THE BREAD OF LIFE CATHOLIC BIBLE STUDY
By Deacon Ken and Marie Finn
BEFORE YOU BEGIN:
Pray and ask God to speak to you through His Holy Spirit.
“THE PARACLETE, THE HOLY SPIRIT WHOM THE FATHER WILL SEND IN MY NAME, WILL INSTRUCT YOU IN EVERYTHING, AND REMIND YOU OF ALL THAT I TOLD YOU.” (JOHN 14:26)
FIRST DAY Reread last week’s readings.
1. What was a helpful or new thought from the readings or from the homily you heard on Sunday?
2. From what you learned, what personal application did you choose to apply to your life this week?
SECOND DAY READ WISDOM 18:6-9 FIRST READING
(“Your people awaited the salvation of the just.”)
1. What night was known beforehand to our fathers? Wisdom 18:5-6
2. Fill in the following blanks: “With sure knowledge of the oaths in which they put their __________ they might have ____________. Wisdom 18:6
3. What is faith? Hebrews 11:1
4. How does faith come to us? Romans 10:17
5. They put faith in the knowledge of what in order to have courage? Wisdom 18:6
6. What did the people await? Wisdom 18:7
7. Who was punished and in this, what happened to those who had been summoned? Wisdom 18:8
8. What were the holy children offering and what were they putting into effect with one accord? Wisdom 18:9
9. What two things would the holy ones share alike and what had they previously been doing? Wisdom 18:9
Personal – In what way have you been “singing the praises” of what your forefathers, those who believed, have passed on to you? In what way have you passed this faith on to your family?
THIRD DAY READ HEBREWS 11:1-2, 8-19 SECOND READING
(“Faith is confident assurance concerning what we hope for, …”)
1. Fill in the following blanks: “Faith is the confident assurance concerning what we __________ for, and conviction about things we do _______ ________.” Hebrews 11:1
2. Why were the men of old approved by God? Hebrews 11:2
3. What did Abraham do when he was called, where did he go, and did he know where he was going? Hebrews 11:8
4. What did Abraham do in the promised land as in a foreign country and with whom did he dwell in tents who were heirs to the same promise? Hebrews 11:9
5. To what was he looking forward, and who is the designer and maker of this? Hebrews 11:10
6. What did Abraham do by faith, and of what did he think the one who made the promise was worthy? Hebrews 11:11
7. In whom are we to trust? Hebrews 2:13, Isaiah 8:17
8. As a result of this faith, what came forth from the one man? Hebrews 11:12
9. What happened to those who died in faith and for what were they searching? Hebrews 11:13-16
10. What is God not ashamed to be called, what has he prepared for them, what did Abraham do by faith and what would happen through Isaac? Hebrews 11:16-18
11. What did Abraham reason that God was able to do; in so doing, as what did he receive Isaac back? Hebrews 11:19
Personal – List the things you have given up by faith and trust in the Lord. This list can include monetary things or people.
FOURTH DAY READ LUKE 12:32-48 GOSPEL
(“Do not live in fear, little flock”)
1. In what must you not live, and what has pleased our heavenly Father? Luke 12:32
2. What must you do, what must you give and what must you get? Luke 12:33
3. Fill in the following blank: “Wherever your treasure lies, there your _____________ will be.” Luke 12:34
4. What must you do, with whom will it go well when the master returns, and what will the master do with them?Luke 12:35-37
5. If the head of the house knew when the thief was coming, what would he not do? Luke 12:39
6. What are we to be and when will the Son of Man come? Luke 12:40
7. What was the question Peter asked Jesus when the Lord replied with a question and then gave an example? Luke 12:41-42
8. What is the servant doing who is fortunate, and who will the master rank undeserving of trust? Luke 12:43-46
9. What will happen to the one who knew his master’s wishes and what will happen to the one who did not know them? Luke 12:47-48
10. When much has been given a man what will be required of him and what will be asked of a man to whom more has been entrusted? Luke 12:48
Personal – How have you been preparing for the day when you will be face to face with the Lord. Pray and ask the Lord to show you where to spend your money, where to spend most of your time and what you should be doing with your talents (natural gifts God has given you). Repent and receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation this week in order to receive the added grace to change.
FIFTH DAY READ PSALM 33:1, 12, 18-22
(“Happy the nation whose God is the Lord.”)
Read and meditate on Psalm 33:1, 12, 18-22.
What is the Lord saying to you personally through the Psalm?
How can you apply this to your life?
SIXTH DAY READ ALL OF THE COMMENTARY
The Exodus was Moses leading his people out of bondage in Egypt and into freedom in the new land. The angel of death went from house to house and killed the first-born baby. The only ones spared were in the homes that had the blood of the slain lamb spread around its doorsill. The Israelites, rather than succumb to the darkness of false religions and immoral culture, remain loyal to genuine wisdom of their faith.
