Pages Menu
TwitterFacebook


Posted on Nov 16, 2017

Reflection November 19 2017

Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion

Mass Readings:

1st Reading:        Proverbs 31:10-13, 19-20, 30-31

Responsorial:     Psalm 128:1-5

2nd Reading:      1 Thessalonians 5:1-6

Gospel:                Matthew 25:14-30

Joining Jesus in Building his Kingdom Here on Earth

When people are saying, “Peace and security,” then sudden disaster comes upon them. (1 Thessalonians 5:3)

Today’s readings might remind us of the old Boy Scout motto: “Be prepared.” Be always ready because you never know what might come your way. Be always ready so that you aren’t just reacting to situations when they arrive. Be proactive, never idle, but always prepared to do whatever good deed you can.

In today’s first reading, St. Paul tells us that there will never be perfect peace or absolute security in this world. Wars will rage. Families and friends will suffer divisions. Poverty, disease, and suffering will persist until the end of time. So that means there will always be opportunities to reach out and help!

Today’s Gospel also tells us to be ready to care for the people around us. When we hear the parable of the talents, we usually focus our attention on developing our skills, but let’s take it one step further and focus on the mission at hand. Jesus is asking us to join him in building his kingdom here on earth. He is asking us to take all that he has given us and put it to good use, and not just for ourselves and our families. The world is in such deep need of peace and security. Our contributions—of intercession, of mercy, of generosity, and of love—can make a significant difference. We can see dramatic returns on our investment if we partner with the Lord.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if, when Jesus came back, he could say to each of us, “Well done, my good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21)? Wouldn’t it be great to know we can come with him and share in his joy?

We can do great things for God. We can use our talents to help make this world a better place. So let’s pray today for all who are suffering in the world. Let’s pray for an end to war and to poverty. And let’s join Jesus in bringing his peace and security to everyone.

“Lord, please take what little I have and multiply it for the sake of your people.”

 Download this reflection with discussion questions here.  

(Many thanks to The Word Among Us for allowing us to use meditations from their monthly devotional magazine. Used with permission. For more information on how to subscribe to their devotional magazine, go to www.wau.org).


Sunday, November 19, 2017

Questions for Reflection or Discussion:

  1. The first reading begins with these words: “When one finds a worthy wife, her value is far beyond pearls. Her husband, entrusting his heart to her, has an unfailing prize. She brings him good, and not evil, all the days of her life.” It then goes on to describe the virtues of a “worthy wife.”
  • How would you summarize these virtues?
  • Why do you think “her value is far beyond pearls”?
  1. The responsorial psalm opens with these verses: “Blessed are you who fear the LORD, who walk in his ways! For you shall eat the fruit of your handiwork; blessed shall you be, and favored.”
  • What do you think it means to “fear the LORD”? Why is this so important in living our lives as Christians?
  • What do you think it means to be “blessed” by God? How does it apply to your life?
  1. The second reading is the conclusion of St. Paul’s discussion of the Second Coming of Christ (see also 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). The reading opens with these words: “Concerning times and seasons, brothers and sisters, you have no need for anything to be written to you. For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief at night.” The reading ends with these words: “But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness, for that day to overtake you like a thief. For all of you are children of the light and children of the day. We are not of the night or of darkness. Therefore, let us not sleep as the rest do, but let us stay alert and sober.”
  • What do you think these verses mean when they say that “the day of the Lord will come like a thief at night”?
  • The closing words of the second reading tell us that we “are not in darkness” but “are children of the day and children of the light.” We are told, therefore, to “stay alert and sober.” What do these words mean to you?
  • What steps do you need to take to be more ready for the Second Coming of Christ?
  1. In the Gospel parable, the servant who buried his master’s talent responds to the master’s return in this way: “Master, I knew you were a demanding person, harvesting where you did not plant and gathering where you did not scatter; so out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground. Here it is back.” The response by the master is quite harsh and ends with these words: “Now then! Take the talent from him and give it to the one with ten. For to everyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And throw this useless servant into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.”
  • In what way is this servant’s fear different than the fear of the Lord mentioned in the first reading and the responsorial psalm?
  • Why do you think the servant was so harshly punished?
  1. Servants who used their gifts wisely heard these words from the master: “Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master’s joy.”
  • Why do you think the master’s response was so much different for these servants?
  • How important is it to you to hear the following words from the reading when you meet the Lord in Heaven? “Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come share your master’s joy.”
  • What do you believe are some of the “small matters” in your life that require more faithfulness?
  1. The meditation also speaks of using our talents wisely and encourages us to join Jesus “in building his kingdom here on earth. He is asking us to take all that he has given us and put it to good use, and not just for ourselves and our families.” It ends with these words: “We can do great things for God. We can use our talents to help make this world a better place. So let’s pray today for all who are suffering in the world. Let’s pray for an end to war and to poverty. And let’s join Jesus in bringing his peace and security to everyone.”
  • Notice that the emphasis in the Gospel is not on just focusing “our attention on developing our skills,” but on joining Jesus in “building his kingdom here on earth.” Why do you think this is so important?
  • What are some additional steps you can take, including those described in the meditation, to “join Jesus in bringing his peace and security to everyone”
  1. Take some time to pray and ask the Lord for the grace to use your talents to help build his kingdom. Use the prayer below from the end of the meditation as the starting point.

               “Lord, please take what little I have and multiply it for the sake of your people.”

[The discussion questions were created by Maurice Blumberg, who is currently a member of the board of directors of the Christlife Catholic Ministry for Evangelization (www.christlife.org/) and a member of the National Service Committee Council of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal (www.nsc-chariscenter.org). Maurice was also the founding Executive Director of the National Fellowship of Catholic Men and a former chairman of the board of The Word Among Us (www.wau.org). He can be contacted at (Enable Javascript to see the email address) mblumberg@wau.org or mblumberg@aol.com.}