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Reading program for Matthew’s Gospel during 2011 Lent – #3

Prepared by Fr. Joseph Palubeski, CR, 2011 [email protected]

Preparation exercises taken from CATHOLIC SERENDIPITY BIBLE

March 13-19

PROCLAMATION OF THE KINGDOM Cont’d

Preparation:

A. Start

> When you want to get away from people, where do you go and what do you do?

> What saying or bumper sticker do you keep on your desk or car?

Read Matthew Chap 5:1-16 - If your bible has cross-references or footnotes, you might want to check them out for further insights.

B. Study

> How do the eight qualities that describe “the Blessed” relate to the promises that follow them? How do they relate to each other? How would you describe the opposite of each quality?

> Is Jesus describing who his followers are? Or prescribing what they must do? Why do you think so?

> How does this “sermonette” explain the nature of the kingdom? How are these Beatitudes related to being salt and light (vv 13-16)? How are Christians to penetrate society?

 

C. Share

> How do these promised blessings compare with what most people in the world prize? Would “The Blessed” be admired most in your society? Why or why not?

> Of these eight qualities, which two do you desire most in your life> Why? Who in your group or family do you associate with each?

> Which of these qualities are you most tempted to avoid?

> Based on the Beatitudes, is the light of your life shining like a 300-watt bulb? A 100-watt bulb?

> A night light? Why? How can Jesus enable you to “shine brighter”?

 

Read Matthew Chap 5:13 – 6:34 Divide these verses over the remaining days

> Put yourself in the crowd on the mountain listening to Jesus

> Notice the tone of his voice.

> Notice how the others are reacting.

 

Personal Reflection after reading this section

RATE YOURSELF ON EACH OF THE FOLLOWING QUALITIES OF THE BEATITUDES

Poor in Spirit: I recognize my spiritual bankruptcy and my need for God/Because my relationship with God depends on his grace, I know I am incapable of earning God’s love on my own

Mourn: I feel the pain that sin, including my own, causes. I can let others know when I am hurting without embarrassment. I can weep like Jesus did.

Meek: I don’t have to be the strong one who is always in control. I can be tender and gentle. I have given control of my life to God and I don’t always have to win.

Spiritual hunger: I want to know God and his will for my life more than anything _including my pleasure, status or success. My heart truly longs for God.

Merciful: I can share the feelings of people who are hurting, lonely or distressed, and walk alongside them in their pain. God has given me a sensitivity for the suffering of others and a compassion for them.

Pure in heart: I am completely honest with God and others. I don’t have to put on a false front or pretend to be something I am not. My life is marked with openness and integrity.

Peacemaker: I work hard to keep channels of communication open with others. Rather than allowing anger and conflict to fester, I deal with them constructively. I help those around me work out their differences without hurting one another.

Persecution: I know for whom and for what I am living. And for this I am willing to suffer and (if need be) stand alone for what is right. I can take criticism without reacting defensively or feeling self-pity.

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