Reflections for Sunday, November 13, 2011

Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion

(Proverbs 31:10-13, 19-20, 30-31; Psalm 128:1-5; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-6; Matthew 25:14-30)

Bearing Fruit for the Kingdom of God

Come, share your master’s joy. (Matthew 25:21)

Quick! Ask yourself: “As I read this parable, did I identify more with the third servant in this parable than with the first two?” If you did, you’re not alone. How quick we are to fear that we may lose the little bit we think we have! We may even think that the outcome of this parable is unfair. Why should those who already have so much receive even more? 

But this isn’t a parable about fairness. It’s about Jesus’ ability to empower us to bear fruit for the gospel— fruit that surpasses what we would naturally expect.

Think of the potential damage that just one person can do to the devil’s plans. Consider a mother who teaches her children about the ways of the Lord. Think of how she models patience, justice, and kindness to them.

Think of the way she helps them to pray and teaches them to treat each other with love and consideration. Day after day, week after week, she is bringing about thekingdomofGodin these children’s lives. And not just in their lives but in the lives of their own future children. Her influence, in fact, has the potential to reach generations!

Or consider the young person who witnesses to his faith in Jesus at school. Think of the number of students he can stimulate to expect that God will work in their lives. Think about the ways these students, now on fire for the Lord, can influence others. And so on, and so on, and so on.

It’s true. God really can use you to extend his kingdom! Choose one situation this week where you can make a difference, one friend or acquaintance who you can bring one step closer to the Lord. Step out in faith, and see what kind of effect you can have. If you give the Lord an inch, he will take you a mile!

“Holy Spirit, I give you permission to work more fully in my life. Come and fill me with your power and gifts, so that I might bear fruit for the kingdom.”

(Many thanks to The Word Among Us (www.wau.org) for allowing us to use meditations from their monthly devotional magazine. Used with permission.)

Questions for Reflection/Discussion

  1. The first reading describes the virtues of a “worthy wife.” How would you summarize them?
  2. The last virtue of a “worthy wife” in the first reading is one who “ fears the Lord.”  The responsorial psalm picks up on this theme as well, describing the blessings of those who “fear the Lord.” What is the meaning of this virtue, and why is it so important in living our lives as Christians? 
  3. The second reading is the conclusion ofSt. Paul’s discussion of the Second Coming of Christ (see also 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). When it comes to the Second Coming, why do we need to be “alert and sober”?  What steps do you need to take to be more ready for the Second Coming of Christ? 
  4. In the Gospel parable, the servant who buried his master’s talent said he did it “out of fear.” In what way is the 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? 
  5. How important is it to hear the following words from the Gospel parable 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 the “small matters” in your life that require more faithfulness? 
  6. In the meditation, we hear these words: “It’s true. God really can use you to extend his kingdom!” What steps can you take in the upcoming weeks to “extend his kingdom”? 
  7. Take some time now to pray for a fresh infilling of the Holy Spirit and all the grace you need to bear fruit for theKingdomofGod. Use the prayer at the end of the meditation as the starting point.

These reflection questions are provided courtesy of The Word Among Us.