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.
What was a helpful or new thought from the readings or from the homily you heard on Sunday?
From what you learned, what personal application did you choose to apply to your life this week?
SECOND DAY READ WISDOM 11:22-12:1 FIRST READING
(“For you love all things that are.”)
What two things is the whole universe like? Wisdom 11:22
What does God have on all and what can he do? Wisdom 11:23
What does God overlook and for what reason? Wisdom 11:23
Of what is God not unaware and for what does he give man space? Wisdom 12:10
What does God call men everywhere to do? Acts 17:30
What does God do to all things that are, what does he loathe, and for what reason? Wisdom 11:24
What is the Lord to all people and toward all his works? Psalm 145:9
Unless God does what, how can anything remain or be preserved? Wisdom 11:25
What does God do to all things, for what reason and of what is he a lover? Wisdom 11:26
What is in all things? Wisdom 12:1
What does the Spirit of the Lord ll and what does he know? Wisdom 1:7
Personal – How have I accepted God’s love for me? In what way have I overlooked the sins of a family member, friend, or co-worker and given them an opportunity to repent and thus show my love for them?
THIRD DAY READ 2 THESSALONIANS 1:11-2:2 SECOND READING
(“We pray for you always.”)
Who is speaking and to whom is he speaking in 2 Thessalonians 1:11-2:2? 2 Thessalonians 1:1
What do they do always for the church and for what reason? 2 Thessalonians 1:11
How does God fulfill every honest intention and work of faith? 2 Thessalonians 1:11
Who begets (brings forth) in you any measure of desire or achievement? Philippians 2:1
Who may be glorified in you and you in him and how is this done? 2 Thessalonians 1:12
On the question of whose coming, and of who is being gathered with him, how is Paul addressing the brothers? 2 Thessalonians 2:1
What two things is he begging them not to let happen so easily? 2 Thessalonians 2:2
What three ways is he saying not to be swayed into believing that the day of the Lord is here? 2 Thessalonians 2:2
How is the Lord going to come again and what will happen to those who have died in Christ? 1 Thessalonians 4:13-16
What will happen to those who are living, the survivors and what are we to do with this message? 1 Thessalonians 4:17
Personal – In what way have you been preparing for the Lord’s second coming?
FOURTH DAY READ LUKE 19:1-10 GOSPEL
(“The Son of Man has come to search out and save what is lost”)
As Jesus entered Jericho who was there, what was his name, what position did he hold, and what economic status did he hold? Luke 19:1-2
Who came to be baptized by John the Baptist and what did he tell them? Luke 3:12-14
Which one of Jesus’ disciples was a tax collector? Matthew 9:9
What was Zacchaeus doing, why did he want to do this and what prevented him from doing this? Luke 19:3
What did he first do and when that did not work, what did he then do? Luke 19:4
What did Jesus do when he came to the spot where Zacchaeus was and what did he say to him? Luke 19:5
How did Zacchaeus descend and how did he welcome Jesus? Luke 19:6
When this was observed what did everyone begin to murmur? Luke 19:7
What did Zacchaeus do and what did he say to the Lord? Luke 19:8
What did Jesus say to him? Luke 19:9
Why did the Son of Man come? Luke 19:10
Personal – In what way have you repaid anyone you may have defrauded? In what way has Jesus come to search you out and save you personally? Share with someone in your family or with a friend.
FIFTH DAY READ PSALM 145:1-2, 8-11, 13-14
(“The Lord is good to all.”)
Read and meditate on Psalm 145:1-2, 8-11, 13-14.
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
This passage forces us to reflect on how much we are loved and protected by God. We are being told that this awesome universe is like being compared to a small particle used for weighing on sensitive scales. In God there is so much more and yet our universe is as precious to him as early morning dew.We hear about a God who is so majestic that even though he can do all things, he loves being merciful.Wisdom is so precious because it helps us to understand God’s incredible love for us.
God doesn’t miss anything, he sees our failures and yet he constantly encourages us to go forward. He gives us so much room to repent and to enjoy his kingdom (Mark 1:15). It is so hard for man to understand God’s love, because God loves everything that he has created. God does not make junk, we are not junk, and God will never make junk. That is why he loves us always. God loves us so much he gave us his only Son, so that all who believe in him will not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16). Do you really believe that he loved you so much he died knowing that you would be sinning (Romans 5:8)? He did.