This passage was written for the Jews who found it essential to keep that night (Exodus) vividly implanted in their minds for maintaining spiritual balance. On that night, all of Egypt’s first-born died.
We see incredible contrasts in this passage, the Hebrews sharing the same things, blessings and dangers, and all the time singing praises to their heavenly Father. We can also hear the despairing cry of their enemies lamenting for their dead children. All suffered, slave, master, common man, even Pharaoh’s first-born died that night. Finally he saw that the faith of the Hebrews was far too strong for him to defeat. He told them to take their God with them and flee from Egypt.
The Jews were delivered from Pharaoh by the power of God’s Holy Word. In faith they read, believed, and lived his word. The Lord delivered them and he will deliver us if we keep his Holy Word in our minds, on our lips and in our hearts. He has given us the gift of faith and in that faith we will find the courage to profess that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior.
Jesus is the new and permanent passover. Through Moses the people passed over from bondage to freedom and then finally they died. Through Jesus we have passed over from death to life and with him we will have eternal life.
HEBREWS 11:1-2, 8-19
This passage challenges us to question the very meaning of faith. What is faith?
Faith is the response to the living presence of the power of God in our lives. It is a response, an acceptance, a belief of a very special gift from God. A birthday always brings the excitement and anticipation of receiving gifts. You knew you would receive some things but there would always be something that was a surprise. Birthdays combine assurance and anticipation and so does faith. Faith is the conviction based on past experience that God’s new and fresh surprises will surely be ours.
We describe faith with words like confidence and certainty. These two qualities need a secure beginning and ending point. The beginning point of faith is believing – “He is what he says.” The end point is believing in God’s promises – “He will do what he says.”
Abraham believed in who God was and he believed in what God promised. His faith was anchored by obedience. It is not enough to believe, we must also, through obedience, RESPOND. Abraham left his home and went to another land, obeying without question. Abraham was even willing to sacrifice his son, Isaac. We should not be surprised if God asks us to give up the security of the familiar to obey him and what he promised. Many people of faith listed in scripture died without receiving all that God promised, but they never lost their vision of heaven.
Today many Christians become frustrated and defeated because their needs, wants, expectations, and demands are not immediately met when they believe in Christ. Many become impatient and want to quit. We need to take courage from those heros of faith who lived and died without seeing the fruit of their faith on earth, and yet they continued to believe. We can in faith trust God with our most prized possessions (our families, etc.). We may not receive what we want immediately, but by responding in faith he will do what he says, when the time is appropriate.
This passage tells us that to worry is not of the Lord. Jesus tells us that it gives his Father great pleasure to give us the kingdom. To understand this verse we must know that when a person was adopted into a Hebrew family, he became legally eligible for all the benefits that were due to him; therefore, he was now a full fledged heir to the estate. Through the blood of Jesus Christ we all become eligible heirs to the King. We need only to accept Jesus as Lord to become an heir to the kingdom.
That is why we do not have to worry, we are heirs of the King. We do not need to worry about how much money we have to make, God will provide for us. This does not mean that we do not need to be responsible or to plan to provide for our families. Money used as an end in itself quickly traps us and cuts us off from both God and the needy. We need to see how much of our money can be used for God’s purposes. Does God’s love touch your wallet? Does your money free you to help others? If so, you are storing up lasting treasures in heaven. We cannot separate what we do from what we believe. What we treasure reveals our true priorities. If your priorities were judged by where you put your time, your money, and your energy, what would be the verdict?
Not only does Jesus tell us to not worry but also to be prepared for his return. Our faith is a response to the living presence of God in our lives. It is through the gift of faith that we can draw on the resources of Jesus Christ. It is Jesus who will supply all of our needs from his riches in glory (Phil. 4:19). We must stop worrying about what the world thinks of us and in faith live in preparation for his return.
Jesus tells us that a kingdom is being prepared for his followers. Furthermore, we are told in this passage that much is required from those to whom much is given, for their responsibility is greater. You and I have much; we have been blessed in many ways. We have a loving, compassionate, forgiving God, who calls on us to be the same as he. Our faith, which is a gift from him, gives us the courage to say “Yes Lord.”
To prepare for the Lord’s return, we must not be hypercritical, but sincere, fearless, and ready to witness. We need not be anxious, but trusting. We should not be greedy but generous, not lazy but diligent. In faith, we can be ready for his return.
“That night,” in the first reading, was a flight of faith out of Egypt. In the second reading, we saw a journey through darkness by our spiritual heroes that was illuminated by their faith. The gospel tells us to be prepared and through the gift of faith, be ready for the Lord’s return.
Today, through our own gift of faith, by daily prayer, reading scripture and receiving the sacraments, we can keep ourselves ready for when the Lord appears personally to each one of us.