By Deacon Ken and Marie Finn





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?



(“As king he shall reign and govern wisely, he shall do what is just and right in the land.”)

1. What does the Lord say will happen to those who are shepherds and mislead and scatter the flock? Jeremiah 23:1-2


2. What does the shepherd who knows no discretion go after? Isaiah 56:11


3. What does the Lord say about those shepherds who pasture themselves? Ezekiel 34:1-2


Personal – In what way have you made a judgment on leaders in the church, and what do you need to do to rectify it?



4. What does the Lord say he will do for the remnants of his flock, and what will they do? Jeremiah 23:3


5. What will the Lord appoint or raise up for the flock, what will they no longer have need to do, and how many shall be lost? Jeremiah 23:4


6. What did the Son of Man come to do? Luke 19:10



7. What does the Lord say he will raise up, and what shall he do? Jeremiah 23:5



8. What will happen to Judah and Israel, and what is the name they will give him? Jeremiah 23:6


9. How is the king’s throne made firm? Proverbs 25:5



10. How will the Good Shepherd pasture his sheep? Ezekiel 34:14-16



Personal – In what way has Jesus drawn you to himself personally?




THIRD DAY                              READ EPHESIANS 2:13-18                             SECOND READING

(“He came and preached the Good News of peace to you who were far off, and peace to those who were near.”)

1. How have we been brought close to one another? Ephesians 2:13


2. What did Jesus do through his flesh? Ephesians 2:14


3. What did Jesus make for us by the blood of his cross? Colossians 1:20



4. How was peace established? Ephesians 2:15



5. How were both circumcised (Jew) and uncircumcised (Gentile) reconciled to God? Ephesians 2:16



6. What has God given us through Christ? 2 Corinthians 5:18



7. What did Christ come preaching, and to whom did he preach? Ephesians 2:17



8. Where did Jesus say we will find peace, and what has Jesus done with the world? John 16:33



9. How do we have access to the Father? Ephesians 2:18



10. What must we have in Jesus that gives us boldness and confidence? Ephesians 3:12



Personal – How do you approach the Father in prayer? In what way are you at peace with yourself and those around you?




FOURTH DAY                                                       READ MARK 6:30-34                                                         GOSPEL

(“…and he began to teach them many things.”)

1. With whom did the Apostles gather together, and what did they tell him? Mark 6:30



2. What are the names of Jesus’ Apostles? Matthew 10:2



3. What did Jesus say to his Apostles, and what was keeping them from even eating? Mark 6:31



4. What day did God give to Moses as a designated day of rest? Exodus 31:15



5. What does Jesus say he will do for the tired and weary? Matthew 11:28-29



Personal – Where do you go, and what do you do when you are tired?




6. Where did Jesus and his Apostles go, and what did the people do? Mark 6:32-33



7. What was Jesus’ reaction to the vast crowd when he got out of the boat? Mark 6:34



8. On whom does the Lord have pity? Psalm 72:13



9. To whom are the people being compared and what did Jesus do for them? Mark 6:34



10. Who teaches us and reminds us of what Jesus says? John 14:26



Personal – On a daily basis, in what way do you go to the Lord for direction in your life? Is your tiredness from caring for others or from caring for yourself? Reflect on this.




FIFTH DAY                                                                               READ PSALM 23:1-6

(“Beside restful waters he leads me;
he refreshed my soul.”)

Read and meditate on Psalm 23:1-6.

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                            JEREMIAH 23:1-6


Today’s reading was an indictment against not only the civil leaders, but also against the religious leaders. Jeremiah lashed out at the religious leaders and told them that they were going to be held responsible by God for not showing his people how to follow the path of goodness. Jeremiah then gave his people a warning that certainly holds true for all of us today. Jeremiah’s warning was that all leader¬s would be held responsible for those entrusted to their care. Take a moment right now and reflect on whom God has placed in your care, and how you are handling this responsibility.

Jeremiah really shows us the contrast between the corrupt spiritual leaders of his time and with the coming Messiah. He then goes on to tell us that the new spiritual king would come from the line of a shepherd called David. The major cause of the corruption of the people was the false prophets who told the people that all was well and that they were very civilized and humane. Jeremiah’s message from God was very unpopular because it showed the people how sinful they really were.

Today there are many false prophets running around the world trying to “tickle” the people’s ears with the same message that all is well. These false prophets may talk God’s message but they do not live his message. They may even look like they are living the message, but the proof will be in their daily actions. We can judge today’s prophets just like they did in the time of Jeremiah, and that is seeing how they live, teach, and preach in accordance with God’s Holy Word. The false prophets water down God’s message to make it easier to swallow. They encourage their followers to subtly disobey God, the Church and civil authority. They try to appeal to the desires of their audience instead of being true to God’s Holy Word.


This reading shows us that only the peace of Christ can bring down the barriers of distrust. We have seen how the Jews despised and hated the Gentiles, and through Christ, that hatred is killed and a new unity has come. Before Christ’s coming, Gentiles and Jews kept apart from each other. Jews considered Gentiles beyond God’s saving power and therefore, without hope. Gentiles resented Jewish claims of spiritual superiority. Christ revealed the sinfulness of both Jews and Gentiles, and then He offered His salvation equally to both.

Only Christ breaks down the walls of prejudice and unites all in one body. Spiritual pride is very much alive today and binds us to our own faults and magnifies the faults of others. Do not be proud of your salvation. Instead, humbly thank God for what He has done, and encourage others not to give up. Jesus has broken down the walls people build between themselves. (Real reconciliation comes when one realizes that because Christ died that all might be free, then all who believe in Him really are one family). The walls come down when we approach God through his Holy Spirit.

The barriers that divide us from other Christians today are age, appearance, political and economic status, race, creed and color. The cross of Christ should be the focus of our unity. The Holy Spirit will help us to stretch ourselves beyond the barriers to the unity we are called to enjoy. The Jews were “near” to God because they already knew Him through scripture and worship. The Gentiles were “far away” because they knew little or nothing about God. Neither group could be saved by good works or sin¬cerity. In fact, salvation is available only through Jesus Christ. It is this incredible gift of Christ dying on the cross for all people that has made the gift of freedom available to all.

MARK 6:30-34

Today’s Gospel shows us that we need to be balanced in all that we do, especially when we are doing the work of the Lord. We see the Apostles trying to share with Jesus all of their exper¬iences and the crowd seems to be pressing in on them. Jesus recognizes that His disciples need rest, and He invites them to come with Him and take some time out for rest and meditation. The crowds saw where they were headed and ran ahead to be there when they arrived. We cannot work effectively unless we have our time of rest, and rest and sleep will not come unless we have worked until we are tired.

Today’s passage reveals to us two dangers of life. First, there is the danger of doing too much. No man or woman can work without proper rest and quiet time in prayer with God. Much of the trouble in our own lives is that we do not know how to be still and listen (Psalm 46:10). We need to ask ourselves how we can do God’s work without God’s strength in us. And how can we receive that strength unless we take the time to be alone and pour out our needs and spend time in prayer and praise with Jesus Christ.

Then we also must recognize the second danger, and that is the danger of too much withdrawal. Prayer time that does not lead to action is not real prayer. Remember, in Scripture, Jesus did not pray for the disciples to be taken out of the world. He prayed that they would win over the world (John 17:11-19). We must never seek the fellowship of God in order to avoid the fellowship of man. Jesus knew His disciples needed rest because the crowds were going to be draining their strength again. He knows how weak we are, and He invites us to spend time alone with Him. He will heal us and give us the rest and strength we need. A sheep without a shepherd has no defense against the dangers which threaten it. He is our Good Shepherd, and we shall not want (Psalm 23:1).


The first reading tells us that accountability is for all the people. The second reading shows us that Jesus Christ breaks down all barriers. The gospel reveals that too much doing leaves too little being.
This week, take time to be rather than just to do. Spend some time with a family member, friend or associate, and concen¬trate on the other person’s needs, not your own. Every day, spend time alone in prayer and reading scripture with Jesus.
Take time to relax and rest with your family. Remember, a devoted Christian is a balanced Christian.



By Deacon Ken and Marie Finn






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?



  1. From what you learned, what personal application did you choose to apply to your life this week?




SECOND DAY                             READ AMOS 7:12-15                          FIRST READING


(“The Lord took me from following the flock, and said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel’.”)


  1. Who was Amos, and who was Amaziah? Amos 1:1,  7:10


  1. What did Amaziah call Amos, and what did he tell him to do? Amos 7:12


  1. What did Saul say to his servant about the man of God? 1 Samuel 9:7


  1. Why did Amaziah tell Amos not to prophesy in Bethel? Amos 7:13


  1. Where did Jacob set up a memorial stone, and what is it called? Genesis 28:18-22


  1. What was Amos’ reply to Amaziah? Amos 7:14


  1. Who took Amos from the flock, and what did he say to him? Amos 7:15


  1. What did God do to Amos and David that was similar? 2 Samuel 7:8


  1. Who are others whom God called to prophesy? Exodus 7:1 and Jeremiah 26:12


Personal  –  Just as Amos was called by God from being a shepherd to being a prophet, how has God taken you from one place to another?  Have you ever wanted to say something to a family member or a friend, but hesitated because you knew it was some­thing they did not want to hear?  What can you do about it?




THIRD DAY                                   READ EPHESIANS 1:3-14                          SECOND READING


(“In him we were also chosen.”)


  1. With what has God blessed us? Ephesians 1:3


  1. When did God choose us, and what did he choose us to be? Ephesians 1:4


  1. What did he destine us to become through Jesus Christ, and what has he granted us? Ephesians 1:5-6


  1. How have we been redeemed and forgiven of our sins? Ephesians 1:7, also 1 Peter 1:18-19


  1. What has God made known to us? Ephesians 1:8-10


Personal  –  What is the mystery God has revealed to you, and how have you made it known to those around you?




  1. Of what is this the time, and what are we to do? Mark 1:15




  1. How were we chosen, and according to whose will? Ephesians 1:11



  1. Why do we exist? Ephesians 1:12



  1. What have we heard and believed, and with what have we been sealed? Ephesians 1:13



  1. Whom does the world not accept? John 14:17



  1. What is the Holy Spirit to us? Ephesians 1:14




Personal  –  What is the inheritance you have received from God? List the ways God has been a good Father to you.




FOURTH DAY                                     READ MARK 6:7-13                                            GOSPEL



(“So they went off and preached repentance.”)


  1. How did Jesus send out the twelve, and over what did he give them authority? Mark 6:7



  1. How and where did Jesus send the seventy-two? Luke 10:1



  1. What was Jesus’ instructions to the twelve? Mark 6:8



  1. How are we instructed? Romans 15:4



  1. What did Jesus tell his disciples they could wear, and what were they instructed not to take? Mark 6:9



  1. For what are your feet prepared with shoes? Ephesians 6:15



  1. What did Jesus tell the twelve to do when they entered a house, and what if they were not listened to or welcomed by the host? Mark 6:10-11



Personal  –  Share with someone a time when your message of the Good News was accepted and a time when you had to shake the dust from your feet.



