THE BREAD OF LIFE CATHOLIC BIBLE STUDY
By Deacon Ken and Marie Finn
BEFORE YOU BEGIN:
Pray and ask God to speak to you through His Holy Spirit.
“THE PARACLETE, THE HOLY SPIRIT WHOM THE FATHER WILL SEND IN MY NAME, WILL INSTRUCT YOU IN EVERYTHING, AND REMIND YOU OF ALL THAT I TOLD YOU.” (JOHN 14:26)
FIRST DAY Reread last week’s readings.
1. What was a helpful or new thought from the readings or from the homily you heard on Sunday?
2. From what you learned, what personal application did you choose to apply to your life this week?
SECOND DAY READ ISAIAH 66:10-14 FIRST READING
(The Lord’s power shall be known to his servants.)
1. Who will rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad because of her? Isaiah 66:10
2. What are those to do who were mourning over Jerusalem? Isaiah 66:10
3. What does the milk of Jerusalem bring? Isaiah 66:11
4. For what does 1 Peter 2:2 say to be eager, and for what reason?
5. What will the Lord spread over Jerusalem and how? Isaiah 66:12
6. As nurslings, how shall you be carried and fondled? Isaiah 66:12
7. Fill in the following blanks: “As a mother __________ her son, so will I ___________ you.” Isaiah 66:13
8. Where will you find comfort? Isaiah 66:13
9. When this happens, what will your heart and body do? Isaiah 66:14
10. What shall be known to the Lord’s servants and what will be known to his enemies? Isaiah 66:14
Personal – In what way do you find comfort when feeling depressed? To whom do you go to? Write out your thoughts and then meditate on 2 Corinthians 1:3-4.
THIRD DAY READ GALATIANS 6:14-18 SECOND READING
(Paul boasts of nothing but the cross of Jesus Christ.)
1. Who is speaking in Galatians 6:14? Galatians 1:1
2. Paul says he must boast of nothing but what? Galatians 6:14
3. Through the cross of Jesus Christ, what does Paul say about the world and about himself? Galatians 6:14
4. What does not matter? Galatians 6:15
5. What is all that matters? Galatians 6:15
6. In whose image are we created, and of what is this justice and holiness born? Ephesians 4:24
7. What two things are on all who follow this rule of life? Galatians 6:16
8. What does Paul bear in his body? Galatians 6:17
9. How does Paul end this letter? Galatians 6:18
Personal – In what way have you been created anew? How do others see you dying to yourself and boasting in the cross of Jesus Christ? What is the rule of life you follow?
FOURTH DAY READ LUKE 10:1-12, 17-20 GOSPEL
(I have given you power to tread on all the forces of the enemy.)
1. How many did the Lord appoint, and how, when, and where did he send them? Luke 10:1
2. What did Jesus say about the harvest and the workers, and for what did he say to ask? Luke 10:2
3. How did Jesus say he is sending his laborers? Luke 10:3
4. How did he tell them to travel? Luke 10:4
5. When entering a house what did he tell them to say? Luke 10:5
6. If there is a peaceable man, what will your peace do, and if he is not, what will happen to your peace? Luke 10:6
7. Where were they to stay and what did he say about wages? Luke 10:7
8. Where they were welcomed, what were they to do with the food, the sick, and what were they to say to them? Luke 10:8-9
9. What were they to say to people that did not welcome them and where were they to go to say it? Luke 10:10-11
10. What will happen to such a town? Luke 10:12
11. How did the seventy-two return, and what did they say was subject to them and in whose name? Luke 10:17
12. Who did Jesus say fell from the sky like lightning? Luke 10:18
13. What had he given them and what shall not happen to them? Luke 10:19
14. In what should you not so much rejoice, and in what should you rejoice? Luke 10:20
Personal – In what way have you used this power that God has given you in the name of Jesus to get rid of the enemy in your family, or with those you meet each day? Reread verse 19 of Luke 10 and claim the promise given to you.
FIFTH DAY READ PSALM 66:1-7, 16, 20
(Sing praise to the glory of his Name.)
Read and meditate on Psalm 66:1-7, 16, 20.
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
God will not let his work of restoration go unfinished. In this image of a child nursing at his mother’s breast, God shows that he will accomplish what he promised.
This promise of eternal peace and mercy is as unstoppable as the birth of a baby. When all the pain is over, the joy begins. Jerusalem is being presented as the new City of God. The new Jerusalem is a place where safety, peace and plenty will be available to all. All the nations are coming to nurse at the breasts of the “New Jerusalem” and they too, along with the remnant of the old, will find new life in Jesus Christ.
