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 GENESIS 14:18-20 FIRST READING
(“Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.”)
- What two things was Melchizedek, what did he bring out, and who did he bless? Genesis 14:18
- What does the name “King of Salem” mean? Hebrews 7:2
- Where is God’s abode, and what is another name for this place? Psalm 76:3
- Who is Abram, and what did God make him? Genesis 17:5
- By whom is Abram blessed? Genesis 14:19
- Why do you praise the name of the Lord? Psalm 148:5
- Who is blessed by the Lord? Psalm 112:2
- What did God Most High do? Genesis 14:20
- What did Abram give, and from what did he give it? Genesis 14:20
- What is the vow Jacob made to the Lord, and what did he faithfully return to the Lord? Genesis 28:20-22
Personal – In what way have you been blessed by the Lord, and what have you returned to the Lord?
THIRD DAY READ 1 CORINTHIANS 11:23-26 SECOND READING
(“For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you.”)
- From whom did Paul receive what he handed on to you, and how did he receive it? 1 Corinthians 11:23, Galatians 1:11-12
- What was handed on to us? 1 Corinthians 11:23-25
- What did Jesus do with the bread on the night he was handed over, and who did he say it was for? 1 Corinthians 11:23-24
- Of what is Jesus mediator? Hebrews 8:6
- What did Jesus say the cup of wine was? 1 Corinthians 11:25
- What is the cup of blessing that is blessed and the bread that we break? 1 Corinthians 10:16-17
- For whom was his blood shed? Luke 22:20
- What do we proclaim each time we eat the bread and drink the cup? 1 Corinthians 11:26
- For what are we to wait? 1 Corinthians 1:7
- In what way are we to speak to one another?1 Corinthians 14:6
Personal – Each time you receive communion, what do you hand on or pass on to others?
FOURTH DAY READ LUKE 9:11-17 GOSPEL
(“Give them some food yourselves.”)
- What did the crowds do when Jesus went to Bethsaida, and what did Jesus do when he saw them? Luke 9:11
- As the day was nearing an end, who approached Jesus? For what reason did they ask him to dismiss the crowd? Luke 9:12
- What did Jesus tell the apostles to give the people?Luke 9:13
- What did Jesus say was true food and true drink?John 6:55
- What did Jesus say his food was? John 4:34
- What did the apostles tell Jesus was all they had?Luke 9:13
- How many men were there, what did Jesus tell his disciples, and what did the people do? Luke 9:14-15
- What did Jesus do with the five loaves and two fish?Luke 9:16
- What happened to the people when they ate, and how much was left over? Luke 9:17
- What does the Lord give, and who does he satisfy?Psalm 145:15-16
Personal – How does the food you eat satisfy you? In what way are you satisfied when you receive communion?
FIFTH DAY READ PSALM 110:1-4
(“Rule in the midst of your enemies.”)
Read and meditate on Psalm 110:1-4.
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 we see the powerful bond of family ties which inspired Abram to rescue his nephew Lot from being kidnapped by a powerful and ruthless king of a northern tribe. When Abram learned that his nephew was a prisoner, he immediately tried to help him. Sometime, we must get inv olved in a very painful situation in order to help others. We should be willing to act right away when others need help (Proverbs 24:11).
Melchizedek was a holy man whose name means “King of Justice” (Heb. 7:2). He was a priest of “the God of Highest Heaven.” He recognized that God was the creator of heaven and earth. Abram knew who he was and was paying respect to him. Abram gave Melchizedek one-tenth of the booty. We see that even in the land of pagan gods, tithing was a customary and acceptable action towards the “gods.” Abram followed and accepted ancient tradition, but he refused the “booty” won from the war. Abram chose to give his share away because he did not want others to think that he went into battle for greedy reasons.
Abram wanted others to see that his actions were very just and that his life was centered around his God. Abram wanted people to say, “Look what his God has done for him.” Abram did not want the attention of his “victory” to be centered on him. He wanted everyone to know that God had won him the victory. When people look at you, they need to see what God has accomplished in you, and what he is doing with you right now.
1 CORINTHIANS 11:23-26
The Lord’s supper is a visible representation of the gospel, the death of Christ for our sins. It focuses on the remembrance of Christ’s death and the glorious hope of his return. In the Catholic Church we believe in the real presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist. This worship service is called “The Mass,” and it is a celebration of Word and Sacrament. It is also an act of fellowship among all Catholic believers. Our faith is strengthened through fellowship with Christ and with all other believers.
What does the Lord’s Supper mean? The early church told that Jesus taught us about the Lord’s supper on the night of the Passover (Luke 22:13-20). The Passover celebrated deliverance from slavery in Egypt, and the Lord’s supper celebrates deliverance from sin by Christ’s death on the cross. All Catholic Christians believe that when the words “This is my body,” and “Take this cup and drink” are spoken, the real presence of Christ appears in the bread and wine to become the body and blood of Christ. When we receive Christ in the Eucharist (which means thanksgiving) at a Catholic Mass, we respond by saying “Amen.” This means, “I believe it, yes, I am part of the body of Christ.”
Through this new covenant that Christ has given us, we can now personally approach God and communicate with him. The old covenant was made on Mount Sinai between God and the Israelites (Exodus 19,20) and was designed to point to the day when Jesus would come. The new covenant completes, rather than replaces, the old covenant. We are recommitting ourselves to this new covenant every time we proclaim his Holy Word and partake of his body and blood at the Catholic Mass.
Jesus had tried to slip quietly away from the huge crowds and head for the town of Bethsaida, but they found out where he was going and followed him. He knew the people were hurting and had many needs, so instead of showing impatience at this interruption, he welcomed them and ministered to them. When people interrupt your schedule, do you see this as a nuisance or as a reason for your life and ministry?
Jesus taught mainly about the kingdom of God, and he stressed that the kingdom was here and now, not some place and time in the future. There are many people today who do not believe that the kingdom of God is real and present in the hearts of those who believe in Jesus. It is as present with us today, as it was with the Judeans two thousand years ago.
The disciples displayed a typical, logical, human reaction when told to feed the crowd. They took on the responsibility of having to perform the impossible. They felt that what they had to offer was far too little to get the job done. They were right, and Jesus knew that, but he was not depending on what the people brought. Jesus was giving, simply, because he knew their needs and he wanted to meet them. He does that today with all of us.
Whatever we have, if we bring it to Jesus, he will give thanks, he will bless it, break it, and share it with others. That is the purpose of our life here on earth. Jesus did not have to feed those people. He could have said a prayer and then sent them away. But Jesus does not ignore needs. He is concerned with every part of our lives, physical, emotional and spiritual. Today we are called to continue the miracle of feeding others through him.
The first reading shows Abram’s victory was not the battle, but God himself. The second reading explains that “Amen” means “Yes, I believe I am part of the body of Christ.” We see in the Gospel Jesus’ solution is the same today as it was yesterday – “Feed them.”
This week, let the presence of Christ saturate your total being, and take the risk to feed your family and friends the food of eternal life. Witness to them about what Christ is doing in your life.
That is how you feed other people. You pray daily for them, and you encourage them to read and study his Holy Word. Then you show them the Word in action; you minister to their needs. Begin feeding your own family; then feed others. You will be amazed when you discover you cannot run out of spiritual food. Let the “Amen” in you be heard throughout your family and friends.