Hear & Observe

22nd Sunday of Ordinary Time (B)

The scripture readings the Church puts before us this week all remind us of the importance of listening and doing. Moses commands Israel to both hear the statutes and decrees he teaches them (Dt 4:1), and also to “observe them carefully” (Dt 4:6). James says we should “welcome the word” of God, but warns that we should “be doers of the word and not hearers only” (Jas 1:22). Finally, Jesus, in criticizing those who only give lip-service to faith, implores us to hear and understand (Mk 7:14).

The message is clear. Faith is not meant to be a purely academic exercise. While it is important that we hear and receive the truths God imparts to us through the scriptures and the teachings of the Church, these are not mere facts to memorize or catalog in a notebook. These are truths meant to change our lives. We should receive the word of God not just into our minds, but into our hearts, and put the truth of the gospel into practice. That’s where the rubber meets the road. That’s what it means to hear and understand, listen and observe, to be doers of the word and not hearers only. It means walking the walk, not just talking the talk.

Just how to put the faith into practice isn’t always easy to figure out. What does it mean to be a practicing Christian on a 21st century college campus? How do we apply the word of God to the particular challenges we face in this day and age?

You don’t have to figure these questions out on your own. The Church is here to help.

This week we will begin offering different small discussion groups that will meet throughout the semester. Fr. Michael White, author of the book Rebuilt, describes the importance of small faith groups in these words: “Small groups are the place where our great big church can get small and personal, where we’re known, loved, and cared for.” Small groups are safe places for you to explore your questions about the intersection of faith and life, and what it means to put your faith into action.

In addition to student-led Bible study groups that meet on Monday and Tuesday evenings, this semester I will be leading two discipleship small groups on Fridays (in the morning and afternoon). These discipleship groups are aimed at those students who are Christian believers looking for guidance to live their faith more intentionally — in other words, to be a true disciple.

I strongly encourage every student to participate in one of these small groups as a means of fostering your faith in a supportive community. God means for you to put your faith into action, but He doesn’t mean for you to do it alone.

Small Group Meeting Times

  • MONDAYS @ 6:00 PM: Student-led Bible Study, 2nd floor of AK Hinds University Center (by the blue couches)
  • TUESDAYS @ 6:00 PM: Student-led Bible Study, 2nd floor of AK Hinds University Center (by the blue couches)
  • FRIDAYS @ 11:00 AM: Discipleship Small Group, Catholic Student Center
  • FRIDAYS @ 3:00 PM: Discipleship Small Group, Catholic Student Center