  1. What did the twelve go off and preach? Mark 6:12



  1. What was granted us through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ? Acts 5:30-31



  1. What did the twelve drive out of people, and for what did they use the oil? Mark 6:13



  1. What did the Good Samaritan pour over the beaten man’s wounds? Luke 10:34




Personal  –  In what way have you brought the message of repen­tance to those around you?  Who gives you the authority to do this, and how did you receive it?




FIFTH DAY                                                                                                                            READ PSALM 85:9-14


(“I will hear what God proclaims.”)


Read and meditate on Psalm 85:9-14.


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


AMOS 7:12-15


Many times prophets like Amos were seen as traitors because they spoke out against a corrupt ruling authority. They saw the prophet as an enemy rather than one who exposed sin and tried to help save the people of that nation.  In today’s reading we see Amaziah, the chief priest in Israel, becoming very defensive about maintaining his position, which he felt was more important than listening to the truth. Amos, on the other hand, said, “Yes, Lord” to being a prophet without any special preparation, educa­tion or upbringing. Amos humbly obeyed God’s call to “go and prophesy to my people Israel.” Amos responded well to the test that all of God’s faithful servants have to experience.


The test that faced Amos and all other martyrs and saints in our time of salvation history is obedience. Today the core of love is obedie­nce, and to be obedient is to be a holy person. Jesus was obedien­t, even unto death on a Cross (Philippians 2:5-11) for us. Amos shows us the incredible power that comes from being obedient to God’s will.


Amos had just been expelled from the church by the high priest, Amaziah. The high priest told him to go earn his bread some place else. He implied very strongly that Amos was a prophet for hire, because he did not want to hear Amos reveal the truth. Amos tells him in no uncertain terms that he is not an oppor­tunist, nor does he keep company with evil people. Amos goes on to tell the high priest that he is just an ordinary man who makes a living as a shepherd and a dresser of sycamore trees. He tells him that the Lord took him from his everyday life and told him to go and prophesy to the people of Israel. Amos knew the dangers of this type of vocation, and yet in obedience he said, “Yes, Lord.”


We too have been called simply because God has chosen each one of us, and he knows each one of us by name. Like Amos, we, too, are called to a vocation, and we are being called to go forth and make disciples of all nations (Matt. 28:19). We are strongest when in obedience we say, “Yes, Lord.”




Paul wrote this passage from inside the walls of a Roman prison to the church at Ephesus. He wanted them to nurture and maintain the unity within the new and growing church. Ephesus was a commercial, political, and religious center for all of Asia Minor.


We see the beginning of heaven as being wherever God is, and, therefore, every blessing in heaven had tremendous meaning. We can be very grate­ful for all the good things that God gives us – salvation, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, power to do God’s will. We can live with the hope of eternity with Christ. We do not have to wait until we die to enjoy these blessings, as they are ours to enjoy now. We are told that “God chose us” to emphasize that the offer of salvation depends totally on God. We are not saved because we deserve to be saved, but because God is so gracious and freely gives salvation to us.


There is no way to take credit for God’s forgiveness or to find room for pride. God chose us and that makes us separate from the world. We have been chosen, and the choice to respond to his incredible gift is left up to each one of us. God chose us and when we belong to him through Jesus Christ, we are transformed into a new creation.  God has adopted us through the death and resurrec­tion of Jesus to be His very own children. He has brought us into his family and made us heirs along with Jesus (Rom. 8:17). It was the blood of Jesus that gave us redemption and forgive­ness. Redemption is the price paid to gain freedom for a slave (Lev. 25:47-54). Jesus, through his death, paid the price to release us from our slavery to sin.  We see that forgiveness was granted in the Old Testament on the basis of the shedding of the animal’s blood (Lev.17:11).


You and I are now forgiven on the basis of the shedding of Jesus’ blood. We cannot be saved without the incredible, volun­tary, and loving gift of God’s holy grace. When you feel that your life is not very important to anyone, it is very important to remember that you have been chosen, that He has paid the price for you, and that you are a special gift in God’s eye. You are a precious present that brings Him much joy. After all, you are family.


MARK 6:7-13


Jesus sent out his disciples in pairs so that as they evangelized, they could strengthen and encourage each other. He knew that many times they would face rejection and needed the support of a fellow believer. Our strength comes from God, but He meets many of our needs through teamwork with others.  Jesus told the disciples to take nothing with them except the bare necessi­ties. He wanted them to rely completely on his power. He told them not to move around from house to house but to be steady and clear with their message.


The custom for pious Jews at that time was to shake the dust from their feet after going through Gentile cities or towns. This was to show their separation from Gentile influences and prac­tices. The disciples showed by dusting their feet after leaving a Jewish town that the people had rejected Jesus and his message.


Jesus made it clear that the people themselves were respon­sible for their response to his message. The disciples were not to blame if the message was not accepted by the people. They were responsible for how faithfully and carefully they presented the message.


Today we are not responsible when others reject the teach­ings of Jesus Christ and even reject Christ personally. But we do have the responsibility to share the message of hope, the Good News, with others. We have been called by Christ to go forth and make disciples of all people. We, too, are called today to go forth and cast out demons and heal sick people. The chal­lenge you and I must face is – do we really believe in the message of the Good News? We need to shake off the dust and move away from that place that does not know or agree that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior. The unbelievers need to see that we are willing to lose friends, money, family, and even personal health before we would deny our Lord and Savior. The message is loud and clear, “I have given you every blessing under the heavens (Eph. 1:3).




The first reading tells us that God uses ordinary people for extraordinary service. The second reading shows that God wants everyone under the heavens to enjoy His holy grace. The Gospel reveals that all Christians will be held accountable to Jesus Christ.


This week, be accountable to everyone in your family. Let your family be blessed by your presence and actions. Let your everyday events be filled with your joy and humility.




By Deacon Ken and Marie Finn








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?



  1. From what you learned, what personal application did you choose to apply to your life this week?



SECOND DAY              READ EZEKIEL 2:2-5              FIRST READING


(“As he spoke to me, spirit entered into me and set me on my feet.”)


  1. Whom did the Spirit enter, and what did the Spirit do to him?  Ezekiel 1:3 and Ezekiel 2:2



  1. How did the one who was speaking address him, where did he send him, and what did he say about the Israelites? Ezekiel 2:3



  1. Against whom had the Israelites sinned, and what did they not do?   Jeremiah 3:25



  1. Against what did the whole house of Israel rebel? Ezekiel 5:6



  1. What do those who resist authority oppose, and upon whom will they bring judgment?   Romans 13:2



Personal  –  In what way do you see any signs of rebellion in yourself toward God or those in authority over you?  What do you need to do to change it?




  1. Where did the one who was speaking send the son of man, and what did he say about the people?   Ezekiel 2:3-4



  1. What was Ezekiel to say to the Israelites, and what will they know whether they heed or resist?   Ezekiel 2:4-5



  1. What gives no excuse for their sin? John 15:22



  1. What two things is Ezekiel not to fear? Ezekiel 2:6



  1. Why are we not to fear the rebellious when we speak God’s word to them? Deuteronomy 31:6



Personal  –  How do you respond to someone who resists your warning when you have prayed and followed God’s lead in speaking to them?






(“My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.”)


  1. What was given to Paul, what did Paul call it, and why did he say it was given to him?  2 Corinthians 12:7



  1. What does God do to the proud? James 4:6



  1. How many times did Paul beg God to take this thorn in the flesh from him?   2 Corinthians 12:8



  1. What did Jesus pray three consecutive times to the Father? Matthew 26:39, 44



  1. What did the Lord say was sufficient for Paul, and what is made perfect in weakness?   2 Corinthians 12:9



  1. Who comes to our aid in our weakness? Romans 8:26



  1. What does Paul boast of most gladly, in order that the power of Christ may dwell in him?   2 Corinthians 12:9



  1. For what do we have the strength, and who gives it to us? Philippians 4:13



  1. With what is Paul content for the sake of Christ, and when he is weak, then what is he? 2 Corinthians 12:10



  1. What are we to bear for the Gospel, and from where do we get our strength?  2 Timothy 1:8



Personal  –  What is in your life that keeps you from becoming proud?  In what way have you been thankful for it?




FOURTH DAY                READ MARK 6:1-6                GOSPEL


(“…He began to teach in the Synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished.”)


  1. To where did Jesus return, and who was with him? Mark 6:1, Matthew 2:23



  1. When the Sabbath came, what did Jesus do, and what was the reaction of many who heard him?   Mark 6:2



  1. How did Jesus teach? Mark 1:21-22



  1. What were the questions the people were asking about Jesus, and what was their attitude toward him?  Mark 6:2-3



  1. By whom did Jesus say we will be taught? How will we be drawn to him, and about what were the Jews murmuring? John 6:41-45



  1. Where did Jesus say a prophet is without honor, among whom, and where? Mark 6:4


  1. What was Jesus not able to do in his own native place apart from curing a few sick people? Mark 6:5



  1. How were some healed by Jesus? Mark 6:5



Personal   How has Jesus healed you by his touch, and how have others been healed by his touch through you?




  1. At what was Jesus amazed? Mark 6:6



  1. Where is the righteousness of God revealed, and who is the one who will live?   Romans 1:16-17



  1. How did many come to believe in Jesus? John 4:41



Personal – How has your faith grown since you have been studying God’s Word?




FIFTH DAY                 READ PSALM 123:1-4



(“To you I lift up my eyes who are enthroned in heaven?”)


Read and meditate on Psalm 123:1-4.


What is the Lord saying to you personally through the Psalm?




How can you apply this to your life?








What a contrast we have in this passage. We have the immor­tal God address the mortal man by calling him “son of man,” emphasizing the distance between them.  It is incredible that God even chooses to work His divine will on earth through imperfect beings.  We are made from dust; yet God chooses to place within each one of us His life and breath.


Ezekiel was enormously blessed to have been able to ex­perience this vision. He knew that because it came from God it did not matter whether he did not under­stand the full meaning of the vision. God saw in Ezekiel a hunger and thirst to know more about Him. Ezekiel had an open and obedient attitude, and he was filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. God gave Ezekiel the power for the job ahead.


God does not expect us to understand everything about Him, but he does expect us to be willing, obedient, and faithful servants to what we know is true and right. Today we measure success by consumer demand. Ezekiel’s measure of success did not depend on whether the people listened to him or not. The measure of success would be how well he obeyed God’s will and fulfilled God’s purpose for him.


We must always remember that God’s truth is not dependent on human response. God will not judge us on how well others respond to our faith, but on how faithful we ourselves have been. What God accomplished through us is very important, but the bottom line is what God accomplished in us.  God was being very straight and direct when He called the people hard-hearted and stiff-necked. He called them that because they refused to admit their sin of rebellion.  Is God today pointing at sin in your life?  Do not be stubborn, confess your sin, and begin to live for God. You will be ready to stand before God tomorrow if you obey Him today.





The source of Paul’s thorn in the flesh has never been revealed. We do know that it was a very chronic and debilitating type of physical problem which at many times kept him from work­ing. This thorn was a hindrance to his ministry, and he prayed for its removal, but God refused. Paul’s illness kept him humble and reminded him of his constant need to keep in touch with God. Those around Paul benefitted as they saw God work in his life.


