26th Sunday of Year B
by Larry Broding
Scandals, like gossip, create news, headlines, and the patter of talk shows. Politicians and entertainers cause the public concern with their dress, their lifestyle, or their secrets. Indeed, scandal not only drives public opinion. It can increase profits for media and visibility for publicity-hungry.
When was the last time you were tempted to get mad at God? What happened? How did you learn from your temptation?
The words of James give us pause. We have creature comforts that make us the envy of the world’s poor. How do we respond to the needs of the poor, both here at home and abroad? If James were alive today, could he use these same words against us?
How have you helped the poor and needy recently? How have they helped you to grow?
What scandals have you heard about in the past two months? How did they affect you?
When it comes to the Church, scandal multiplies problems. Not only does the community lose faith, the community loses face with potential converts. Church scandal also gives those who oppose the faith reason for persecution. But, what happens when the scandal within the Church is caused by the good of non-Christians?
ECHOING GOD’S WORD
by Rev. Clement D. Thibodeau
1. What other persons, not belonging to your group (age group, parish, gender, color), are also doing good things for God? List the persons you have heard about who are doing God’s work in the world without belonging to the Catholic Church. How can that be? Do you believe what you see out there in the world?
2. Discuss how we have been conditioned to look down on those who do not belong (as we define belonging). How come we can decide who does not belong to God? By their works or by their place in society? Have you decided to exclude someone in your family who does not measure up to your standards? What about the people of your parish? Are they all absolutely like you in every way? How come God has called them, too?
3. God chooses the most unlikely people to be coworkers in the kingdom. Identify the apostles and some of our members today who resemble them.
SMALL GROUP FAITH SHARING
by Father Eamon Tobin
1. Turn to the person next to you and share what verse in the Gospel caught your attention. Why? Share the next questions in small groups of 2 or 3 or with the whole group.
2. In our readings today, both Jesus and Moses condemn intolerance as restricting the way God can work. Can you name some instances where the Spirit is at work in people that we may not see or notice?
3. What are some ways that we or other Christians can give scandal to others? Name ways that parents and other adults can scandalize children.
4. What helps you to cut out of your lives a behavior that is hindering your growth in Christ?
5. What is one thing Jesus is saying to us in this Sunday’s Gospel about how a disciple should speak or act? And what do you need to do or change to be a better disciple?
by Vince Contreras
1, In the First Reading, why do you think young Joshua was “jealous for the sake of Moses”? What do you think was his attitude toward the gifts of God and how God chose to give them? What is your attitude to those who seem unlikely recipients of God’s gifts?
2. Looking at the Second Reading: how have you used your personal resources—such as money, influence, talent, or time—for the benefit of others? How might you seek God’s wisdom to learn how you should use your resources?
3. What does Jesus’ application of the image of Gehenna (and that of Isaiah 66:24) tell you about the seriousness of how he regards the sin of scandal?
4. In verses 43, 45, and 47, what four things does Jesus say are “better” than becoming an occasion of sin (In the Greek, scandalon: literally, a stumbling block) to others? What is his point in using this hyperbole? Short of cutting off body parts, what do you need to cut out of your life in order to avoid sin?
5. How does the attitude Jesus wants us to have regarding rivalry and exclusivism reflect that of John the Baptist (John 3:25-30)? St. Paul (Galatians 5:19-26)? St. James (James 3:13-18)? How does your own attitude compare? Catechism of the Catholic Church: §§ 1034, 2
St Therese Catholic Church
Our Lady of Good Counsel
The My Catholic Life! Series: Volumes 1-3
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Volume 1 – Catholic Beliefs
Lesson 1 – Coming to Faith
I Believe… – The Desire for Happiness – Fulfilling that Desire – Coming to Know God – Revelation – God Reveals Himself – God Keeps Speaking – Magisterium – Sacred Scripture – Obedience of Faith
Lesson 2 – God and His Creation
One God – God’s Name – Father – Almighty – Maker of Heaven and Earth – Creation of Man in the Imago Dei – The Unity of Body and Soul – Male and Female – Original Paradise – The Fall of Man – Of All Things Visible and Invisible
Lesson 3 – The God-Man and His Mother
Professing Faith in a Person – Jesus, Christ, Son & Lord – Through Him All Things Were Made – God Becomes Man – Why He Did It – What He Did – 100/100 – Fully God and Fully Human – God’s Perfect Plan – Mary’s Immaculate Conception – Mother of God – The Virgin Mother – The Final Outcome
Lesson 4 – God Suffers Death
Jesus Makes Some Enemies – Who is Responsible for His Crucifixion? – The Havoc Caused by Disobedience – Free and Perfect Obedience Untangles Disobedience – A More Philosophical Explanation – The New and Perfect Sacrifice – Jesus is Buried – He Descended into Where?
Lesson 5 – Death Has No Victory!
A Real Historical Event – Resurrection or Brought Back to Life? – A Work of the Trinity – The Veil is Lifted – The Ascension – At the Father’s Right Hand – His Return in Glory…and Grace – A Time of Judgment – Will Cremated Bodies Also Rise?
Lesson 6 – The Holy Spirit
What is the Holy Spirit? – Where Do We Meet the Holy Spirit? – Images of the Holy Spirit – The Holy Spirit’s Activity in Salvation History
Lesson 7 – The Church
Some Initial Distinctions – Symbols of the Church – A Bit of Historical Perspective – The Mystery of the Church – Marks of the Church: One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic – The Hierarchy and the Pope – The Threefold Office to Preach, Shepherd and Sanctify – The Laity – Consecrated Life
Lesson 8 – The Glorious and Final Things!
