June 16th, 2013, Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
Discussion Questions for Reading 1Have you ever felt that you wanted something you couldn't have so strongly that you would do anything to get it, even if it meant betraying a friend or going against your parents' wishes? Perhaps you desire a certain position on a team, a part in a play, or someone's special attention. Have you ever been tempted to lie or cheat or ruin someone else's reputation to get what you want? What can you do to help you and your friends accept what you have and be grateful for it?
Reading 1 2 Samuel 12:7-10, 13
Reading 1 ReflectionIn the first reading, Nathan tells King David a story that helps David to see the terrible sin he has committed. Because he wanted another man's wife for himself, David deliberately placed the soldier in the front line of battle where he would be killed. God had given David so many blessings and David now realizes he has sinned against God. David is filled with sorrow but Nathan assures him of God's forgiveness. Like David, any one of us can lose our perspective and let our desires rule us. We are not entitled to take what belongs to somebody else. Pray for God's help against this temptation.
Discussion Questions for Reading 2Who or what has helped your faith to grow? Who are the people you admire because their faith is so evident? What are the signs of their strong faith? Are people drawn to you because they can see your faith? Or have you made that precious gift of faith pointless, like David and many others?
Reading 2 Galatians 2:16, 19-21
Reading 2 ReflectionToday's reading helps us to see the importance of faith. St. Paul says that having faith in Jesus is what makes us favorable in God's eyes. Paul tells us that his faith is so strong that it's as if he no longer lives, but Christ lives in him. People should be able to see God's love radiating in us. Those who are so intent on keeping the law that they don't reflect God's love are missing the point. Keeping the law is important, but the law alone will not help us to be saved.
Give thanks for God's forgiveness. Whom do you need to forgive?
Discussion Questions for GospelHow do we treat one another? Do we treat friends—and strangers—as if we are all equal? Or do we allow skin color, gender, cultural, economic, or even petty differences stand in the way. Do we sometimes discriminate because someone is different? What if God acted that way toward us?
What is your love barometer? Where do you stand on the scale for accepting all people? Do you make distinctions, like Simon, saying "this person is not good enough?" When someone slights you, are you able to forgive them or do you hold a grudge? How can you show a greater acceptance of others? What can you do to encourage your friends to have a forgiving attitude?