Are people helped by being in your presence? Do people see God alive and active in your life?


God did not remove Paul’s physical affliction, but He demonstra­ted His power very clearly in Paul’s weakness. The marvelous fact is that God is power, and He will always show up in people who are weak and who call out to Him.  This divine power should give tremendous courage and hope for all of us who may be physical­ly and emotionally handicapped.  We need to realize our limitations and turn to God to seek His pathways for effective­ness.  Paul’s great strength was that he knew that he was nothing, nor could he do anything without Christ (John 15:5). Today, more than ever, we must not be seduced by modern technology, but rely on God for our effectiveness rather than on simple energy, effort, or talent.


We must never forget that our weakness can help us develop our Christian character. In admitting our weakness, we affirm God’s strength and even deepen our sense of worship.  We are tempted to do God’s work on our own when we are strong in talent, time, or health. This always leads to pride, and then the long slide down.  When we are weak, and when we allow God to fill us with His power, then we become stronger than we ever could be on our own. Our strength lies in realizing that He is the source of all gifts (Philippians 4:19).



MARK 6:1-6


Jesus was teaching and healing around the country, but the people of His hometown saw him only as a carpenter. They looked at Jesus and asked, “What are His credentials? Where did He go to school?  He is no better than we are; He is just a common labor­er.”  The towns people were insulted that others could be im­pressed by Him and even follow Him. They completely rejected His authority because He was one of their peers. These people missed His message because they thought that they knew all that was needed to know about Him. Prejudice and spiritual blindness kept them from the truth.


Today there are many people who still reject His message because it is too simple, too common, and too demanding. Today we have many people who refuse the message because they have too much power, wealth, education, or fame to be committed to such a servant like Jesus.


The Jews were looking for a mighty, powerful, educated warrior-type Messiah. They were not about to listen to some itinerant preacher talk about loving your enemy, feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, visiting the sick and the imprisoned.  They rose up in outrage and demanded to see His credentials, and then they tried to get Him out of their part of the country.


Jesus has shown us in this Gospel message that if people do not give you any attention or respect for the work you do in God’s name, that does not make your work any less important. Jesus shows each one of us that we do not need to be respected or honored to be useful to God. If your friends, neighbors, or family do not respect your Christian lifestyle and ministry, do not let their rejection keep you from serving God. Today Jesus is seeking those who would respond to His miracles and message.  What will be your response?





The first reading tells us that obedience is the core of holiness.  The second reading reveals that in our weakness is his strength.  The Gospel shows us that being honored does not make what we do important.


This week show your love by being a servant for someone who is physically or emotionally weak. Let their weakness become strength in Christ through you.  You can do this by visiting someone who is shut-in or imprisoned. You can read the weekly scriptures to a blind person. You can fix a meal for an elderly person in your home, family, or church. You can take someone who is lonely or depressed to a movie.  You can telephone someone and pray with them. You can be God’s ambassador, and let His strength shine through you.



By Deacon Ken and Marie Finn







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?




  1. From what you learned, what personal application did you choose to apply to your life this week?




SECOND DAY             READ WISDOM 1:13-15; 2:23-24              FIRST READING



(“…the image of his own nature he made him.”)



  1. What did God not make, and in what does he not rejoice? Wisdom 1:13




  1. How did Jesus destroy the one who has the power of death? Hebrews 2:14




  1. When sin reaches maturity, to what does it give birth? James 1:15




  1. In what does God not delay? What is he with us, and for what reason?  2 Peter 3:9




  1. Why did God fashion all things, what are the creatures of the world, and what is there not among them?   Wisdom 1:14




  1. What is undying? Wisdom 1:15




  1. To what does the path of justice lead, and to what does the abominable way lead?   Proverbs 12:28




  1. What did God form man to be, and in whose image did he form him?  Wisdom 2:23 and also Genesis 1:27




  1. How did death enter the world, and who experienced it? Wisdom 2:24




  1. How did sin enter the world? What came through sin, and who has sinned? Romans 5:12




  1. What do envy and anger do? Sirach 30:24




Personal   In what way in your everyday life are you a reflec­tion of the image of God?   Give specific examples.  Whose image dominates your day?   Reflect on this.





THIRD DAY              READ 2 CORINTHIANS 8:7, 9, 13-15           SECOND READING



(“…by his poverty you might become rich.”)



  1. What do you do in every respect, in faith, discourse, knowledge, all earnestness, and in love? 2 Corinthians 8:7




  1. How were you enriched in every way, with all discourse and all knowledge? 1 Corinthians 1:4-5




  1. What did Jesus Christ become for our sake, although he was rich, and for what reason?   2 Corinthians 8:9




  1. What did Jesus, though he was in the form of God, not regard himself as? Philippians 2:6-8




  1. What did Jesus come to do? Matthew 20:28




Personal –  In what way do you see yourself as poor?





  1. What is Paul’s desire for the brothers? 2 Corinthians 8:13-15




  1. Of what was the community of believers, and what was there not among them? Acts 4:32-34




  1. What is a reason for working? Ephesians 4:28




  1. What is it that is written? 2 Corinthians 8:15




  1. What occurred when the Israelites gathered the manna? Exodus 16:16-18




Personal  –  How have you been sharing what you have with the needy?  Do you see the community of believers (those in your parish) being cared for equally, and if not, what can you do to change it?





FOURTH DAY              READ MARK 5:21-43                 GOSPEL



(“Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be cured.”)



  1. As a large crowd gathered around Jesus, who came forward? What did he do upon seeing Jesus? Mark 5:21-23




  1. What did he say would happen to his daughter if Jesus laid hands on her, and when Jesus went off with him, who followed them?  Mark 5:23-24




  1. What happened to the woman afflicted, how did she suffer, and was she helped by the doctors?   Mark 5:25-26




  1. After doing what three things do you give the doctor his place?    Sirach 38:9-12




  1. When the woman with the hemorrhage heard about Jesus, what did she do and what did she say?   Mark 5:27-28




  1. What immediately happened to the woman when she touched Jesus?  What did Jesus ask when he was aware that power had gone out of him?  Mark 5:29-30




  1. How did the woman approach Jesus, and what did he say saved her?  Mark 5:31-34




Personal  –  How has your faith saved you?





  1. What happened while Jesus was still speaking? Disregarding the message, what did Jesus tell the synagogue official? Mark 5:35-36




  1. Whom did Jesus allow to accompany him inside, how were the people acting, and what did Jesus say to them?  Mark 5:37-39




  1. How did the people react to Jesus; and, putting them out, whom did he take in with him?   Mark 5:40




  1. What did Jesus do and say to the child, and what was the girl’s response?  About what did Jesus give strict orders, and what did he tell them to do for the girl?  Mark 5:41-43




Personal – How do you see touching as having a healing effect on those around you?




FIFTH DAY               READ PSALM 30: 2, 4-6, 11-13



(“You changed my mourning into dancing.”)



Read and meditate on Psalm 30:2, 4-6, 11-13.



What is the Lord saying to you personally through the Psalm?





How can you apply this to your life?








WISDOM 1:13-15, 2:23-24


This passage clearly reveals to us that death and sickness are not of God’s making.  They are, in fact, just the opposite of what God is.  Suffering, whether it be physical, emotional or spiritual, raises some very hard questions.  Why does God allow so much suffering to take place in the world?  This is a question that seems to be asked all through the ages.


God allows suffering to exist because He has given all mankind the freedom to accept or reject Him and His teach­ings. He created each one of us in His image, and as we are told in Genesis, everything that God made was good. We can say this in another way: God does not make junk, but through one man, sin entered into the world, and the wages of sin are death (Rom. 6:23). Sin gave birth to death and suffering. We need only look around and we can see how much death and destruction are put upon the people of the world through pollution, toxic chemicals, drug abuse, alcoholism, abortion, and the incredible plague of war. Man has, in many cases, made God’s image a reflection of man’s image. Those who are in possession of this false destructive image induced by Satan experience all of death and destruction. This death and destruction also touches many innocent people, and it will be stopped only when people turn to the healing power of God. Nations have to stop plundering and des­troying each other.


We are being called to the only real peace, and that is the peace of Christ. Jesus Christ died so that all men might have eternal life (John 3:16).  His death won for us freedom from Satan (death) even while we were still sinners (Rom. 5:8). Our God is a loving and just God. All who suffer and repent are forgiven and all who suffer and are innocent, He glorifies in heaven, and they are with Him forever.



2 CORINTHIANS 8:7, 9, 13-15


Today’s reading is a classic example of an old saying that goes like this: “It is not enough to talk the talk, you must also walk the walk.” We give others a clear message of what we really believe by the way we live our lives.  Today’s reading is not just an appeal to be a giver, it is a call to be a joyful giver. Giving is the natural response of love, and Paul was not ordering the Christians to give. He told them that actions speak much louder than words.


When you love someone, you want to provide for his needs. If we refuse to help, our love may not be as genuine as we say. Jesus gave up His rights as God to become man. Incarnation means God voluntarily became man. Jesus gave up His life for all, and He let Himself take on the form of a mere slave. He was obedient even up to His death on the cross.


The Corinthian church had money and Paul challenged them to give of their time, talent, and money for the needy and the poor. Paul shares with us several principles of giving. Your willingness to give is more important than the amount you give. He states that if you give to others in need then you too will be helped in your need. You are called to give as your response to Christ, not for what you may get out of it.  Giving or tithing expresses a fundamental trust in God’s provision for our lives (Phil 4:19).


Jesus chose to give us eternal life, and His giving continues as He gives us grace and power. Jesus tells us in scripture that whatever we do to the least of his brethren, we do unto Him (Matt. 25:31-45). Christians are called to share alms with the poor and those in need  (Luke 11:41).



MARK 5:21-43


In today’s Gospel there are all the elements of tragedy and hope. The passage begins with Jesus being confronted by a ruler of the local synagogue named Jarius. Many synagogue rulers had close ties with the Pharisees.  It was very likely that calling on Jesus’ help was not supported very much by Jarius’ peers. To bow before Jesus in front of all those Jewish people was a daring act of respect and worship on Jarius’ part. When his daughter fell ill, something happened to him, and he thought of Jesus. His prejudices were forgotten.  He must have regarded Jesus as an outsider, as one to whom the synagogue doors were closed. His dignity was forgotten. He, the ruler of the synagogue, came and threw himself at the feet of Jesus. His pride was forgotten. This was a man who forgot everything except that he wanted the help of Jesus.


We see a woman with an incurable condition desperately reach out and touching Jesus. Her disorder caused her to bleed constantly which would have made her ritually unclean (Lev. 15:25-27). She knew her bleeding would cause Jesus to be unclean, according to Jewish law, if she touched Him. Still she reached out by faith and was healed.


Many times we feel our problems keep us from being close to God, but He is always present and ready to help us. We should never let our fear keep us from reaching out to Him. Jesus said her faith caused the cure. Jarius’ faith caused him to seek out Jesus for his daughter. His faith caused his daughter’s cure. Genuine faith involves action. Faith that is not put into action is no faith at all.





