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 MALACHI 3:19-20 FIRST READING
(“…There will arise the sun of justice with its healing rays…”)
1. What will the day be like that is coming? Malachi 3:19
2. What will happen to all the proud and evildoers? Malachi 3:19
3. How will that day leave them? Malachi 3:19
4. Who says this will happen? Malachi 3:19
5. What do the proud and evildoers do? Malachi 3:5, 13-14
6. For those who fear the name of the Lord, what will arise and with what kind of rays? Malachi 3:20
7. What will you do? Malachi 3:20
8. What do those who fear the Lord do? Malachi 3:16
9. What is the difference between the proud, the evildoer and the one who fears the Lord? Malachi 3:18
10. To fear the Lord brings what and what does it avoid? Proverbs 14:27
Personal – Examine your conscience over this past week. What ways have you served the Lord and what ways have you not served him? Do you have one foot in the kingdom and one outside? Read Revelation 3:15-16.
THIRD DAY READ 2 THESSALONIANS 3:7-12 SECOND READING
(“…That we might present ourselves as an example for you to imitate.”)
1. Who is speaking? To whom are they speaking? What are they asking them to do in 2 Thessalonians 3:7? 2 Thessalonians 1:1
2. Why were they asking the Thessalonians to imitate them? 2 Thessalonians 3:6-8
3. What is the workman worth? Matthew 10:10
4. How did they want to present themselves and for what reason? 2 Thessalonians 3:9
5. What was the rule that they laid down while they were with them? 2 Thessalonians 3:10
6. With what did they tell them to work, and for what reason? 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12
7. What did Paul and the others hear that some of them were not doing and how were they acting? 2 Thessalonians 3:11
8. What happens when you don’t keep busy but waste time? 1 Timothy 5:13
9. What did Paul and the others urge them strongly in the Lord Jesus Christ to do and how were they to do it?
2 Thessalonians 3:12
10. What should we remember when working? Colossians 3:23
Personal – If you are a student, if you are a homemaker or working on a job, or if you are retired, what has your attitude been towards the work you are doing? What kind of example are you to outsiders? Reflect on this.
FOURTH DAY READ LUKE 21:5-19 GOSPEL
(“All will hate you because of me,…”)
1. About what were some people speaking? Luke 21:5
2. What did Jesus say to them about the things they were contemplating? Luke 21:6
3. What two things did they ask Jesus? Luke 21:7
4. Who did Jesus say not to follow and what would they be saying? Luke 21:8
5. What is bound to happen first about which we are not to become perturbed? Does the end immediately follow this? Luke 21:9
6. What did Jesus continue to say to them? Luke 21:10-11
7. What did he say would happen to them before all this took place? Luke 21:12
8. What action concerning his name would result in persecution and trial? Acts 5:28
9. What will we be brought to do? What are we not to do and for what reason? Luke 21:13-15
10. With what did Stephen speak when engaged in debate? Acts 6:9-10
11. Who will deliver us up and what will happen to some of us? Luke 21:16
12. What will all do to us because of Jesus and, yet, what will happen to the hair on our heads? Luke 21:17-18
13. How will we save our lives? Luke 21:19
14. Read the following scriptures and write out what they say about patient endurance:
Hebrews 3:14 Hebrews 6:11-12 Hebrews 10:36
Personal – In what way do you see yourself being persecuted because of the name of Jesus? In what way are you persecuting others for their obedience to God? Where do you stand?
FIFTH DAY READ PSALM 98:5-9
(“He will rule the world with justice and the peoples with equity.”)
Read and meditate on Psalm 98:5-9.
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
We read in this passage that the day of judgment is coming like a blazing furnace for those who have turned their backs on God. Malachi exhorted and warned the people about being obedient to the Lord or facing terrible consequences. A blazing furnace is white hot and its function is to burn impurities out of precious metal. It require a hot, dangerous and all consuming fire. Malachi compared judgment day to this.
