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24A Ordinary Time – Questions

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Los Angeles Bishop David O'Connel provides PDFs of the Sunday Gospel Reading and also instructions on how to use this Gospel Reflection Process. PDF’s are available in both English and Spanish.

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24A Ordinary Time – Questions

24A Ordinary Time – Questions

September 13, 2020

Three sets of questions suitable for individual or group use are provided. Choose one to best fit your purpose and time restraints. Click on download images for PDF handout.

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Faith Sharing

1. Turn to the person next to you and share what word/s or image/s in the readings caught your attention. Did they comfort or challenge you or touch you in some way?

2. What are the obstacles to forgiving others? Name as many obstacles as possible, e.g., pride, the belief that someone does not deserve mercy, hardness of heart, etc., then name the primary obstacle that you may face in forgiving a hurt.

3. What helps you to forgive life’s hurts? What might help you to overcome whatever you name as the primary obstacle to forgiving life’s hurts?

4. In the second reading, Paul is urging people not to judge others. In your opinion, what can cause us to be judgmental of others?

5. Name one thing today’s Gospel says to us that we disciples of Jesus need to heed and act on.

©2020 Fr. Eamon Tobin. All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

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Discussion

1. When you made a retreat the last time, did you not say to the Lord, “Have patience with me, Lord. I will do much better from now on.” Ask your family or the members of your group to share with you some of the ways they have found helpful in “doing better from now on.”Surely,you may be able to share some suggestion which has been helpful to you.

2. Have you ever had a hard time forgiving someone who has grievously hurt you or hurt someone you love? What have you been able to do to come closer to the day of forgiveness? Do you at least want to see that day? What do you think would be helpful to you in bringing you closer to forgiveness?

3. What are some of the injustices which are being practiced in the Church in our times? Do we pray that God will punish or that God will forgive? Do we ourselves, as a community, make efforts to forgive? Or are we rather expecting retribution and adequate compensation? How can we contribute to the healing of those who have been hurt by the Church community?

© 2017 Portland Diocese / Father Clement D. Thibodeau. Used with permission.

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Scripture Study

1. In the 1st Reading, what does the Sacred Writer say are some of the consequences of seeking vengeance and not forgiving others?

2. What does the 2nd Reading tell us about the consequences of our earthly actions in eternity?

3. What does Jesus’ answer to Peter say about forgiveness in the kingdom?

4. How does the parable of the unmerciful servant extend Jesus’ teaching on forgiveness (verses 23-35)? In refusing to be forgiving to others, what do we deny ourselves (verses 31-24)?

5. Based on this parable, is God’s forgiveness of us limited or unlimited? Conditional or unconditional? What are the limits of your own willingness to forgive others? Do you forgive readily? If you find it difficult to forgive, what can you do about it?

6. How can we forgive others while not encouraging irresponsibility? As part of forgiving someone, are you obliged to allow that person to victimize you?

7. How can you forgive someone from the past who hurt you deeply?

Force yourself, if necessary, to always forgive those who offend you from the very first moment. For the greatest injury or offense that you can suffer from them is nothing compared to what God has pardoned you.
– St. Josemaria Escriva

© 2011 Vince Contreras. Used with permission.

Closing Prayer

by Fr. Eamon Tobin

Jesus, you know the way I feel about___________. You know my lack of desire to forgive. You know that all I want to do is to get even with him. But I also know that holding onto a hardened, unforgiving heart is bad for my body, mind, and spirit. It hurts me more than it hurts my offender. It also hurts my relationship with you.

Jesus, I admit my helplessness and powerlessness when it comes to even thinking about forgiving_____. But I also know that all things are possible for those who cooperate with your grace. With Saint Paul, I believe that I can do all things in you who strengthens me. Empower me, Jesus, to do this work of forgiveness. Place within my heart the desire to forgive ________. I find it so hard to even make that request because my heart has so much venom toward _______. But I make the request, however feebly, hoping that you will give me the grace to do what I am powerless to do for myself.

Note: When it comes to dealing with life’s hurts, many people have found Fr. Tobin’s book How to Forgive Yourself & Others very helpful. It is available in English and Spanish.

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