The first reading tells us that God does not make junk.  The second reading shows us that our actions speak louder than words.  The Gospel reveals God’s presence in all situa­tions.


This week, by your actions, show what it is that you really believe.  Look for specific ways to be humble to your family, like the ruler in the synagogue.  Make a decision to put your family members’ interests before your own. Share the Good News of the Gospel with each member of your family. Love one another as He loves you.



By Deacon Ken and Marie Finn








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?




  1. From what you learned, what personal application did you choose to apply to your life this week?




SECOND DAY                       READ JOB 38:1, 8-11                     FIRST READING



(“Then the Lord addressed Job out of the storm,…”)



  1. Who addressed Job, and where was he when he addressed him? Job 38:1




  1. When we cry in distress to the Lord, what will he do to the storm around us? Psalm 107:28-29.




  1. When Moses stretched his hand over the sea, what did the Lord do? Exodus 14:21.




  1. When the sea burst forth from the womb, what did the Lord do? Job 38:8, Genesis 1:9-10.




  1. What does the Lord set for the sea, and for what reason? Proverbs 8:29




  1. When God set limits for the sea, what happened to the proud waves? Job 38:9-11




  1. To what is there no limit? Psalm 147:5




  1. What happens to the waters at his command, and to what is there no limit? Sirach 39:17-18.




  1. What does the Lord still in the people? Psalm 65:8




  1. Whom does the Lord see and know from afar? Psalm 138:6




Personal – How can you yield, like Job did, and let God be the one in control of your life?





THIRD DAY                    READ 2 CORINTHIANS 5:14-17                   SECOND READING



(“So whoever is in Christ is a new creation.”)



  1. What impels us, and to what conviction do we come? 2 Corinthians 5:14




  1. What happened to our old self, and from what is a dead person absolved? Romans 6:6-7




  1. By what do we now live? Galatians 2:20




  1. For whom did Jesus die, and for what reason? 2 Corinthians 5:15




  1. Whether we live or die, to whom do we belong? For what reason did Christ die and come to life? Romans 14:8-9.




  1. How do we no longer know Christ? 2 Corinthians 5:16




  1. Although we are in the flesh, with what do we not battle? 2 Corinthians 10:3-4




  1. What is meant by, whoever is reconciled in Christ; what has passed away, and what has come? 2 Corinthians 5:17




  1. For if we are God’s handiwork, in whom have we been created, and for what reason? Ephesians 2:10




  1. How were we buried with Christ, and how might we live? Romans 6:4



Personal –  What does being a new creation mean to you? Are you still trying to hang onto something in the old creation? How are you able to let go of the old?





FOURTH DAY               READ MARK 4:35-41                GOSPEL



(“Why are you lacking in faith?”)



  1. What did Jesus say as evening drew on, how did they go, and were others with them? Mark 4:35-36




  1. Why did Jesus tell his disciples to have a boat ready for Him, and where was He going? Mark 3:9, Mark 5:1




  1. What came up, and what was breaking over the boat? Mark 4:37




  1. Where was Jesus, what was He doing, and what did His disciples do and say to Him?  Mark 4:38




  1. What does Jesus say about those who hear His voice and follow Him? John 10:28




  1. When Jesus woke up, what did He do to the wind? What did He say to the sea, and what was the result? Mark 4:39




  1. What two questions did Jesus ask His disciples? Mark 4:40




  1. What did Jesus do and say to Peter? Matthew 14:31




  1. What did Jesus do to the eleven, and for what reason? Mark 16:14




  1. With what were those in the boat filled, and what did they say to one another? Mark 4:41




  1. What does Jesus command and they obey Him? Mark 1:27




Personal –  What kind of storm is going on around you?  Who are you calling on to help you and how are you calling him?  What has Jesus’ response been to you in the past when you called out to him in a stormy time in your life?





FIFTH DAY                    READ PSALM 107:23-26, 28-31



(“His command raised up a storm wind which tossed its waves on high.”)



Read and meditate on Psalm 107:23-26, 28-31.



What is the Lord saying to you personally through the Psalm?





How can you apply this to your life?








JOB 38:1, 8-11


Today’s reading is a powerful example of our God being a God of order. God used Job’s lack of knowledge about how the earth was made to function in a natural order to reveal to Him how little Job knew of God’s moral order. If Job did not understand the workings of God’s physical creation, how could he understand God’s mind and character?


We are told in Scripture to be still and know that He is God (Psalm 46:11). He is our God, our refuge, our strength, our fortress (Psalm 91), and He is our ultimate standard.  God is the only one who is to be the judge. There is no standard or criteri­on higher than God.  We see people in our society laugh and reject God’s authority, and for some, it seems like they are in complete control of their lives and destiny.  Scripture tells us that God is not one who likes things to be disorderly and upset (1 Cor. 14:33). Our God is a loving God, and a just God, and he will not turn His head or blink His eye while someone is disturbing His moral order. Scripture tells us that God says, “Vengeance is mine,” (Deut. 32:35) and it tells us that God will punish the evildoers in full for all their sins.


We are called, just like Job, to let God be the one in control of our lives. This does not mean that we become a robot. Rather, it gives us a tremendous level of freedom. We will know with certainty that God will never leave us. We will never walk alone anymore through the valley of the shadow of death.  God’s wisdom will become our strength. We will never be abandoned by God. Noth­ing can separate us from God’s love, not sickness, persecu­tion, trials, divorce, or even death itself.  Our God is in control of the whole universe, and He has chosen us to be His very special children.  He is a God of order, and He wants us to live in harmony with each other and to love one another as He has loved us (John 13:34).






Paul boldly writes against any philosophy of life based only on human ideas and experiences. He tells us that Christians are brand new people on the inside. The Holy Spirit gives them new life, and they are not the same anymore.  When we accept Christ as Lord of our life, life begins again with a fresh, new start. We are not reformed, rehabilitated or reeducated; we are a new creation, living in vital union with Christ (Col. 2:6,7).


It is very important to remember that when we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior, we are giving Him permission to take up residence in us.  We have told Him that we want to abide in Him and He to abide in us (John 15:7).  We are not merely turning over a new leaf, we are beginning a new life under a new Master. This means we must follow His leadership on a daily basis.


You can live for Christ by committing your life and submitting your will to Him (Romans 12:1,2). You can continue to seek to learn from Him, His life and His teachings (Col. 3:16). You can recognize the Holy Spirit’s power within you (Acts 1:8).


Paul used the illustration of our being rooted or connected to Christ. As plants get their nourishment from the soil, so we draw our strength, nourishment, and life itself from Christ. The more we abide (reside) in Christ, the less we will be fooled by those who make false claims to life’s answers. Paul really shows us that being a new creation means that in the sight of God, our motives are pure and our hands are clean. But suspicion will still be cast on us by people who knew us before we committed our lives to Christ.


We must always remember that a man’s message will always be heard in the context of his character. Paul tells the people that his conduct has been the result of wanting only to serve God. Our conduct should not have anything less than the motive of Paul. Many people thought Paul was a lunatic and they rejected him, beat him and jailed him for his conduct. Paul was not bothered that people thought he was a fool because he was a fool for Christ. Today, does the world think of you as a fool for Christ because of your conduct?




MARK 4:35-41


The Sea of Galilee was notorious for its storms because it is 680 feet below sea level and surrounded by hills. Some of the disciples were veteran fishermen who had spent their lives fishing on this lake, but in this storm they panicked and the storm threatened to destroy them all.  Jesus was sleeping in the back of the boat where distinguished visitors would have been seated on a small seat placed on a carpet.  He seemed to be completely unaware and unconcerned with the storm.


We do this story a great injustice if we merely take it in a literalistic sense.  This was a physical storm, but storms come in other forms too.  When the disciples realized the presence of Jesus was with them, the storm became calm.  Once they knew he was there, fearless peace entered their hearts.


Think for a moment about the storms in your life and the situations that cause you great anxiety.  We can experience what Jesus’ disciples experienced in that boat. That voyage with Jesus was a voyage in peace even in a storm.  Let me repeat that again for you: In the presence of Jesus, we can have peace even in the wildest storms of life. Whatever our difficulties, we have two options, we can worry and think that Jesus is no longer con­cerned about us, or we can resist fear by putting our trust in Him. When we feel like panicking, we need to confess our need for God, and then remember that he will give us peace in the storm of sorrow.  He changes the darkness of death into the sunshine of the thought of eternal life. He will give us peace in the tempest of doubt, tension, and uncertainty.


Ask His will, submit to it and the way to peace comes at such a time. He gives us peace in the storm of anxiety.  The chief enemy of peace is worry, and Jesus brings us His peace which is the unconditional love of God. Invite Jesus to calm the storms in your life and He will fill you with awe just as He filled the disciples with awe in that boat on the Sea of Galilee.





The first reading tells us that our God is a God of order.  The second reading shows that we are not rehabilitated;  we are new creations.  The Gospel reveals that Jesus can calm any storm in our lives.


This week, ask the Lord to reveal to you what He wants you to do.  Be specific.  Ask His guidance about your role as a child, spouse, parent, or leader.  Look at the people in your family, school, or work and see whether you are part of a storm in their lives.  Submit to Jesus’ guidance, and He will heal the storm in your life.



By Deacon Ken and Marie Finn









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?




  1. From what you learned, what personal application did you choose to apply to your life this week?




SECOND DAY                          READ EZEKIEL 17:22-24                     FIRST READING


(“As I, the Lord, have spoken, so will I do.”



  1. Who is speaking, and what will he plant on a high and lofty mountain?   Ezekiel 17:22




  1. What shall the survivors of the house of Judah do? 2 Kings 19:30




  1. What did Isaiah and Jeremiah prophesy in days to come? Isaiah 2:2 and Jeremiah 23:5-6




  1. Where will God plant a majestic cedar, what will it put forth and bear, and what shall dwell beneath it? Ezekiel 17:23




  1. What will happen to Israel in days to come, and with what will they cover the world? Isaiah 27:6




  1. Who shall flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon? Psalm 92:13




  1. What will all the trees of the field know? Ezekiel 17:24




  1. What two things will be brought low, and who will be exalted? Isaiah 2:12-17




  1. What are we to hate? Proverbs 8:13




  1. What comes with pride, and what comes with the humble? Proverbs 11:2




Personal – How has the Lord brought you low, and how has He lifted you up? In what way has He made you bloom?





THIRD DAY                   READ 2 CORINTHIANS 5:6-10                    SECOND READING



(“We walk by faith, not by sight.”)



  1. Who is writing this letter, and to whom is he speaking? 2 Corinthians 1:1




  1. What are we to be always, and when are we away from the Lord?   2 Corinthians 5:6




  1. By what do we walk? 2 Corinthians 5:7




  1. What is faith? Hebrews 11:1




Personal – What are you convinced of concerning Jesus Christ even though you have not seen?





  1. Why would we rather leave the body?2 Cor. 5:1 and 5:8. See also Romans 8:23




  1. What are life and death? Philippians 1:21




  1. What do we aspire to do whether we are at home or away? 2 Corinthians 5:9




  1. How are we to serve Christ and in this way be pleasing to God and approved by others? Romans 14:17-18




  1. Where must we all appear, and for what reason? 2 Corinthians 5:10




  1. What must you not do, and for what reason? Romans    14:10




Personal – For what reasons are you looking forward to appearing before the judgment seat of God?





