As we celebrate the First Sunday in our Lenten journey this year, we begin with a series titled – The Altar. As we progress through the weeks toward Holy Week, we will dive deeper into a greater understanding of our Catholic worship, but even more than that, an opportunity to come closer to the Jesus through our own participation and gift of self.
Each Monday, we will post a discussion guide along with a link to the weekend’s message. We encourage you to listen again and sometime throughout the week take some time to share your thoughts on the discussion questions with your family or a small group of friends.
Week 1 – Where’s Your Altar?
The heart of religion is the worship of God. And the heart of worship is always sacrifice; a gift that is poured out on the altar. Where is your gift being poured out? Where is your altar?
- If you could go to any concert or any sporting event in the world (past, present, or future), which would you choose? Why?
- What would you say is your primary motivation to go to Mass each Sunday? You are invited to be introspective and honest: habit, love, you know it’s a good thing to do, you get something out of it, etc… Share and Discuss.
( Disclaimer: if you are going to Mass, no motivation is going to be “wrong”. It is simply good to know one’s reasons.)
- The heart of worship is sacrifice. If this is the case, what is the sacrifice offered at Mass? Is the critical moment of the Mass when we received something or when we give something? What are those moments (of offering and receiving) and how easy is it to miss those moments? Please share and discuss.
- In your experience, have you seen the altar at church more of an “altar of sacrifice” or a “dining table”? How might this change how you approach the Mass? If you don’t see it as either, please share how you do see it.
- What is one thing that you believe might help you show up prepared to truly worship the next time you go to Mass? Please share and discuss.
God in Real Life
What is the lamb around your neck that you bring to the altar?
The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart—that is, the word of faith that we preach— for, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. ~ Romans 10:8-9
Jesus said to him in reply, “It is written: You shall worship the Lord, your God, and him alone shall you serve.” ~ Luke 4: 8
*Adapted from a message series and materials from UMD Newman