THE BREAD OF LIFE CATHOLIC BIBLE STUDY
by Deacon Ken and Marie Finn
CHRISTMAS DAY – CYCLE A-B-C
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 ISAIAH 52:7-10 FIRST READING
(“Your God is King”)
- Whose feet are beautiful and what does he announce? Isaiah 52:7, Romans 10:15
- What are we not to be afraid to cry out? Isaiah 40:9
- Why do the watchmen shout for joy? Isaiah 52:8
- What are the watchmen never to do? Isaiah 62:6
- What are we to do together and for what reason? Isaiah 52:9
- Why does God comfort and encourage us? 2 Cor 1:3-4
- Whom does the Lord redeem? Psalm 34:23
- What has the Lord done with his holy arm and in the sight of whom? Isaiah 52:10
- What will all the ends of the earth see? Isaiah 52:10
- What is to be known upon the earth, among all nations? Psalm 67:3
Personal – To whom have you been announcing peace and good news? How do people see the joy and salvation of the Lord upon you?
THIRD DAY READ HEBREWS 1:1-6 SECOND READING
(“Let all the angels of God worship him.”)
- How did God speak in times past? Hebrews 1:1
- How does God speak to us now, what did he make him, and what did he do through him? Hebrews 1:2
- What came to be through him (Jesus)? John 1:3-4
- Of whom is Jesus the reflection and perfect copy, and by what are all things sustained? Hebrews 1:3
- When Jesus accomplished purifications from sins what did he do? Hebrews 1:3
- How did Jesus accomplish this purification? Col 1:15-20
- What has Jesus inherited, and to what is he far superior? Hebrews 1:4
- Because Jesus humbled himself becoming obedient to death, what did God do to him? Philippians 2:8-9
- What are the questions asked about angels, and what does he say about his first born? Hebrews 1:5
- Who is ruler of the kings of the earth and who loves us? Revelations 1:5
Personal – How have you been sustained by God’s Mighty Word and how have you worshipped his Son Jesus this past week?
FOURTH DAY READ JOHN 1:1-18 GOSPEL
( “And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us,”)
- Who was in the beginning? John 1:1,14
- Who did Jesus say he was to the Father? John 10:30
- Who was in the beginning with God and what was this life that came to be through him? John 1:2-4
- What has the darkness not overcome? John 1:5
- Who came for testimony, to what did he testify, and what did he say about himself? John 1:6-8
- What does the true light do, how did the world come to be, and who did not accept him? John 1:9-11
- To those who did accept Jesus what did he give them power to become, in what did they believe, and how were they born? John 1:12-13
- Who can enter the kingdom of God? John 3:5
- What has not been revealed and what will happen to us when it is revealed? 1 John 3:2
- When the Word became flesh what was he full of? John 1:14
- What did John say about Jesus, what came through Moses, and what came through Jesus? John 1:15-17
- Who has revealed the Father to us? John 1:18
Personal – What has Jesus revealed to you about the Father?
FIFTH DAY READ PSALM 98:1-6
(” The Lord has made his salvation known.”)
Read and meditate on Psalm 98:1-6
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
In today’s passage God urges his people to draw comfort from past history and to look forward to a greater exodus. He is telling them that it is time to shake off the grief and lethargy that has overtaken them. There is the sound of Good News that God is about to escort his people home, to Jerusalem, God’s holy city, the city with God’s temple. But the people experienced desolation instead of prosperity, and destruction instead of liberty. The people suffered terribly because of their sins, but God promised to restore Jerusalem as a holy city.
God reigns, and today he still is very much in control. Today’s verse states how beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of peace and salvation (v.7). How beautiful are the feet of those who go forth and preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Rom. 10:15). How welcome are those who bring the message of hope to a broken, hopeless, segment of our world.
God’s great message of salvation must be through us to others so they can have the chance to respond to the “Good News”. How will our loved ones hear it unless we take it to them. How will the nations hear it unless someone takes it to them? God is calling us to take a part in making his message known in our family and our community. Think of one person who needs to hear the good news, and think of something you can do to help him or her hear it. Then you go out and do that act, in Jesus’ name, as soon as possible.
The letter to the Hebrews was written to a group of Jewish Christians who appeared to be having second thoughts about Jesus Christ being their long-awaited Messiah. They should have been a community of mature Christians by this time; instead, they seemed to be sort of withdrawn and inward-looking in their spiritual walk. They needed a strong reminder that what they now possess in Christ is far better than what they had before they became Christians.
This passage begins with a tremendous affirmation of Jesus’ divinity. Through Jesus, God has made his supreme and final revelation of himself to man. Jesus is the living embodiment of the character and majesty of God. Jesus has dealt with the problem of human sin by sacrificing himself on the cross and paying the ransom for all mankind with his blood. He is now at God’s side in the position of supreme power. The angels, whom the Jews came very close to worshipping themselves, worship Jesus Christ. They are spiritual beings and they are to serve and glorify God himself.
The people were well versed in scripture and whether through doubt, persecution, or false teaching, they seemed to be in danger of falling away from their Christian faith. This danger is very much present in today’s world. There is much false teaching today and many so-called “Shepherds” are just wolves in sheep’s clothing. We need to stay in fellowship, pray, and to study God’s Holy Word, and follow the teachings of our church. Take the time this Christmas season to thank the Lord for bringing his light into your heart and bringing about a better relationship with him. Remember, it is Jesus birthday, and the present he wants most is YOU!
This passage clearly shows that what Jesus taught and what he did are tied inseparably to who he is. In today’s reading John shows Jesus as fully human and fully God. Although Jesus took upon himself full humanity and lived as a man experiencing all the emotions that all of us have, he never ceased to be God who has always existed. This is the truth about Jesus, and the foundation of all truth. If we cannot or do not believe this basic truth, we will not have enough faith to trust our eternal destiny to him. This is the reason John writes this Gospel, to build faith and confidence in Jesus Christ, so that we may believe he truly was and is God in the flesh (John 20:30-31).
Jesus’ life brings light to mankind, in his light we see ourselves as we really are: sinners in need of a savior. We fall on our knees, and like the shepherds at the little cave in Bethlehem, we too give praise and glory to the light of the world, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The wise men followed the light of a star to see the light of the world. When we follow Jesus, the light of the world, we can avoid walking blindly and falling into sin. He lights the path ahead of us so we can see how to live. He removes the darkness of sin from our lives, and if we have allowed the light of Christ to shine in our lives this Christmas season, then we will never stumble in the darkness.
As the world celebrates the birth of Christ, let yourself be reborn spiritually. Through faith in Christ this new birth changes us from the inside out – rearranging our attitudes, desires and motives. Have you asked Christ to make you a new person on Christmas day? This fresh start is available to all who believe in him. Merry Christmas.
The first reading tells us how beautiful are the feet of those who go forth and proclaim God’s Word. The second reading shows that encouragement and discipline lead to a stronger commitment to God. The Gospel reveals Christmas as a time of new birth, a time of giving your life over to God.
This week, give those you love the greatest present you could give them for Christmas. How beautiful are your feet as you go forth and gift them with the gift of your presence, of your love, of salvation by bringing them to Christ. Remember, it is Christ’s birthday, and the presents should all be for him, and he only wants you!