FOURTH DAY                READ MARK 4:26-34                  GOSPEL



(“This is how it is with the kingdom of God.”)



  1. What would a man scatter on the ground? Mark 4:26




  1. What would a man not know as he would sleep and rise? Mark 4:27




  1. Of its own accord, what does the land yield, and what does man do when the grain is ripe? Mark 4:28-29




  1. What happens to those who die in the Lord, and who harvested the earth? Revelation 14:13-16




  1. What happens at the resurrection of the dead, what is sown, and what is raised? 1 Corinthians 15:42-44




  1. What did Jesus say about the kingdom of God, and what is the mustard seed when it is sown in the ground? Mark 4:30-31




  1. What is the tongue considered? James 3:5-6




  1. What happens when the mustard seed springs up? What does it put forth, and who dwells in its shade?   Mark 4:32




  1. How does our faith grow? Romans 10:17




Personal – How has your faith grown, and what have you found to hinder your growth in faith?





  1. How did Jesus speak the parables? Mark 4:33




  1. What did Jesus do in private with his disciples? Mark 4:34




Personal – In your private prayer time with the Lord, how does Jesus speak to you through His Holy Spirit dwelling within you?





FIFTH DAY                 READ PSALM 92:2-3, 13-16


(“The just man shall flourish like the palm tree.”)


Read and meditate on Psalm 92:2-3, 13-16.


What is the Lord saying to you personally through the Psalm?




How can you apply this to your life?







EZEKIEL 17:22-24


This reading is a message of hope for the people of today, as it was in the time of Ezekiel.  It shows us what happened to a nation that put its hope in a foreign alliance.  The people relied on their ability to make treaties with neighbors instead of relying on the power of God. Only God could offer them a sign of real and trusting hope. God said He would plant a tender twig, called the Messiah, whose kingdom would grow and become a shelter for all who come to Him (Isaiah 11:1).


We have seen this prophecy fulfilled in the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We experience false hope when we depend on foreign alliances, like pride, power, wealth and status. The Lord was the one who took a small twig and made it into a mighty fruit-bearing tree. Our gifts and talents come not from ourselves, but from God. We need only look around in our communities to see mighty trees that have fallen, and much damage has resulted in their crashing fall.


The Lord will bring the proud and haughty crashing to the ground, and He also will exalt the lowly and the meek. There is a tendency in our societies to identify meekness with weakness. The proud depend on themselves and others like themselves and end up in disgrace and complete humiliation. The meek never forget that they are a twig made by God and their growth into a giant, fruit-bearing tree is the result of God’s tremendous gift of grace. The meek, because of their humility and obedience to the Lord, become the strongest in the kingdom of God.  Scripture tells us that the proud end in failure, but the meek become wise (Proverbs 11:2).





Death is so frightening for many people because it is mysterious, unknown and final.  Yet we see in today’s reading that Paul was not afraid to die because he was confident of spending eternity with Christ.  This does not deny that facing the unknown and leaving loved ones do not bring some form of anxiety.  Leaving those whom we love hurts deeply, but if we believe in Jesus Christ, we can share Paul’s hope and confidence of eternal life with Christ.


Scripture tells us that if we believe in Christ, we shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).  For those who believe in Jesus Christ, death is not the last word.  Death is only a prelude to eternal life with God. When Christians leave the land of the dying, they enter into the land of the living. In fact, the only person who was ever born to die was Jesus Christ. His death won for us a victory over death.  Because of Him, you and I can face tomorrow without fear.  Upon our physical death, our lives will continue in spirit and at the end of time in a new glorified body forever in the presence of our loving God.  It is this confident hope that inspires us to faithful service.


It is true that eternal life is a free gift, given through God’s grace (Ephesians 2:8,9). It is also true that our lives will still be judged by Christ. The gift of faith does not free us from obedience.  We must never use God’s gift as an excuse for laziness, because all Christians must give an account for how they had lived (Matthew 16:27). We must never forget that faith is the response to the living presence and power of God in our lives.  We can, like Paul, look forward to that “Day of the Lord” without any fear, because fear has to do with punishment (1 John 4:18). And we have a God of love, who died for us while we were yet sinners (Romans 5:8) simply because He loved us so much.



MARK 4:26-34


Today’s Gospel reveals that spiritual growth is a continual, gradual process that reaches its fullness in spiritual maturity. Spiritual growth is very much like the slow, steady growth of a plant.  It is harvested when it reaches its time of fullness. Jesus’ example of the tiny mustard seed really identifies with the church. Our Catholic Church started out very small. It was not very long before it had grown into a worldwide Christian com­munity of believers.


The tiny mustard seed is also like you and me, in that when we feel alone in our stand for Christ, we realize that God is building a worldwide kingdom through us. God has many faithful followers in every part of the world, and our faith, no matter how small, can join with others to accomplish great things.  Today our faith continues to grow through hearing His Word, and we need to proclaim His Word to all we meet, whether in our homes, workplaces or schools (Matt. 28:19).


Jesus spoke in parables to challenge the sincere seekers to discover the true meaning of his words.  He spoke out against hypocrisy and impure motives which were characteristic of the various members of the crowd listening to Jesus. We need to realize that only as we put God’s teachings into practice will we understand and see more of the truth. The truth is clear, but our ability to understand it is imperfect.  As we obey, we will sharpen our vision and increase our understanding (James 1:22-25).  Today, as in the days of this Gospel, those who truly listen to Jesus and obey his holy Word know what he is talking about.






The first reading reveals that putting our hope in man rather than in God is a false hope.  The second reading shows us that belief is an action that calls for a response. We live the way we really believe.  The Gospel tells us that hypocrisy is defeated by truth.


This week, make a list of what areas in your life are a hypocrisy, and then confess that one area to a Christian brother or sister, so that he or she may pray that you will be healed (James 5:16). Pick out someone from your family, job, or school and be specific.  Remember, the prayer of a righteous man avail­eth much (James 5:16). The truth of Christ will really set you free from hypocrisy (John 8:32). In one week you will experience a tremen­dous healing.  Write to us and share how God has answered your prayer.



By Deacon Ken and Marie Finn






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?



  1. From what you learned, what personal application did you choose to apply to your life this week?



SECOND DAY           READ GENESIS 3:9-15           FIRST READING


(“He will strike at your head, while you strike at his heel.”)


  1. Who called to the man, and what did he ask him? Genesis 3:9



  1. Whom did Jesus come to call? Mark 2:17



  1. Why did the man hide himself? Genesis 3:10



  1. With what are we longing to be clothed? 2 Corinthians 5:1-3



  1. What did God ask the man? Genesis 3:11



  1. What did the man say about the woman, and what did he do? Genesis 3:12



  1. What did the Lord ask the woman, and who did she say tricked her?   Genesis 3:13



  1. What was Paul’s fear that the serpent may corrupt in the people of Corinth?    2 Corinthians 11:3



Personal –  When you lose the peace of God within you, whom do you blame?  Who is responsible?



  1. What did the Lord say to the serpent, what did he say he would put between the serpent and the woman, and at what would he strike? Genesis 3:14-15



  1. To what are we to be wise, and who will crush Satan under our feet? Romans 16:19-20



  1. With what is our struggle, and what are we to put on to cover our head?    Ephesians 6:12-17



Personal – In what way can you protect your mind and thoughts from the evil one?   Whom does your family or friends see con­trolling your mind by what comes out of your mouth?



THIRD DAY               READ 2 CORINTHIANS 4:13 TO 5:1              SECOND READING


(“I believed, therefore I spoke,”)


  1. Who is speaking, and to whom is he speaking? 2 Corin­thians 1:1



  1. Of what do we have the same spirit, and, in believing, we do what? 2 Corinthians 4:13



  1. We speak, knowing what? 2 Corinthians 4:14



  1. How does faith come? Romans 10:17



  1. What has been bestowed on more and more people? 2 Corinthians 4:15



  1. Where sin increased, what overflowed all the more? How does grace reign?   Romans 5:20-21



  1. What do we not become, what is happening to our outer selves, and our inner selves?   2 Corinthians 4:16



  1. What does this momentary light affliction produce, where do we look, and for what reason?   2 Corinthians 4:17-18



  1. If our earthly dwelling should be destroyed, what do we have from God?   2 Corinthians 5:1



  1. As long as Peter was in this “tent,” what did he find it necessary to do, and for what reason?  2 Peter 1:12-15



Personal – In what way do you have a burning desire to tell others about Jesus and what he has done for you?  If you do not have this desire, stop right now and ask God to give it to you.



FOURTH DAY           READ MARK 3:20-35         GOSPEL



  1. What made it impossible for Jesus and his apostles even to eat? Mark 3:20



  1. What did Jesus’ relatives say upon hearing of his inability to eat, and what did the scribes say about demons?Mark 3:21-22



  1. How did Jesus speak to the crowd, and what was his question? Mark 3:23



  1. If a kingdom, house, or Satan is divided against itself, what will happen to it?   Mark 3:24-26



  1. What must be done to a strong man in order to plunder his property?   Mark 3:27



  1. How does Jesus drive out demons? Matthew 12:28



  1. What sins of people will be forgiven, what will not be forgiven, and of what are they guilty?   Mark 3:28-30



  1. When Jesus’ mother and his brothers arrived, what did they say? What did the crowd seated around him say? Mark 3:31-32



  1. Jesus replied with a question. What was it, and what did he say about those seated in the circle around him? Mark 3:33-34



  1. Who are the ones who are his brother, sister and mother? Mark 3:35



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



  1. What should we put away, in what should we be renewed, and what should we put on?    Ephesians 4:20-24



Personal – How do you discern the will of God in your life, and are you obedient in living it out?



FIFTH DAY                READ PSALM 130:1-8


(“But with you is forgiveness, that you may be revered.”)


Read and meditate on Psalm 130:1-8.


What is the Lord saying to you personally through the Psalm?




How can you apply this to your life?






GENESIS 3:9-15


In that moment of small rebellion something large, beautiful and free was shattered…the perfect creation of God.  Man was separated from God by his desire to act on his own will.  The effect on a plate glass window is the same whether a pebble or a boulder is hurled at it. The thousands of fragments can never be regathered.


Today’s reading shows us the reality of how sin spreads. Even after Eve sinned, she continued to involve Adam in her wrong doing.  When we do something wrong, often our first relief from guilt comes by involving someone else.  Sin is like a poison that is spilled into a river and it swiftly becomes impossible to recapture.  We need to recognize and confess our sin before we are tempted to pollute those around us.


After sinning, Adam and Eve felt guilt and embarrassment over their nakedness. Their guilt feelings made them run from God and try to hide. Guilt or a guilty conscience can be a warning signal God places inside of us that goes off when we have done something wrong. The world wants us to eliminate the guilty feelings without eliminating the cause, and that would be the worst thing for us. It would be like using a painkiller, but not addressing the disease. Adam and Eve failed to heed God’s warn­ing, and the results were disastrous.


