously do you take these promises? What are the eternal ramifications for each one?