CATHOLIC BIBLE STUDY
EASTER SUNDAY – CYCLE B
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)
The first reading tells us that the source of strength for all of our suffering, trials, and tribulation is the strength of our Lord Jesus Christ. The second reading tells us that our attitude should be humble not proud. A humble attitude is the attitude of Christ. The Gospel reveals that when we fail to obey Jesus’ commandment we betray him.
This week, stop and observe what you are saying and doing. Make a determined effort to stop the deceit, lying, and manipulation that may be going on in your life. It only brought Judas loneliness and death. The choice is yours to make.
FIRST DAY Reread last week’s readings.
- What was a helpful or new thought from the readings or from the homily you heard on Sunday?
- From what you learned, what personal application did you choose to apply to your life this week?
SECOND DAY READ ACTS 10:34, 37-43 FIRST READING
(“We have eaten and drunk with him
after his resurrection from the dead.”)
- Whom was Peter addressing, and what did he say to them? Acts 10:24‑28, 34-35
- How does Deuteronomy 10:17 describe God, and what does it say he does not do? 2 Chronicles 19:7
- For what reason does God have no favorites? Job 34:19 and Wisdom 6:7.
Personal ‑ In what way do you show partiality with your children, your friends, and your co‑workers? Spend time alone with the Lord, repent of this, and ask the Lord to help you look at others through his eyes.
- What was reported all over Judea about Jesus of Nazareth? Where did it begin, and with what? Acts 10:37‑38
“How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth – in Galilee, after the baptism that John preached – with the Holy Spirit and power. He went about doing good and healing all those oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.”
- Who anointed Jesus and who anointed Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy? Acts 10:38 and 2 Corinthians 1:21‑22
- What two things did Jesus go about doing and who was with him? Acts 10:38
- To what are they witnesses, what did they finally do to him, and what did God do? Acts 10:39‑40
- What did God grant, and by whom? Acts 10:40‑41
- Who are the chosen and for what purpose are they chosen? Ephesians 1:13
- What did he commission us to do and whom has he sent to preach to the people? Acts 10:42 and Mark 3:14
- Who are his disciples today, to what are we to bear witness, and to what do all the prophets testify? John 8:31, John 13:35 and Acts 10:42-43
Personal ‑ What results and power do you see in your everyday life from your anointing with the Holy Spirit? Does your family see good works and healing taking place from your touch? Reflect on this.
THIRD DAY READ COLOSSIANS 3:1-4 SECOND READING
(“Be intent on things above
rather than things of earth.”)
- With whom have we been raised up, what should we seek, and where is Christ seated? Colossians 3:1
- Who raised us up and gave us a place in the heavens?
- On what are we to be intent and why? Colossians 3:2‑3
- What are things that are rooted in earth?
Colossians 3:5, 8, 9
- How do we become intent on things above?
- Where is our life hidden now? Colossians 3:3
- Who is Christ to us? Colossians 3:4
- When Christ appears, what will happen to us and in what way? Colossians 3:4
Personal ‑ As you have died with Christ to your old desires and to things rooted in this earth, do your family, friends, and work acquaintances see you as a reflection of Christ? On a sheet of paper, name some of the characteristics of Christ in one column and in another column list your characteristics through a 24‑hour day and compare the two columns.
FOURTH DAY READ JOHN 20:1-9 GOSPEL
(“He saw and believed.”)
- Who came to the tomb, and what did she see when she arrived at the tomb? John 20:1
- Where was Mary Magdalene as Jesus hung on the cross?
- What did Jesus drive out of Mary? Mark 16:9.
- To whom did Mary run, and what did she say to them? John 20:2
- What did Peter and the other disciple do, who reached the tomb first, and how did they get there?
Personal ‑ In what way do you see yourself running to see where Jesus is? Are you persevering in running the race? On whom are you keeping your eyes fixed? Do your family and friends see you as someone with eyes looking up or cast down? Read Hebrews 12:1‑2.
- What did the disciple do when he got to the tomb and what did he see lying on the ground? John 20:5
- What did Peter do when he got there? What did he observe on the ground, and what did he notice about the cloth which had covered Jesus’ head? John 20:6‑7
- What did the disciple who had arrived first do, and what was his reaction to this? John 20:8
- What does it take to believe? John 1:12
- What will we receive by believing in the name of Jesus? John 3:36
- After Jesus rose from the dead, what did the disciples come to understand and believe and when did they understand and believe? John 2:22 and Luke 24:30‑32
- What does Jesus say about those who believe and have not seen? John 20:29
Personal ‑ How have you seen a change take place in your life through reading the scriptures? Have you come to believe in the spoken word of Jesus through the scriptures? Remember, John tells us that Jesus is the Word made flesh. Pray and ask God to fill you with an understanding of the Word through his gift of the Holy Spirit that you received from him.