Today, many people fail to listen and fail to obey God because it does not seem logical, or it is not a popular thing to do. When things go wrong, many people try to excuse their sins by blaming others or circumstances for personal failures. But God knows the truth and he holds every one of us accountable for our actions. So, admit your sins and do not try to blame it on someone else. Disobedience is sin, and it breaks our fellowship with God. God forgives and restores us when we confess and repent.



2 CORINTHIANS 4:13 to 5:1


The incredible message of salvation in Jesus Christ has been entrusted by God to frail and very ordinary human beings. Paul does not dwell on the perishable container, but on its priceless contents – God’s power dwelling within us.  As Christians we may be at the end of our rope, but we are never at the end of our hope.  Our perishable bodies are subject to sin and maybe even great suffering, but God never abandons us. Because of Christ’s victory over death, we who believe in Him have eternal life. That is why all of our risks, humiliations, and trials in His name are really opportunities to demonstrate Christ’s power and presence in us.


Paul knew all about pain and suffering. He faced them in trials and tribulations as he preached the “Good News” which is the message of hope. We need to be aware that as we too face great troubles in our lives, it is easy to focus on the pain rather than on our ultimate goal. We can be assured by the words of Jesus that no matter what happens to us in this life, we will have the assurance of eternal life where all suf­fering ends. Paul really encourages us to develop our inner streng­th.


We can do this by realizing that our suffering, problems, and human limitations have several benefits. They can help us to remember Christ suffered and died for us. They can help keep us from pride and thinking we do not need anyone else. This also can be a time of great opportunity, a time in which God will demonst­rate his great power and speak to us in several ways.


We need not resent our afflictions or troubles. We need to see them as opportunities (Romans 8:28). Paul tells us that when we die we will have a wonderful new body.  The Greeks did not believe in a bodily resurrection. They saw only the soul as being immortal, but Scripture teaches that the body and soul are ultimately inseparable (1 Cor. 15:46-58).



MARK 3:20-35


Jesus lays down the conditions of true kinship or family in today’s Gospel. He shows us that family is not solely a matter of flesh and blood. The most basic need of all human beings is to belong. The desire to be loved and needed is in every human being on this planet. We see members of Jesus’ family trying to take Him home and remove Him from the wrath of the Pharisees and scribes. We then hear Jesus respond to them with an explanation of His family members. The church teaches that Jesus was Mary’s only child and that the “brothers” were possibly cousins (cousins were often called brothers in those days). Jesus’ family did not understand His ministry, especially when Jesus told the crowd that anyone who did the will of God is His brother, sister, and even His mother.


Jesus conveys to us that our spiritual family forms rela­tionships that are ultimately more important and longer lasting than those formed in physical families. God’s family is open to anyone who believes in His Son Jesus Christ. Although Jesus cared for His mother and other family members, He also cared for all those who loved Him. Jesus did not show partiality. He allowed everyone the privilege of obeying God and becoming part of His family.


He shows us how to relate to other believers in a new way. In our busy, computerized, impersonal world, warm, loving, caring relationships among members of God’s family take on major impor­tance. Today there are millions of people who do not belong to God’s family. Jesus tells us to go out and make disciples of all nations (Matt. 28:19-20). We who are part of God’s loving family, who are called the church, can give loving personalized care that many people desperately need.  It is time to make our family and our church a hospital for sinners as well as a haven for saints. Jesus tells us that what we do to the least of our brethren, we do unto Him (Matt. 25:31-40).





The first reading tells us about being accountable for our own actions.  The second reading shows that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit.  The Gospel reveals to all of us who is really part of God’s family.


This week, show your family by your actions that they are very special to you. Spend time alone with each member, pray with them, and thank God for His gift to you.  Then look around you and see who needs to be affirmed in God’s family.  Maybe it is a relative, neighbor or co-worker or schoolmate. Remember, all who believe in doing God’s will are Jesus’ brothers, sisters, and mother. Love your family this week and spend some time with them.



By Deacon Ken and Marie Finn







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?




  1. From what you learned, what personal application did you choose to apply to your life this week?




SECOND DAY              READ EXODUS 24:3-8             FIRST READING


(“We will do everything the Lord has told us.”)


  1. What did Moses come to the people to do, and how did      they answer him?   Exodus 24:3



  1. What did Moses do with the words of the Lord, and what did he erect early the next morning at the foot of the     moun­tain? Exodus 24:4



  1. What did the Lord tell Moses to announce to Joshua? Exodus 17:14



Personal – What have you written down this week that was a word from the Lord to you?



  1. Why did Moses send certain young men of the Israelites to offer holocausts and sacrifice young bulls?  Exodus     24:5



  1. Without what was the first covenant not even inaugurated? Hebrews 9:18




  1. What did Moses do with the blood of the animals, and what did he do with the book of the covenant?  Exodus      24:6-7



  1. What did the people say when Moses read from the book of the covenant?   Exodus 24:7



  1. What did Moses do with the blood, and what did he say to the people?   Exodus 24:8



  1. Who and what did Moses sprinkle with the blood, and what happens to it according to the law?   Hebrews    9:19-22



  1. What is there none of without the shedding of blood? Hebrews 9:22



Personal – How does your life show that through blood you have been forgiven?  In what way are you in one accord with those around you in heeding and doing all that the Lord has said?



THIRD DAY               READ HEBREWS 9:11-15               SECOND READING


(“…He is mediator of a new covenant.”)


  1. As what did Christ come, what did he pass through which was not made by human hands, and to what did he    not belong? Hebrews 9:11



  1. What did Christ have to become like in every way to expiate the sins of the people? Hebrews 2:17



  1. With whose blood did he achieve eternal redemption, and whose blood did he not need to achieve eternal     redemption? Hebrews 9:12



  1. Why did Christ not need to offer sacrifice day after day as did the high priests?   Hebrews 7:27



  1. What is it impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to do?   Hebrews 10:4



  1. What can the blood of goats and bulls and the sprinkling of a heifer’s ashes cleanse?   Hebrew 9:13



  1. How did Christ offer himself to God, and from what can he cleanse our conscience?   Hebrews 9:14



  1. How have we been consecrated through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all? Hebrews 10:9-  10



  1. When we have been cleansed from all lawlessness, what are we eager to do?   Titus 2:14



  1. Of what is Christ the mediator, why has his death taken place, and what may those who are called     receive? Hebrews 9:15



  1. Who is the only mediator between God and the human race, and as what did he give himself?   1 Timothy     2:5-6



Personal  –  How has your conscience been cleansed?  In what way do you have a guilty conscience, or in what way does your con­science bother you?  Share with someone, and ask them to pray with you about it.  And both listen to what the Lord is saying about this.



FOURTH DAY             READ MARK 14:12-16, 22-26            GOSPEL


(“Take it, this is my body.” “This is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed for many.”)


  1. On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, what did they sacrifice?  What did Jesus’ disciples      say to him? Mark 14:12



  1. Describe what is in Exodus 12:1-11. Concentrate on verse 11.



  1. Jesus sent two of his disciples into the city. Whom did he say would meet them, and what did he tell them     to do? Mark 14:13



  1. Wherever the man entered, what were they to say to the master of the house?   Mark 14:14



  1. What would the master of the house show the disciples, and what were they to do?  Mark 14:15



  1. When the disciples went off and entered the city, what did they find, and what did they do?   Mark 14:16



Personal  –  In prayer, have you asked the Lord about what he wants you to do?  Have you followed his direction?



  1. While they were eating, what four things did Jesus do with the bread?  What did he say?   Mark 14:22



  1. What did Jesus do with the cup, and what did he say to his disciples?   Mark 14:23-24



  1. Why was Jesus’ blood shed? Matthew 26:28



  1. What did Jesus say he would not do again until the day when He drinks it new in the kingdom of God?    Mark 14:25



  1. What makes us one body? 1 Corinthians 10:16-17



  1. What did Jesus and the disciples sing, and when and where did they go?    Mark 14:26



Personal – How can you participate more fully in Mass on Sunday? If there is any blockage from your participating fully, go to a priest and talk to him and receive the Sacrament of Reconcilia­tion. No matter how deep the hurt, you can forgive everyone because Jesus has forgiven you.



FIFTH DAY               READ PSALM 116:12-18



(“Precious in the eyes of the Lord is the death of his faithful ones.”)


Read and meditate on Psalm 116:12-18.


What is the Lord saying to you personally through the Psalm?




How can you apply this to your life?






EXODUS 24:3-8


Moses announced all the laws and regulations God had given him to all the people assembled there at the foot of Mt. Sinai. Mt. Sinai is one of the most sacred locations in Israel’s his­tory. This is the mountain where Moses met God in a burning bush, and where He made his covenant with Israel and Elijah.  Elijah heard God “in the sound of a gentle whisper” in a cave on Mt. Sinai. We see God’s people learn about the potential blessings of obedience (Ex. 24:8-18), and the tragic consequences of disobedience (Ex. 32). Moses built an altar at the foot of this mountain with twelve pillars around the altar because there were twelve tribes of Israel. He then sent some young men to sacrifice the burnt offerings and peace offerings. The Israelites very often shared a sacrificial meal together. A burnt offering was sacrificed to God, and then the meal taken from the sacrifice was dedicated to God and eaten as a type of fellowship ­dinner.


We see Moses confirm and seal the covenant that God has made with His people through the use of blood.  As the holy and almighty judge of us all, God condemns sin and judges it worthy of death.  We see very clearly that in the Old Testament, God accepted the death of an animal as an atonement for a sinner. Blood symbolized the death of an animal as being a substitute for a sinner.  Blood also symbolized that a life was spared as a result.


We see in scripture that the death of Jesus Christ was the only way that man could have a permanent atonement with God (Hebrews 9:9 – 10:24).  The blood that was thrown against the altar in today’s reading shows that the sinner could again come before God because some thing died in his place.  The blood that was thrown on the people showed them that their penalty for sin had been paid.  They then could be reunited with God.


You can be reunited with God right now by confessing to him that you are a sinner, and ask him to forgive you.  His blood has already ransomed you from darkness.  Repent and believe in Jesus, and become a child of the light.



HEBREWS 9:11-15


This reading tells us that Jesus came as a high priest and passed through a greater and more perfect sanctuary not made by human hands.  Once a year, on the day of atonement, the high priest could enter the Holy of Holies, which was in the innermost room of the tabernacle. In that small room was contained the Ark of the Covenant. This was a chest that contained the original stone tablets on which the ten commandments were written. The high priest was the only one who could enter into this sacred spot. The peoples’ only access to God was through the high priest, who offered a sacrifice and used its blood to atone first for his own sins and then for the peoples’ sins (Hebrews 10:19).


Today’s reading shows us that trying to make ourselves good enough through rules and regulations has never been successful. Jesus shows us that by his blood alone our consciences are cleansed, and we are freed from death.  We can now live to serve God because we are free from sin’s power.  Today’s reading clearly speaks to us that if we are feeling guilty because we can not be good enough for God, then rejoice and take another look at what Jesus’ death means to us.