This is a tremendous verse about how God, in his incredible mercy, has left the door open for those who believe and obey him. The faithful remnant asked God for two favors: show them compassion (Isaiah 63:15-19) and punish their enemies (Isaiah 66:6). God today still keeps that promise. He will always preserve a faithful remnant of his people no matter how bad the world. There are always a few who remain loyal to him. This verse shows us how the goodness of God will be seen by the world and yet many will still go on rejecting him. The verse closes with a firm warning that his wrath will come upon his enemies (Isaiah 66:14). The earth, as we know it, will not last forever. God promised Isaiah that he would create a new and eternal earth (Isaiah 65:17, 66:22). We don’t really know how it will look or where it will be, but Jesus of Nazareth and his followers will be united to live there forever.
This passage of Paul to the Galatians boldly declares not only his freedom in Christ but, also, it declares the freedom of all Christians in Jesus Christ. In the days of Paul, there were many who wanted to grow in the Christian life but were being distracted by those who insisted that they had to keep certain Jewish laws.
Some of the “Judaizers,” (Jews who insisted that you had to be circumcised before you could become a Christian), emphasized circumcision as proof of their holiness, but ignored other Jewish laws. People often choose a particular principle and make it the measuring rod of faith. Some despise promiscuity but tolerate prejudice. God’s word has to be followed in its entirety.
Our world is just like Paul’s world, it is full of enticements. We are being barraged daily with both subtle and overt cultural pressures and propaganda by the media. We hear Paul saying that he no longer is bothered by them any more because he is dead to the influence of worldly things.
The only way for us to escape these destructive influences is to ask God to help us die to them just as Paul did. We need to ask ourselves, how much do the interests of this world matter to us? We need also to remember that it is very easy to get caught up in the externals. We need to caution against emphasizing things we should or should not do, with no concern for the inward condition of the heart. We do not do good things to become good, we do good things because of the goodness that is within us, and that is the Holy Spirit (John 14:16). Living a good life without inward change leads to a spiritual walk that is shallow, empty and very frustrating.
Paul is telling us that it really does not matter what the world thinks about him or his accomplishments. What does matter to him is the peace that came to him when he died to himself for Jesus Christ. What matters to God is that we be completely changed from the inside out. Paul was to the world a prisoner, but in reality he was completely free in Christ. We have been set free by Jesus Christ. We do not need to be set back by some form of bondage again. We are all called to use our freedom to live for Christ and serve him as he desires.
LUKE 10:1-12, 17-20
Only Luke tells of this second mission of the disciples. More than just the twelve apostles had been following Jesus. He chose a group of about seventy disciples to prepare a number of towns that he would visit. These disciples were just ordinary men, chosen for a not-so-ordinary assignment. The disciples were not trained in any special categories, nor did they have any unique qualifications. What made them different was their awareness of Jesus’ power and their vision to reach all the people through him. We see that having personally experienced his power was much more important than dedicating their skills to God’s kingdom. Today, we need to focus on what he wants us to do in the world.
Jesus was sending out teams of two to reach the people. They were not to try to do the job themselves without help; rather they were to pray to God for more workers. In doing the work of evangelizing, we may want to jump out and begin working to save others and bring immediate results. Jesus tells us to first begin by praying for more workers, and before praying for the unsaved people, pray that other concerned people will join you in reaching out to them.
There is no unemployment in Christian service. The Lord Jesus has work enough for everyone. Don’t just sit back and watch, look for ways to reap the harvest.
Jesus leaves little room for illusion. He tells the disciples they will be like lambs among wolves. They would have to be careful, for they will meet all kinds of opposition. We, too, are sent into the world as lambs among wolves. So we need to watch out and remember that we need to face our enemies, not with timidity, but with power, not with aggression, but with love and courage.
The disciples were told to accept hospitality graciously because they were entitled to it. We need to see today that our ministers are supported emotionally and receive plenty of encouragement. The disciples were disciplined to eat what was put in front of them and to go among the sick and heal in the name of Jesus. They were to shake off the dust of any town that refused them and move on with the Good News.
The disciples had seen tremendous results as they ministered in Jesus’ name and came back overjoyed. Jesus warned them not to get puffed up with their exploits but to remember their most important victory was that their names were registered among the citizens of heaven. Jesus reminds us, today in our ministry of discipleship, that the victory is being won in Jesus’ name. The prize is not human glory through feats of evangelistic power, but of heavenly glory through following Jesus to Calvary.
The first reading shows that God will not let his work of restoration go unfinished. The second reading tells us that our world, like Paul’s world, is full of enticements. The Gospel reveals that there is no unemployment in Christian service.
Let us boast of nothing but the power of the cross of Christ and his Holy Name. We can be instruments of tremendous deeds in his name. We need to begin everything we do in prayer to our Heavenly Father through the power of the Holy Spirit in Jesus’ Name and go forth and make disciples of all the nations. Let us begin with the members of our family.