Communion of Saints: Earth, Heaven and Purgatory – A Sad Note about Hell – The Final Age to Come – Our Blessed Mother: The Queen of All Saints!
Lesson 9 – The Greatest Act on Earth
The Great Mysterium Fidei – Liturgy 101 – Is the Liturgy Boring? – Who Celebrates the Liturgy? – How the Liturgy is Celebrated – When Do We Celebrate? – Where Do We Celebrate? – Diversity vs. Unity
Lesson 10a – Sacraments: A Personal Encounter
Getting Personal! – Three to Get In: Sacraments of Initiation – Two to Heal: Sacraments of Healing – Two for the Mission: Sacraments of Vocation
Lesson 10b The Sacrament of Baptism
Effects of Baptism – Old Testament Prefigurations – Giving Us This Sacrament – Who Baptizes Whom? – The Celebration of Baptism
Lesson 11 – The Sacrament of Confirmation
What Scripture Reveals – Effects of Confirmation – Receiving the Sacrament – Signs and Symbols – The Bottom Line is the Upper Limit
Lesson 12 – The Most Holy Eucharist
Essence Challenges our Five Senses – The One Eternal Sacrifice – The Divine Sacrament Made Present – Transforming Communion – The Mass Explained
Lesson 13a – The Sacrament of Penance
The Names of the Sacrament – How I Prepare – Understanding this Glorious Gift – From Interior Repentance to the Grace of the Sacrament – Forgiveness is Not Enough…The Grace of Indulgences
Lesson 13b – The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick
Scriptural Foundation – The Suffering of Illness – Who Can be Anointed by Whom? – Effects of the Sacrament – How and When it is Offered
Lesson 14 – The Sacrament of Holy Orders
The Mission of Christ – Entrusting the Mission – The Degrees of Ordination – Fulfilling Christ’s Mission Through Ordination – Some Practical Considerations
Lesson 15 – The Sacrament of Matrimony
God’s Design and Intention for Marriage – The Effect of the Fall – God’s Answer – Christian Marriage in the New Covenant – Matrimonial Consent – A Sacrament or Not – The Domestic Church
Lesson 16a – An Introduction to Prayer
Humility as the Foundation of Prayer – Prayer in the Old Testament – Prayer in the New Testament – Basic Forms of Prayer – The Holy Spirit Teaches Us to Pray – Three Forms of Prayer – Struggles with Prayer
Lesson 16b – The Lord’s Prayer
A Summary of the Whole Gospel – The Foundation of Prayer – The Seven Petitions
Lesson 17 – Who Am I?
I Am an Imago Dei – The Beatitudes – The Effects of Freedom – Making Moral Choices – Good vs. good – Passions, Feelings and Emotions – Conscience – Erroneous Conscience: Am I Guilty? – Growth in Virtue and the Gifts of the Holy Spirit – Sin: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – Gravity of Sin
Lesson 18 – The Law, Society, Grace and Salvation
The Moral Law – Who are We? Human Society – The Trinity as the Basis of Society – Common Good – Justification – Grace – Merit – Holiness – From the Speculative to the Practical
Lesson 19 – Loving God
The First Commandment – Our High Calling of Love – The Bottom Line of This Commandment – Graven Images – The Upper Upper Limit! – Practical Applications
The Second Commandment – The Bottom Line: No Swearing Allowed – The Upper Limit: God’s Name is Holy…and so is yours! – Practical Applications
The Third Commandment – The Sabbath Day after the First Creation – Worship in the New Covenant: The Eighth Day of Creation – Rest in the New Covenant: The Eighth Day of Creation – Duties of Society – Practical Considerations
Lesson 20 – Loving Your Family
The Fourth Commandment God’s Plan for Parents – Being a Holy Child – Family Life – The Fourth Commandment and Society – The Role of Civil Authorities – A Summary of the Bottom Line and Upper Limit of the Fourth Commandment – Practical Considerations
Lesson 21 – Murder, Anger, and Human Dignity
The Fifth Commandment – Bottom Line: Do Not Murder – Human Dignity Must Be Respected – When Killing is not Murder – Other “Medical Ethics” Considerations – Other “End of Life” Decisions – The Upper Limit – Practical Considerations
Lesson 22 – Chastity, Purity, Affection and Marital Love
The Sixth Commandment – We are Sexual Beings – The Upper Limit: God’s Plan for Sexuality – The Bottom Line: Abuses of Sexual Love – Practical Considerations
The Ninth Commandment – Purity – Other Considerations – The Bottom Line and the Upper Limit
Lesson 23 – Stealing and Coveting
The Seventh Commandment – Is It Mine or Is It Yours? – The Bottom Line – The Dignity of the Human Person and the Economy – Reaching Out to the Poor – International Considerations
The Tenth Commandment – The Root of the Problem: He Who Has Money Never Has Money Enough – Getting in Order!
Lesson 24 – The Truth Will Set You Free!
The Eighth Commandment The Bottom Line: Offenses Against the Truth – Do I Have a Right to Know? – The Upper Limit: Art, Beauty and the Pursuit of Truth – Practical Considerations Conclusion
My Catholic Life! Series Details Page
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