It is very important to realize that in the Old Testament the blood of sacrificed animals allowed the people to be ceremon­ially acceptable.  The blood of Christ’s sacrifice transforms our lives and hearts and makes us clean on the inside.  We can look at ourselves and see that if our hearts are not changed, follow­ing God’s rules is very unpleasant and difficult.  We normally will rebel against being told how to live, but the Holy Spirit gives us new desires, and we find that serving God is our great­est joy. Many consider something as valuable, in our human way of thinking, because only a few can have it.  God’s great plan of redemp­tion, however, stands in sharp contrast to the human term value or valuable. He is the most valuable of all treasures, and He is available to all.  His blood has made you free and valuable.  Exercise your faith by sharing it and using it to serve God.



MARK 14:12-16, 22-26


All males over the age of 12 years were required to go to Jerusalem. This was the time of the Passover Festival. The term “Passover” means the night the Israelites were freed from Egypt (Exodus 12), when God “passed over” homes marked by the blood of a lamb while killing the first born sons in unmarked homes. The day of Passover was followed by a seven-day festival called the Feast of the Unleavened Bread. This feast recalled the Israelites quick escape from Egypt when they did not have time even to let their bread dough rise. The people had to bake the bread without any yeast. The whole week came to be called Passover week because it followed the special holiday.


Jesus told His disciples to go and prepare for the Passover meal in which they were going to participate. Many homes in the area had large upstairs rooms and the renting of these rooms for the Passover festival was quite common.


This meal that Jesus celebrated in today’s Gospel was the origin of the Lord’s Supper, or also known as the communion of the Eucharist. The sharing of Jesus’ Body and Blood is celebrated at every Catholic worship service, and in many other Christian churches the breaking of the bread is a major part of worship. At the first Lord’s supper, Jesus and His disciples ate a meal, sang Psalms, read scripture and prayed. He took the bread and wine and gave them new meaning as His Body and Blood.


Just as Jesus’ death on the cross seals a new agreement between God and mankind, the Passover celebrated deliverance from slavery in Egypt, and the Lord’s supper celebrates deliverance from sin by Christ’s death.  Catholic Christians believe that the bread and wine actually become Christ’s Body and Blood. All Christians believe, however, that God is a part of the communion experience, blessing us as we remember Christ’s death until He comes again.  We all become one body in Christ when we share His Body and Blood in the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist.





The first reading reveals the sacredness of Mt. Sinai to the Israelites. The second reading tells us that we are the tabernacles of God. The Gospel tells us that Eucharist means unity and thanksgiving.


This week, share your faith with someone. Tell them what Jesus’ death means to you, and what it means to eat at the Lord’s table. You may be sharing this revelation with someone who is very hungry for spiritual food. It might be someone in your family, school or work.  Jesus calls each one of us to feed His lambs.  Go forth and share your faith, and feed His lambs.



 By Deacon Ken and Marie Finn






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?



  1. From what you learned, what personal application did you choose to apply to your life this week?



SECOND DAY            READ DEUTERONOMY 4:32-34, 39-40         FIRST READING 


(“You must keep his statutes and commandments which I enjoin on you today.”) 


  1. Who created man upon the earth, and what are the four questions asked in verses 32-34 of Deuteronomy 4? 



  1. Why did God let the Israelites hear his voice? Deuteronomy 4:36 



  1. What did the Israelites find out after God spoke to them? Deuteronomy 5:24, 26



  1. What will the Lord do to all the nations in which the Israelites were afraid?   Deuteronomy 7:22 



  1. What must we know and fix in our heart?   Deuteronomy 4:39



  1. What must we keep, and what will happen to us and our children?   Deuteronomy 4:40 



  1. What is the new commandment that Jesus left his disciples, and how do we know whether we are a disciple? John 13:34-35



  1. What commandment promises a long life and prosperity? Deuteronomy 5:16 



  1. Who did Jesus say was his mother?   Matthew 12:49-50



  1. What did Mary, the mother of God, say about the Mighty One (God), what does he extend to those who fear him, and to whom does he do this? Luke 1:49-50



Personal – How have you kept God’s commandments on an everyday basis?   How have you loved someone who has not been loving to you this past week?  See whether you can find ways to do this. 



THIRD DAY               READ ROMANS 8:14-17               SECOND READING 


(“For those who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.”) 


  1. What are those who are led by the Spirit of God? Romans 8:14 



  1. If we are guided by the Spirit of God, what are we not under?   Galatians 5:18 



  1. Who did Jesus give power to become children of God? John 1:12 



Personal – By whom are you being led? 



  1. What did we not receive, and into what does that make us fall? Romans 8:15



  1. What did we receive, and what do we cry? Romans 8:15



  1. As proof that we are children, whom did God send into our hearts, and what does he cry out? Galatians 4:6



  1. God did not give us a spirit of what, but rather a spirit of what three things? 2 Timothy 1:7



  1. What does God’s Spirit do with our spirit? Romans 8:16



  1. If we are children of God, we are heirs and joint heirs of whom if only we do what?  Romans 8:17



  1. If we suffer with Christ, what will happen to us? Romans 8:17 



  1. What are we to do to the extent that we share in the suffering of Christ, and when his glory is revealed we may also do what?   1 Peter 4:13 



Personal – In what way do you see yourself suffering with Christ, and do you see yourself as God’s child? 



FOURTH DAY           READ MATTHEW 28:16-20               GOSPEL 


(“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations.”) 


  1. Who went to Galilee, and what did Jesus order them to do? Matthew 28:16



  1. When the disciples saw Jesus, what did they do even though they doubted?   Matthew 28:17



  1. How will true worshippers worship the Father?  John 4:23



Personal – In what way have you worshipped Jesus this week? 



  1. What did Jesus tell his disciples?   Matthew 28:18



  1. Who has authority over all people, who gave this to him, and for what reason?  John 17:1-2 



  1. When Jesus told his disciples to go, what did he tell them to do and in whose name were they to baptize them? Matthew 28:19



  1. What were the disciples to proclaim, and what would happen to those who believed and those who did not believe? Mark 16:15-16



  1. What would be preached in the name of Jesus?  Luke 24:47



  1. What are the disciples to teach, and what did Jesus promise he would do until the end of the age?   Matthew 28:20



  1. What does the name Emmanuel mean?  Matthew 1:23



  1. Who teaches us everything and reminds us of all that Jesus said?   John 14:26



Personal – What have you learned from Jesus this week that you can share with those you meet? 



FIFTH DAY                READ PSALM 33:4-6, 9, 18-20, 22 


(“For upright is the Word of the Lord.”) 


Read and meditate on Psalm 33:4-6, 9, 18-20, 22. 


What is the Lord saying to you personally through the Psalm? 



How can you apply this to your life? 





DEUTERONOMY 4:32-34, 39-40 


Today’s message is a powerful reminder to all nations that there is only one God, and that we who believe are His children. The people are being reminded by Moses that God loved them so much that an entire nation heard His voice spreading from the fire on a mountain top.   They are reminded that they were freed from the bondage of slavery, not by their power, but rather by the power of God. 


God sent terrible plagues, mighty miracles, war, and terror upon nations far greater than their nation.  Moses told them that it was because God loved their ancestors and chose to bless their descendants that He personally delivered them from Egypt with a great display of power.  Israel was being told that as a nation it would prosper if it obeyed God’s laws.  God’s laws were designed to make His chosen nation healthy, just, and merciful. When they followed His laws they prospered.  This does not mean that no sickness, poverty or problems existed among them. Individual problems were handled as fairly as possible, but as a nation they still prospered. 


Today God’s promise of prosperity, His constant presence, comfort, and His direction about the way to live as we should extend to all believers.  We will face trials; Jesus assured us of that.  But we can and will avoid the misery that directly results from intentional sin. A nation that allows abortion, pornography, drugs, immorality, and rebellion to become a casual part of its accepted way of life is a nation that is heading toward disaster. 


Today’s reading reminds us that if we remain faithful to the God who loved us so much that He sent His only begotten Son to die on the cross for us, we will know the great heavenly treasure that awaits us. God will reward nations as well as individuals who seek a deeper personal relationship with His Son, Jesus Christ. 



ROMANS 8:14-17 


In this passage Paul used the example of adoption in connecting the believers’ new relationship with God.  Adoption in the Roman culture was looked at with great respect.  Roman adoption was made more serious and difficult by the Roman “Patria Potestas.” This was the father’s power over his family and was actually the power of life and death. In regard to his father, a Roman son never came of age. Adoption from one family to another was a very difficult and serious step. In adoption a person had to pass from one “Patria Potestas” to another.  


Paul, being a Roman citizen himself, knew the correlation between Roman adoption and being adopted into God’s family. In the Roman adoption the adopted person lost all rights and debts in his old family and gained all the rights of a legitimate son in his new family. In the most binding legal way, he got a new father. Paul tells us about this part of Roman culture so that we today can see the incredible significance of what it means to be adopted into God’s family and to be adopted by “Abba,” our heavenly Father. 


When a person enters into the Christian family, he gains all the rights of a legitimate child and he becomes a full heir to his new father’s estate. He also gains all the privileges and responsibilities of a child in God’s family. You and I no longer need to be cringing, fearful slaves. Instead, we are the master’s children. We receive this wondrous gift in our sacrament of Baptism, and we share in great treasures, such as, being His children, receiving His forgiveness, and the incredible gift of eternal life. Our Father, or “Abba” which means daddy, encourages us to ask Him for whatever we need. 


Being a child of God means being identified with Jesus Christ. This identification includes the suffering that Christians have faced in the past and will have to face in the future. The early Christians suffered persecution and death. Today in many countries, suffering includes economic and social persecution as well as physical persecution and death. In many countries of today’s world, Christians face pressures just as severe as those faced by Christ’s followers. We are called as Christians to live as Christ did; nothing we suffer, however, can compare to the great price Jesus paid to save us. 


I pray that today you will be identified with Jesus and become a member of His family and an heir to all that our Heavenly Father has promised. 


MATTHEW 28:16-20 


Today, in all the Catholic Churches throughout the world, we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Trinity. When we talk about the Trinity we bring the authority of the Father, the power of the Spirit, and the loving sacrifice of the Son into one Being called God. There is no clear-cut explanation to this incredible mystery, but all throughout scripture we are presented with the presence of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 


In today’s Gospel, we are called to go forth and make disciples of all nations. We are being commissioned to go out into the darkness and bring others into our family of love and light. We have learned throughout scripture about a loving Father who loved the world so much that He chose to let His only begotten Son die for the sins of the world. He let His Son be the ransom for all of us who believe in Him. We do not have that kind of power to make and carry out such a statement of belief, so God, in a true role of a loving Father, left us His Holy Spirit. 


Through the power of the Holy Spirit, and in the name of Jesus, we can give glory to God the Father by going forth and bringing others into His healing presence. God gave Jesus authority over heaven and earth, and on the basis of that authority, Jesus told His disciples to make more disciples. These disciples preached, baptized, and taught with this same authority through the power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8). 


Jesus still commands us to tell others the Good News and make them disciples. When someone is dying or leaving us, their last words are very important to us. Jesus left the disciples with these last words of instruction. He told His disciples that they were under His authority, and that they were to baptize and teach the people to obey His commandments. He also told them that He would always be with them, even to the end of the world.  