Many people were disobedient to God’s will and dishonored his name (Mal.1:6). They offered false worship (Mal.1:7-14), and they led others into sin (Mal.2:7-9). Many became arrogant and proud, and they called “evil” good (Mal.2:17). These were the people who Malachi promised would be reduced to stubble on Judgment Day. We need to reflect on our own lifestyle in these troubled times and see if this warning applies to us also. The name of God is mocked and profaned on television and in the movies with great regularity. Idolatry is as common today in this country as it ever was in the time of Abraham. Today many pay homage to the god of sports, television, pornography, abortion, money, and power. That blazing furnace is as real today as it was in the time of Malachi.
Malachi was not a prophet of doom, and he left them with a strong message of hope and forgiveness. He gave us the image of a loving God who will be like a healing warmth of the sun to those that repent and come back to love and obey him. God wills that no man perish. John the Baptist told about the coming of Jesus and said he was like the dawn about to break with light for those in sin and darkness (Luke 1:76-79). Jesus is the light of the world, and we are called to bring that light everywhere.
2 THESSALONIANS 3:7-12
Paul takes a strong stand against laziness in the church leaders and in the people themselves. He strongly exhorts them to be responsible and hard working Christians. Paul certainly did not think that working or insisting that people who should work was an attack on their integrity or dignity. Paul thought that a person should make the most of his time and talents. Paul exhorted them to provide for themselves and for others as well. Paul stresses very strongly how important example is to a community.
We need to stress that today more than ever to our young people and especially our children. What kind of example are you setting? Do people see you as a hard working, kind and patient Christian? Do you spend too much time watching television? Do you spend time alone every day with the Lord in quiet prayer? Do you read and study Scripture every day? These are the type of examples we need to set for others.
Paul really admonishes the people about wasting time gossiping, a sin against the fifth commandment: “Thou shalt not kill.” You kill a person socially, emotionally, and even spiritually inch by inch when you are gossiping about him. Gossips breed distrust, division, discouragement and, finally, despair in the body of Christ. Gossip, in some cases, is exciting to hear; and it means those who are hearing it feel like insiders. Instead of building up, gossiping tears down. Jesus calls us to love others as he has loved us (John 15:12). We cannot be tearing someone down through gossip and think we are loving, obedient Christians. We need to pray to the Lord so that he will heal us of this miserable, bad habit. Our prayers are powerful because our Lord listens and heals (James 5:16).
The temple the disciples were admiring was not Solomon’s temple. Solomon’s temple was destroyed by the Babylonians in the sixth century B.C. The temple in Jesus’ day was the one built by Herod the Great, begun in 20 B.C. It was much larger than the earlier temples. This temple, after many restorations, was destroyed completely in 70 A.D. by the Roman army. The disciples were commenting on the beauty and durability of the temple. Jesus tells them the temple will be knocked down and it will become a pile of rubble. They wanted to know when this terrible event would happen. Jesus warned them about false Messiahs and natural disasters. He told them that he would never leave them and that he would be with them even unto the end of time (Matthew 28:16-20). he warned them about persecution and being dragged into court because of being associated with him. We see that happening today to those involved in a movement to stop abortion by blocking the entrance into the abortion clinics. Many of the protestors have been arrested and hauled into court. A tremendous witness is taking place in our country, so many people have come forward and are being imprisoned for the sake of Christ. Jesus’ warning and his promises still apply to us as we look forward to his return. In response to their question of “knowing when the end of the age will come,” Jesus stated that they should be less concerned about the date and more concerned about being prepared.
We are called to live God’s way constantly so that no matter when he comes, we will be prepared. The early church thrived despite incredible persecution. In the early second century the blood of the Christians was considered the seeds of future believers. We need to remember that Jesus’ words are as true today as they were yesterday. Today we have many families who have turned against each other and suffer great persecution at the hands of their own loved ones. We can be assured that no matter how rough the times may get, he is with us, and his Spirit even teaches us what to say in time of trial.
Jesus tells us, “Not a hair of your head will be harmed.” He means that none of his followers will suffer spiritual or eternal loss. You may lose all of your possessions here on earth, you may be beaten, robbed and even put to death, but you will be saved forever and ever.
In the first reading we are choosing to be either hot or cold. In the second reading we are called to be a role model.In the Gospel we heard that we need to take a stand with God or against him.
Let us choose Christ in every situation we encounter in our homes, church, and jobs. Before we take action in any situation this week let us ask ourselves, “Am I compromising what I believe in by doing this?”