October 4th, 2015, Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
Discussion Questions for Reading 1Genesis is one of the books of the Bible in which a poetic story is used to communicate truths about the relationship between God and human beings. Look back over the story and select three important truths. Explain your choices. What does this story tell you about the relationship between man and woman? What message do you hear about marriage in this story?
How do we know that human beings are unique in all God's creation? In what ways do we show our respect for the uniqueness of human beings? How do you think God wants us to relate to the animal world? In what ways can people your age show respect and responsibility for the animal world?
Reading 1 Genesis 2:18-24
Reading 1 ReflectionHere is the second poetic story of creation from the Book of Genesis. In earlier verses which are not part of today's reading, the story describes how God made the first man from clay. God then fashioned all kinds of birds and animals. But none of them were suitable partners for the man. So God made the first woman from the man's own body.
Together the man and the woman became one body. They were equal and suitable partners for one another. In marriage, husband and wife enter a union blessed by God.
The primary message of the story is that man and woman both come from God. We are God's unique creation in a world of wonderful creatures he has entrusted to our care.
Discussion Questions for Reading 2the positive effects of suffering can be? How are you a better or wiser person because of something you have suffered? What does today's reading tell us about the effects of Jesus' suffering and death? Why do you think it is wiser to be humble than to raise yourself above others?
For you, what does it mean to have Jesus as your Brother? In what ways will you show that you follow your Brother?
Reading 2 Hebrews 2:9-11
Reading 2 ReflectionThe humble person does not look down on others or try to raise himself to a prominent position. Jesus, the Son of God, is a perfect example of humility. He made himself lower than the angels by taking on our human nature. He then made himself subject to suffering and death in order to gain our salvation.
Jesus tasted death for all of us so that we can share in his glory with God the Father. He is pleased to call us his brothers and sisters. In return, at every Eucharist, we thank him for lifting us up with him.
How does your parish support married couples? How does it embrace those who are separated or divorced?
Discussion Questions for GospelImagine that you are responding to a parish survey of young people. The topic of the survey is "The Good Marriage." How would you respond to these survey questions: What are the most important qualities needed by both husband and wife? What are some of the obstacles to a good and lasting marriage? Why is it important for partners to share their faith?
The final question on the survey is: Name three ways you can prepare now to be the kind of person who has the most important qualities needed by both husbands and wives. How will you respond?
Gospel Mark 10:2-16
Gospel ReflectionSome people are more interested in the letter of the law than the spirit of the law. The Pharisees tried to test Jesus by asking him if he agreed with the law of Moses regarding divorce. Jesus draws their attention to the true meaning of marriage. He reminds the Pharisees of the teaching from Genesis about the man and the woman becoming one flesh. Jesus is focusing on God's loving plan for marriage partners.
In the second story, Jesus scolds his disciples for trying to keep the little children away from him. He hugs, holds, and blesses the children. Once again he teaches that all who follow him must trust in God and openly accept the Good News.