We are to go forth, whether it is next door or to another country, and make disciples. This is not an option; this is a command by Christ Himself. We are not all evangelists, but we have all received gifts that we can use in helping to fulfill the great commission. As we obey, we have great comfort and joy in knowing that through the power of the Holy Spirit, and in the name of Jesus, we are giving glory to God the Father. Let us all celebrate this special day called Trinity Sunday. 





The first reading reveals to us that God’s law is to be obeyed above man’s law.  The second reading tells us that being adopted into God’s family means being a full heir to His heavenly kingdom.  The Gospel calls us to be disciples of action and to go forth. 


This week bring someone you know into God’s family.  Tell that person about Jesus, share your faith with him or her.  Let your witness be the spark that sets their heart on fire.  You may have to go no further than your family, school or work to find new members for God’s family.  In fact, you may find members of God’s family who need to be reminded that He is still with them even in their troubled times.   You are messengers of the King! 



By Deacon Ken and Marie Finn







FIRST DAY              Reread last week’s readings. 


  1. What was a helpful or a new thought from the readings or from the homily you heard on Sunday?




  1. From what you learned, what personal application did you choose to apply to your life this week?




SECOND DAY         READ ACTS 2:1-11          FIRST READING 


(“All were filled with the Holy Spirit.”) 


  1. What day had come, and where were the disciples gathered? Acts 2:1



  1. What day was Pentecost celebrated after the Passover, what are other names for it?  Leviticus 23:15-16, Deuteronomy 16:9-10, Exodus 23:16 and Numbers 28:26. 



  1. What suddenly happened from up in the sky, and where was it heard?  Acts 2:2



  1. Read the following scripture, and tell what the Spirit gives to a person?  Ezekiel 37:9, 14



  1. What appeared, and what did it do?  Acts 2:3



  1. What was Jesus’ promise just before he ascended to heaven? Acts 1:5, 8



  1. With what were all filled, and how did they express themselves?  Acts 2:4 



  1. What did the Spirit prompt them to do?  Acts 2:4, Acts 4:31



  1. Who was staying in Jerusalem at the time, and what did they hear?  Acts 2:5-6



  1. About what were they confused?  Acts 2:6



  1. What was their reaction?  What did they ask, and about what were they so amazed?  Acts 2:7-11



Personal – How can your family or friends identify the Spirit of God’s presence in you?  What comes forth from your mouth, and what do you need to do so people will be astonished by your words? 



THIRD DAY            READ 1 CORINTHIANS 12:3-7, 12-13           SECOND READING 


(“No one can say “Jesus is Lord,” except in the Holy Spirit.”) 


  1. What is Paul telling the brothers that we cannot do in the Spirit of God, and what can be said only in the Holy Spirit? 1 Corinthians 12:3



  1. What is there different, but with the same Spirit? 1 Corinthians 12:4 



  1. There are different ministries and works but the same God who accomplishes what?  1 Corinthians 12:5-6



  1. To each person the manifestation of the Spirit is given for what reason?  1 Corinthians 12:7



  1. In what gifts should we try to be rich?  1 Corinthians 14:12.



  1. Fill in the following blanks:  The body is _______________and has __________________ members, but all the members, ____________________ though they are, are _________________ body; and so it is with Christ.   1 Corinthians 12:12 



  1. In the one Spirit, who were baptized into the one body? 1 Corinthians 12:13



  1. What have all of us been given to drink? 1 Corinthians 12:13 



  1. Into whom have we been baptized?  Galatians 3:27



  1. When were we chosen and sealed with the Holy Spirit? Ephesians 1:13 



Personal – From the above scriptures, how can you identify the manifestation of the Spirit in your life, and in those with whom you come in contact?   Reread 1 Corinthians 12:3, and take note of what comes forth from your mouth this week. 




FOURTH DAY         READ JOHN 20:19-23           GOSPEL 


(“Receive the Holy Spirit.”) 


  1. Why did the disciples lock the doors of the place where they were?   John 20:19



  1. Who came and stood before them, and what did he say to them? John 20:19



  1. When he had said this, what did he show them?  John 20:20



  1. What did the disciples do at the sight of the Lord? John 20:20



Personal  –  In what way has our Lord appeared to you when you have been gathered with others praying, and what has been your response? 




  1. What did Jesus say again, and what is his gift to us? John 20:21 and John 14:27



  1. Whom has the Father sent, and who sends us?  John 20:21



  1. What did Jesus do to the disciples, and what did they receive?  John 20:22 



  1. How did the Lord God form man, and how did he give him life? Genesis 2:7



  1. If we forgive men’s sin, what happens to them, and if we hold them bound, what happens?  John 20:23



  1. What did Jesus say on the cross to the Father, and whom should we imitate?  Luke 23:34



Personal – How do others see in you, spiritually and physically, the breath of his life?  How do others see you living out your sign of baptism through repentance, which means change?  How do others see you as you practice forgiveness of others, and ask others to forgive you?  How often do you feel the need for the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and why? 




FIFTH DAY              READ PSALM 104:1, 24, 29-31, 34 


(“When you send forth your spirit, they are created.”) 


Read and meditate on Psalm 104:1, 24, 29-31, 34. 


What is the Lord saying to you personally through the Psalm? 




How can you apply this to your life? 






ACTS 2:1-11 


In today’s readings we celebrate the Feast of “Pentecost,” which means fifty (50). This was a feast that was celebrated about fifty days after Passover and was a feast of thanksgiving for the harvest. The first fruits of the crop were offered to God that day.  All Jewish men were expected to come to the temple for the feast.  The city was usually full to overflowing, and it was fitting that this day was chosen as the day the Holy Spirit descended on the Apostles. 


Today is, in reality, the birthday of the church, and the Christian religion was to be a church for the whole world.  The old law was given by God to Moses for the Jews only.  The new law, given by Christ and confirmed by the power of the Holy Spirit, was for all peoples.  That means you, and that means today, right where you are.  The very fact that you are reading this Bible Study is proof that the power of the Holy Spirit is drawing you near to Him. 


Let today be the day that you fall upon your knees and invite Jesus Christ to come into your heart and become the Lord of your life.  Take a few moments and confess to the Lord all that is twisted within you, and then ask Him to let His Holy Spirit fill you with the power and peace that surpasses all understanding.  The celebration of Pentecost is for you as well as it was for the Jews in today’s passage.  Let the power of the Holy Spirit flow through you, and you will enjoy that same gift that the Apostles had, the gift of speaking in tongues. 


The signs and wonders of that incredible day brought huge crowds of Jews to the place where the Apostles were staying.  This was the day chosen for the Apostles to go forward and make disciples of all nations.  We are called also to go forward and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19). The feast of Pentecost was a thanksgiving feast that was celebrated at the end of the grain harvest which began about seven weeks after the Feast of Passover.  This time of celebration was also called the Feast of Weeks. Jesus was crucified at the time of Passover and His Holy Spirit breathed life on the universal church during this time of harvest called Pentecost.   


We are called today to harvest the crop of souls for the Lord.  The Lord needs some good laborers to work in the vineyard. Are you ready to join the workers?   



1 CORINTHIANS 12:3-7, 12-13 


In this passage, we see that the gifts of the Holy Spirit were given for the good of the whole community to help build up the body of Christ.  We should not refuse to use the gift of the Holy Spirit nor claim it as our own.  Paul clearly warns against listening to false teachers and shows us how to check out their credentials. We are to find out what they teach about Christ. 


We see people today who mock Jesus Christ, not only with their words, but in the way they live.  We see people using their gifts to split communities apart, and then trying to tell us that they are only doing God’s will.  Anyone can claim to speak for God, and we need only to look at some of the leaders in some countries, and we see a lot of false messiahs running around.  God has given us many different gifts; but we must remember that they all come from the same spirit, and that they are to be used to help the community or church.  They will know we are Christians by the way we love and help one another. 


Paul compares the body of Christ to a human body.  Every part is an individual, and has a specific job to do.  In their differences, all of the parts must work together for the good of the whole body.  Jesus Christ is the head, and the rest of us make up the body of Christ.  It is very important that we are not too proud of our abilities, and we must not compare ourselves with one another.  We are called to use our different gifts together, to spread the “Good News” to a world that is filled with “bad news.”  The church, which is the people who believe that “Jesus is Lord,” must be united in its belief in Christ. It must not let its leaders or members use any gifts to cause divisions or strife. 


Faith in Christ is the core of Christian unity.  We are one body, with one spirit that is united in Christ with the Father through the power of the Holy Spirit.  When we were baptized into the Christian Faith, the Holy Spirit took up residence in us and we became the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:16).   


You, by your baptism, have been born into God’s family, and our common goal is faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 



JOHN 20:19-23 


Today’s Gospel passage reveals to us the incredible gift of the Holy Spirit being given publicly to the disciples of Jesus by Jesus Himself.  This is a tremendous feast day in the church.  We look back, and we see that Advent was a time to prepare for the Incarnation of God (God becoming man).  Christmas was the happening of this great Incarnation act.  We then moved into Lent and began to prepare ourselves for the sufferings endured by Christ on our behalf during His holy week.  We celebrated victory in Jesus’ triumph over death which made possible our union with Him in Heaven.   


Today, we celebrate in Pentecost the Holy Spirit being sent by Christ to abide within His church.  This means abiding in you, me, and all believers of the Lord Jesus Christ.  The Holy Spirit gives the Church the power to preserve, to teach, to explain, and to spread the gospel of “Good News,” which is a message of hope and love for everyone in the world. 


This same Holy Spirit who came upon the disciples and all of the people in the upper room is the same Spirit who wants to abide in us.  We can let Him come into our heart right now by getting down on our knees and confessing our sins to the Lord.  Invite Him to come and take up residence in your temple, and let Him take control of your life.  His power will flow through you, and your life will never be the same again.  His peace will be your peace, and it will be a peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7). 


The power from the Holy Spirit helps all of us live a life of holiness and wholeness.  We need to always remember that God’s plan for each one of us is to live a life that is abundant and full (John 10:10).  The Holy Spirit gives us the power in the name of Jesus to bind Satan and his cohorts, and in his Name to loosen the Spirit of life of the Lord Jesus to heal, to restore, and to forgive.  We can release others from the bondage of sin by our compassion and forgiveness.   


We are more than conquerors; we are children of the Living God and we are called to set the captives free and give sight to the blind.  We do that by forgiving them, and loving them through the power of the Holy Spirit, and in the mighty name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.  Pentecost – the harvest is now, the Kingdom of God is at hand, come and be fishers of men.  I pray that the Holy Spirit today will fill you with His love and power, and fill all of us with gratitude for all that God has done for us. 





The first reading tells us that “Pentecost” Sunday is celebrated as the birthday of the Church.  The second reading reveals that the gifts are for the good of the community.  The Gospel shows us that to receive the Holy Spirit is to receive power.   


Let us take a long look at our gifts, and then share them with others this week.  You might visit someone who is sick, or visit someone in jail.  You might write a letter to someone who is lonely, or cook someone a special meal.  Do something beautiful for God this week, and keep on giving your gift away.  God will never let you be without a gift – try it, you’ll like it.