Wisdom is fear of the Lord, not a fear of punishment but fear of offending his love and goodness, because true love drives out fear (1 John 4:18). God’s love for us is complete in Jesus. He gives us his command, love one another as I have loved you (John 15:12).Wisdom is knowing that the Spirit of the Lord is given for all men and that the Spirit will instruct us in everything (John 14:26).The Holy Spirit is all embracing and this means that the arms of Christ were stretched out wide on the cross of Calvary so that you and I can have the incredible privilege of choosing life or death.The wise person will choose life; the fool will choose death.
2 THESSALONIANS 1:11-2:2
Paul is now encouraging the people because they had been going through a time of turmoil and confusion about the “last days.”The thought of the world coming to an end and Jesus coming back led many to give up the responsibilities of daily life. Some of the people did not want to go back to work, some did not want to continue to meet their financial obligations. Paul is telling them in this passage that their life and the way that they live is a reflection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Paul also tells them that God calls us to live in honor and have faith in his promise. His promise is that all who believe in him will not perish but instead have eternal life with him.
Paul goes on to tell them that the day which the Lord is to come back is not yet known, but his Spirit will be within us until then (John 14:26). We hear today many new ways to “talk the talk” and “walk the walk.”We hear and see quite a bit of the “new age” theology which calls us to become gods unto ourselves. We really need to reflect on the seduction of the age that Paul spoke about in verse three.When the Church marries the age or times, the church quickly becomes a widow.
Paul is telling them, as he is telling us, that there is only one way to eternal life, and that is through Jesus; and that only God knows when the end days are near. Our faith depends only on the living presence of the power of God in our lives.We are to live our lives as if this is the day that Jesus comes to take us home to the Father.
Once again we see Jesus being the classic minister. Jesus knew full well what the local townspeople thought about tax collectors and knew that his actions would provoke a tremendous amount of controversy.He wanted them to love the sinner and hate the sin, but not hate the sinner as well as the sin. He chose to show them that by having dinner with Zacchaeus he was open to healing a person’s heart no matter what his station in life.
Zacchaeus knew that the people thought that he was a crook as most tax collectors were in those days (Luke 5:27- 32). Zacchaeus was wealthy but not happy. He probably was very lonely because he had chosen a way that made him an outcast. He no doubt had heard of Jesus and his love for outcasts like tax collectors and sinners like himself, and wondered if he had any “good news” for him. Despised and hated by the local town people, Zacchaeus was reaching out for the love and acceptance of God. One has to remember that Zacchaeus was small in stature and he took a great risk to be seen alone in public. He could not see over the crowd so he finally found a tree that he could climb and see Jesus as he walked by.
Can you imagine the thrill that went through Zacchaeus when he heard Jesus’ invitation. He literally jumped out of the tree in joy and shock and proclaimed to the community that he was a changed man. He knew that Jesus was risking the rejection of the crowd by saying that he wanted to stay at the home of a known sinner. Jesus does that today with you and me. He tells us that he wants to stay in our house, which means in our hearts. Zacchaeus then made a decision; he decided to love, because he had experienced the incredible gift of God’s love. Because of this love he then decided to give half of his goods to the poor. In his restitution he went far beyond what the law required. Only if robbery was a pre-meditated violent act of destruction was a fourfold giving back necessary (Exodus 22:1).
Zacchaeus showed that he was a changed man by his actions not just his words. Zacchaeus was a man who had repented because of love not force.A man or woman who repents, changes completely.Repentance is not only saying “I am sorry.” Zacchaeus’ testimony would have been completely worthless if it was not backed up by deeds.We should re ect on today’s story and see where, in our lives, repentance is needed.
Like Zacchaeus, we need to have Jesus reside in our hearts in order to love and be loved (John 15:12).This passage ends with Jesus telling us that he came to search out and save the lost. Zacchaeus was a Jew, a child of Abraham, and the Lord came to him and brought him back into the kingdom.We have that same loving God who is always ready to come to our “house” and bring us home, too.
The first reading tells us how much we are loved and protected by God in spite of our selfishness.The second reading shows that the way we live is a reflection of what we believe.The Gospel demonstrates through the story about Zacchaeus that actions speak louder than words. Repentance means change.
Pick one specific bad habit and in prayer and faith work on it for this week.Testimony of words without action is worthless, so share with someone special your progress.The way that you talk to your children tells that they are either special or a burden. Let your family know that you are submitting yourself to the Lord and are giving him permission to change you. It works. He changed Zacchaeus and he wants to change you.