The Fisherman’s Wife: The Gospel According to St. Peter’s Spouse by Kathleen Glavich
For Reflection and Discussion . . .
1. Jewish girls dreamed of being the mother of the Messiah. What do girls dream about being today? What did you dream about being when you were a young girl or boy?
2. James, one of the “Sons of Thunder” in the Bible, shows a temper at an early age in the book. How much can parents do to correct character flaws in their children? What could Salome have done to teach James to control his temper?
1. Matthew was obsessed with money. What did Jesus teach about riches? Can you think of an example that shows that being wealthy doesn’t guarantee happiness?
2. In the book Miriam’s accident leads to an encounter with a kind young man. When has an accident or a misfortune in your life turned into a blessing?
1. Jewish men cover their heads with tallits to meet with God in prayer. What do you do to leave the busy world and focus on God in prayer?
2. If you have ever attended a Jewish service or visited a Jewish temple or synagogue, tell about it.
3. What does the Christian faith have in common with the Jewish faith? What practices have we adopted from the Jewish people?
1. An olive tree was Miriam’s thinking spot. What is your favorite quiet place for thinking and praying? When do you especially like to go there
2. Miriam has an arranged marriage, as many girls still do today. What are its pros and cons? Do you believe in love at first sight? How does love begin and grow?
1. How was Miriam’s engagement period and wedding similar to yours? Different?
2. What wedding gift have you received or given that was especially precious?
1. What signs are there that Miriam and Simon truly love each other and their children? What virtues does such love require?
2. How will Jacob’s unexpected death affect Miriam? How will having her mother move in change Miriam’s life? What are the blessings and challenges of caring for an aging parent?
1. Antonius surprised the Jewish population in Capernaum by helping to build a synagogue. When has your view of an “enemy” or undesirable person been changed by a good deed he or she performed? What examples of a “bad person” doing a good deed are there in literature?
2. What do you think it is about John the Baptist that drew people to him? If he were to appear today, what might he say to people? To you?
1. If Jesus asked you, “What are you looking for?” how would you answer?
2. Jesus changed Simon’s name to Peter, which means “rock.” What does your name mean? Does the meaning have significance in your life? Why were you given that name?
3. Mary shows herself a powerful intercessor at Cana. Do you ever ask her to pray for you? Why or why not?
1. What do you think Jesus looked like? Why?
2. When have you witnessed someone forgiving the way our heavenly Father forgives us? Who is in need of your forgiveness?
3. Jesus asks a great sacrifice of Miriam: her husband. What have you had to surrender, perhaps without understanding why? What sacrifices has your faith demanded of you?
1. Jesus has the power to cast out evil. What evil in the world can you ask him to exorcise?
What evil in your life?
2. Miriam is surprised and grateful when Jesus cures her mother in an instant. When has Jesus surprised you by an answer to prayer or by a little miracle?
1. Jewish people regarded lepers and Gentiles, especially Romans, personas non gratas. Jesus, however, reached out to them. Which groups today are unwelcome? What person do you have a hard time accepting? How can you reach out to him or her?
2. God doesn’t punish sinners by making them sick. Some sins, however, do bring on ill health. What are some examples?
1. The feast of Sukkot celebrates the presence of God with the Israelites in the desert. When are you most aware of God’s presence with you? Read Psalm 139 slowly. You might put it in your own words.
2. Miriam is moved on meeting Mary, the mother of Jesus. When have you encountered a person who made a great first impression on you? What was it about that person that affected you?
3. Mary lost Jesus for three days. You can identify with her if you ever lost a child or loved one for a time. If so, what happened?
4. Both Jairus and Bernice show faith in Jesus, Jarius publically and Bernice privately. How can we imitate them?
1. Review the Beatitudes in Matthew 5:3–12. Which Beatitude would you most like to focus on and cultivate in your life? Why?
2. John the Baptist risked his life to preach the truth. Name some people living today who are fearless in speaking out for what is right and just. What historical figures are known for doing this?
