TWENTIETH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME (Aug. 19th) – CYCLE B

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THE BREAD OF LIFE CATHOLIC BIBLE STUDY

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 PROVERBS 9:1-6         FIRST READING

(“Forsake foolishness that you may live; advance in the way of understanding.”)

1.   What has wisdom done?  Proverbs 9:1-3

 

2.   From where does wisdom come?   Sirach 1:1

 

3.   What is the beginning of wisdom?   Sirach 1:12

 

4.   If we desire wisdom, what must we do?   Sirach 1:23

 

5.   What does wisdom say?  Proverbs 9:4-6

 

6.   What do the simple lack?  Proverbs 9:4

 

7.   What does Paul say about the cross, and what is written about the wise?  1 Corinthians 1:18-19

 

8.   What has God given us, and how has he made known the mystery of his will?  Ephesians 1:7-9

 

9.   What comes from wisdom?  James 3:13.

 

10.  Of what does the wisdom that comes from above consist?  James 3:17.

 

Personal – Do you have the wisdom that comes from above and how does it show itself in your everyday life?

 

THIRD DAY           READ EPHESIANS 5:15-20     SECOND READING

(“…try to understand what is the will of the Lord.”)

1.   What are we to watch carefully?  Ephesians 5:15

 

2.   What are we to do, keeping in mind that these are evil days? Eph. 5:16

 

3.   In what are we not to continue, and what are we to try to understand?  Ephesians 5:17

 

4.   What can alienate we from the life of God?   Ephesians 4:18.

 

5.   How do we discern the will of God?   Romans 12:2.

 

Personal  –  In what way can you see your ignorance of scripture as being a detriment to you? 

 

6.   What are we not to do, and with what are we to be filled? Ephesians 5:18

 

7.   How are we to address one another?  Ephesians 5:19

 

8.   In what ways do we teach and admonish one another, and how are we to do it?   Colossians 3:16.

 

9.   For what are we to give thanks, and in whose name?  Ephesians 5:20

 

10.  In everything we do, in word or in deed, in whose name do we do it?   Colossians 3:17.

 

Personal  –  What are you doing in your everyday life to try to understand the will of God for you personally?

 

FOURTH DAY             READ JOHN 6:51-58                GOSPEL

 (“Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life.”

1.  Who is speaking and what does he say he is? John 6:43, 51

 

2.   What does Jesus say will happen to those who eat this bread, and what does he specifically say the bread is, and what is it for?  John 6:51

 

3.   What were the Jews doing, and what were they questioning? John 6:52

 

4.   What two things did Jesus say we had to do in order to have life within us?  John 6:53

 

5.   What will happen to him who feeds on his flesh and drinks his blood on the last day?  John 6:54

 

6.   What did Jesus say are his flesh and Blood, and where is a person who eats his flesh and drinks his Blood?  John 6:55-56

 

7.   How do we know whether he remains in us?   1 John 3:24.

 

8.   What did Jesus say the Father is who sent him, and what does he have because of the Father?  John 6:57

 

9.   What will we have if we feed on Jesus?  John 6:57

 

10.  What is not like our ancestors?  John 6:58

 

Personal  –  In what way have you eaten of the body of Christ, and in what way have you drunk from the same cup of blood as Jesus did?

 

FIFTH DAY          READ PSALM 34:2-3, 10-15

(“Turn from evil, and do good; seek peace, and follow after it.”) Read and meditate on Psalm 34:2-3, 10-15.

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   

                        PROVERBS 9:1-6

What the book of Psalms is to devotional life, the book of Proverbs is to everyday life.  Proverbs gives practical suggestions for effective living.  A proverb is a short, wise, easy to learn saying that calls a person to action.  The book of Proverbs focuses on God’s character, his works and his blessings.  We need to focus on how we can live in a close relationship with him.  In today’s chapter, wisdom and foolishness could be portrayed as rival young women, each preparing a feast and inviting people to it.  Wisdom is a responsible person of character.  Wisdom appeals first to the mind and foolishness to the senses.  The number seven represents completeness and perfection.  All were invited to go to the banquet, and many probably intended to go; but many never made it because they got sidetracked by everything else that seemed more important at that time.

