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Reading program for Matthew’s Gospel during 2011 Lent – #5

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

Preparation exercises taken from CATHOLIC SERENDIPITY BIBLE

March 27 - April 2

OPPOSITION FROM ISRAEL

Preparation:

Read Matthew chap12:1 - 50

A. Start

> Regarding house plants, do you: (a) talk and sing to them like friends? (b) Forget about them till their leaves falloff? (c) Just hope that no one gives you one?

Read Matthew Chap 13:1 – 23. If your bible has cross-references or footnotes, you might want to check them out for further insights. (this may take a day or two)

B. Study

> What is a parable?

> What four types of soil does Jesus mention? What characterizes each? What happens to the seed in each kind of soil?

> What does Jesus’ explanation of the parable (vv 18-23) reveal about the seed? About the various soils? The fruit? The farmer?

> What do parables accomplish that simple and direct speech lacks?

> How does Jesus’ challenge in verse 9 help explain verses 11-12? How does faith open you up to more and more spiritual insight?

> How does the quotation from Isaiah vv 14-15 explain the difficult of understanding parables (v13)?

> In vv 16-17 Jesus gives a new Beatitude. What have these disciples seen and heard that the prophets longed to see and hear? Are we included in this blessing? Why do you think so?

 

C. Share

> Can you see and hear Jesus at work in today’s world? If so, how?

> How would you explain this parable to a group of city kids who don’t know anything about sowing a field? What modern analogy would you use?

> Why do so many people misunderstand the Gospel?

> What deep “roots” help to prevent a believer from falling away? What gives you roots?

> What worries can choke your growth in Christ? How can you free your life from these “thorns”?

> What “crop” does Jesus want believers to yield? What can you do to increase your productivity?

> Consider your life history – where have you been in each of the different soil situations in the parable? (e.g. pathway, rocks, thorns, good soil)

 

OPPOSITION & JESUS, THE KINGDOM AND THE CHURCH

Read Matthew Chap 13:24–16:12 Divide these verses over the remaining days

 

Personal Reflection after reading this section

> Be a candid camera to capture these various scenes - What is the reaction of the listeners to each

parable? Who is it that reacts?

> What does Jesus suggest to you in ch 15: vv 8-9?

> What consolation does Jesus offer in the 11:29-30

> Do you ask Jesus or God for signs 16:1?

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