3. In what way may Jesus be calling you to leave the boat and walk on water? When did he do this to you in the past? What happened?
1. Disciples’ faith was tested by Jesus’ extraordinary claim to be food and drink that leads to eternal life. What Church teaching do you struggle with?
2. What is your favorite hymn that refers to the Lord’s Supper? Which line speaks to you? Why?
1. What church leader do you know or know of who is a humble servant?
2. What “Tabor moments” have you had that brought you to a new realization about Jesus or life?
3. How would you answer Jesus if he asked, “Who do YOU say that I am?”
1. When have you been helped by a Good Samaritan? Have you been one recently?
2. Imagine the joy of Martha and Mary on seeing Lazarus alive again. Who do you look forward to seeing in heaven?
1. Have you had the opportunity to travel in the Holy Land? What impressed you most about the country?
2. Children love the story of Zacchaeus. What is your favorite Gospel story?
3. Bartimaeus threw off his cloak when Jesus called. What might you have to throw off to be a more committed follower of Jesus?
1. What does worship mean to you? What is your favorite part of the worship you participate in at your church?
2. Why is praying the stations of the cross a good practice?
3. How does Peter’s weakness and betrayal give us hope?
1. Easter is the greatest church feast. What do you do to make it your greatest celebration?
2. Jesus said that those who believe without seeing are blessed. How did your faith begin? What keeps it strong?
3. Just as Jesus forgave Peter, he forgives us and desires to reconcile us to himself. How has Christ’s forgiveness been a blessing for you?
1. When do you invoke the help of the Holy Spirit? How can you give the Holy Spirit a larger role in your life?
2. Imprisonment and beatings did not stop the apostles from evangelizing. What’s stopping you? How can you spread the word about Jesus?
1. If there is a deacon at your church or if you know of one, how does he serve God’s people? How is his wife affected by his commitment to the church?
2. What parable of Jesus means the most to you? Why? Which one is most important for today?
1. Besides Stephen, what martyrs do you know of? How do you feel about dying for the faith?
2. What do we Christians owe Peter? What were his contributions to the Church?
1. Saul is the most famous convert to Christianity. He was converted by Jesus himself. Do you know any Christian converts? What are their stories?
2. Many people in Capernaum did not repent. Some people do not repent today. How can you help them?
1. Peter works miracles as Jesus did. Why do you think such miracles do not occur today? Or do they?
2. Accepting Gentiles was a huge step for the early Church. What other major changes has she seen in history? What future changes might occur? What changes would you like to see?
1. As a Christian, Miriam finds ways to serve others. How do you serve? How can you serve?
2. What new skills have you learned recently or would you like to learn?
3. Miriam was the object of Ahaz’s unwelcome attention. Have you ever had a similar experience? What organizations and movements today are intended to protect women?
1. What groups do you belong to? How do they benefit you?
2. In what ways are women treated more equally today? Where is there still room for improvement?
3. The earliest picture of Jesus depicted him as a shepherd. Why is the image of shepherd for Jesus fitting? Why is it so appealing?
1. To Miriam the sea is a symbol of God. In the psalms God is called a mountain and a fortress. What symbol do you have for God?
2. Miriam dares to save the drowning boy. When have you summoned the courage to do a daring thing? When did you fail to accept a challenge and regret it?
1. What hardships did Miriam’s move from Capernaum entail? Think of a time you had to move. What difficulties resulted? Were they worth it?
2. An angel rescued Peter. What do you know about angels? What kind of relationship do you have with your Guardian Angel?
1. How does your church arrive at making decisions? What changes has it made lately?
2. Peter and other Christians in Antioch gave in to peer pressure and stopped eating with Gentiles. What is required in order to resist peer pressure? Have you ever given in to it? With what results?
1. What verses from Paul’s letters do you find most meaningful?
2. In prison, Miriam reviews her life. Looking back on your life, what observations would you make?