FIFTH DAY READ PSALM 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23
(“The right hand of the Lord
has struck with power.”)
Read and meditate on Psalm 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23.
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
ACTS 10:34, 37-43
Alleluia is a Hebrew word that means “praise ye the Lord.” On this great day of Easter Sunday we give thanks, gratitude and our complete joy in the form of praise to our Lord Jesus Christ. This passage strongly shows that the resurrection is the basic doctrine and proof of the truth of the Christian faith. We are told in scripture that if Christ has not risen, then our preaching is in vain, and our faith is worthless also (1 Cor. 15:14).
There are many today who disregard the physical resurrection and say that it is no big deal. They say that it is the spiritual resurrection that really matters. St. Paul says just the opposite. Jesus rose from the dead, and then he was seen by witnesses who had not only spoken with him, but had actually eaten with him. The Apostles were devastated on Friday night after the crucifixion, and they remained locked in the upper room fearful of what the Roman soldiers were going to do next. They were even too afraid to do any wishful thinking about their beloved master, Jesus. They were hard to convince even when it happened.
We need to reflect on this passage. Have we seen him, have we talked with him, have we eaten with him? He is alive today, and like the Apostle Peter, we too are called to evangelize and teach about Jesus. We are called to fellowship with others who believe that he is risen and that he lives today. We need to discover through Christ something significant about each other, both believers and non‑believers. He has risen for the whole world ‑ Alleluia ‑ Alleluia!
In this passage, Paul begins by bringing us into the core meaning of our baptism. In the early days of the church, baptism was by total immersion. When you heard the story of Christ and you were ready to believe in the one true God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, you were then immersed in water. You were cleansed from your sins and worldliness. Immersion was a symbol of being drowned or buried with Christ. This signified that the new Christian has died to all earthly attachments and desires. He was raised out of the water or the tomb to be with the risen Christ. Paul said, “If you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above.” This means that we must mean what we say and do.
We have been raised with Christ and we no longer need to dwell on things of the earth. This does not mean to walk away from responsibility. It does not just mean being obedient to parents and to society. It does not just mean that we have to work to support ourselves or our families. It means that our earthly possessions must not dominate our life.
We are called to love people, not things, money, power, status, etc. Our lives need to show that what we did at baptism has life-long meaning. What we do is far more effective on others than what we say. We were created for unending happiness in heaven and this happiness is now within our grasp, thanks to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We are helped in our daily living by God’s holy grace. Remember God wants us to go to heaven and he has an Easter resurrection planned for all of us.
The divine plan of God for all people was accomplished through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. All people would now be eligible to be called sons and daughters of God because of Jesus Christ’s perfect act of obedience. Because of him, we will one day rise from the grave, like Christ, in our glorified bodies. The resurrection was the basis of the new Christian faith. Had it not happened, Christianity would never have started. There would have been no Easter Sunday. Peter would have returned with his companions to their fishing nets and boats, and Jesus Christ would have been forgotten after a few short years.
Mary Magdalene’s discovery of an empty tomb brought shock and fear. She ran to Peter and told him that she thought someone had stolen the body of Jesus. Peter had to see for himself and check out the facts. We might take notice of how the clothes were folded after they discovered Jesus’ body was gone. They would not have been arranged that way if there had been a robbery. The disciples were completely surprised when they found the empty tomb. It was only then that they remembered that Jesus had said that he would rise again.
Many people today do not believe in Jesus because the “facts” do not check out. We can only accept the fact of the resurrection when we have first personally encountered Jesus Christ. The understanding of the resurrection takes on a special meaning as we commit our lives to Jesus and his presence remains with us. Jesus’ resurrection is the key to our Christian faith because death, as we know it, is not the end. Jesus’ bodily resurrection shows us that he is ruler of God’s kingdom. Because of his promise, we who die to ourselves with him, will rise from the dead with him. Because of him, you and I can face tomorrow without fear. Because of him, we have his Holy Spirit living within us and protecting us against all evil (1 John 4:4). Because of him, we can witness to the whole world that if they believe in Jesus Christ, they may also receive eternal happiness. Because of him, all mankind can really be free and live forever. Alleluia ‑ he is risen ‑ Alleluia ‑ he is alive.
Jesus’ death brought us freedom from sin and death. We are now called to free others from sin and death here on earth. Some of us can do that by our professions as medical people, legal people, politicians, educators, business people, parents, and children.
This week free someone in your family, home or work from a chore that you know they don’t like. Let them see that joy in someone who really knows that he is free. Then each day have your family gather together to pray that all may become free from sin through Jesus Christ. Because of him, you are free. Let freedom ring throughout this land.