 We always need to remember not to let anything else become more important than our search and walk with the Lord. Today there is so much distraction in our lives.  We are being pulled in so many directions.  We hear the call to education, the call to wealth, and the call to fame and power.  We can hardly hear the call to holiness because of so many distractions.  Jesus invites us to his holy banquet of love.  He invites us to feed upon his body and blood and be alive eternally.  Today’s passage is a tremendous reminder that wisdom begins with the reverential fear of the Lord.  This means that fear of missing out on being and partaking in and of the presence of the source of all wisdom and knowledge.  I am, of course, speaking about the presence of God being in our midst. 

You are being challenged today to leave behind all of your foolishness and begin the real experience of being fully human and  alive.  Jesus himself tells us how to achieve this when he said, “I am the way, the truth and the life.” (John 14:6).

 

                       EPHESIANS 5:15-20

Today’s reading really makes us aware that these are difficult days in which we live.  There is a saying that really is on target.  It states that “we live what we really believe.” Today’s passage communicates a sense of urgency because of evil’s pervasiveness.  We need the same type of urgency because our days and nights are for many people difficult, and dangerous.  The need for high moral standards, compassion and wisdom has never been higher than it is today.  We need only to look around us in our different communities just to know what God wants us to do is not enough.  We must become doers of his holy Word.  We must follow our beliefs with the actions of our own lifestyle.  We need to become a people filled with the Holy Spirit, not filled with booze that produces harmful effects.  We have seen the horrors of what happens when people are filled with alcohol and drugs.  When people are filled with the Holy Spirit, they  will become healed, healthy and holy.  Jesus called us to this when he said “I give you not just life but life in all its fullness.”  (John 10:10). 

In the meetings of the early church, the Christians enjoyed speaking to one another.  They talked about how the Lord was affecting their attitudes and actions within their families and sphere of friends and acquaintances.  When you are in a gathering of people do you share what the Lord is doing in your life?  You may be witnessing to someone who is down and finding it very difficult to give thanks.  Your witness or sharing may be just what that person needs to hear.  We can all take heart no matter what is going on around us. God works all things out for good, for those who love him and follow his will.  (Romans 8:28).  Today, right now, thank God; not for your problems, but for the strength that he is building in you through the difficult experiences of your life.

 

                         JOHN 6:51-58

Today’s Gospel challenges us to define what it really means to eat the living bread.  There are many people today who ask the same question, “How can Jesus give us his flesh to eat?” (v. 52).  We are all united with Christ by believing in his death and resurrection.  We are united with him by devoting ourselves to living in accordance with his teachings and trusting in the power of the Holy Spirit.

 The message that Jesus gave was a shocking one, it seems almost cannibalistic.  His statement to eat his flesh and drink his blood seemed to the religious leaders to be in conflict with the law that forbade drinking blood (Lev. 17:10).  Jesus was saying that his life had to become their own. They had to abide in him and he would come and abide with them (John 15:4).

  Jesus was telling them, and he also is telling us today that we who partake of him complete­ly will live forever.  He declares that he is the bread from heaven.  Moses was present when the bread from heaven, the “manna”, was made available.  This bread, while life-giving to the people in the wilderness, was still only temporary.  All of these people eventually died.  Jesus, on the other hand, is saying that the bread he is offering which comes from the Father, through the power of the Holy Spirit, will bring life that never will die.  Jesus is our eternal food and his blood is our eternal life.  We call this the sacrament of Holy Eucharist, the word means thanksgiving.

  To those who do not believe, this is beyond under­standing.  To those in faith who do believe, no explanation is really necessary.  Jesus tells the world that he is the bread of life and anyone who eats this bread shall live forever, and not die as our ancestors did on that plain of wilderness in the desert.  You have been given the food for eternal life in word and sacrament and that is what the Good News is all about.

 

Application 

The first reading tells us that the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord.  The second reading reveals that the way we live is really what we believe.  The Gospel announces that the living bread is Jesus Christ.

This week, show your family that your lifestyle is really a reflection of what you profess in church.  Let them see your wisdom in your reverence for God’s Holy Word and his sacrament or Holy Communion this week.  This week, witness and instruct your family members that only through Jesus can they obtain eternal life.

Posted in Bible Studies.