THE BREAD OF LIFE
CATHOLIC BIBLE STUDY
By Deacon Ken and Marie Finn
BEFORE YOU BEGIN
Pray and ask God to speak to you through His Holy Spirit.
“THE PARACLETE, THE HOLY SPIRIT WHOM THE FATHER WILL SEND IN MY NAME, WILL INSTRUCT YOU IN EVERYTHING, AND REMIND YOU OF ALL THAT I TOLD YOU.” (JOHN 14:26)
FIRST DAY Reread last week’s readings.
- What was a helpful or new thought from the readings or from the homily you heard on Sunday?
- From what you learned, what personal application did you choose to apply to your life this week?
SECOND DAY READ EXODUS 19:2-6 FIRST READING
(“You shall be to me a kingdom of priests, a holy nation.”)
- Where did the Israelites camp, who went up the mountain to God, and who spoke to him? Exodus 19:2-3
- Where did Jesus go to pray? Matthew 14:23
- What did the people do while Moses approached the cloud where God was? Exodus 20:21
- What did God tell Moses to tell the Israelites? Ex 19:4
- What does an eagle do to its young, and what has the Lord done for his people? Deuteronomy 32:11
- What does the Lord say you must do if you want to be his special possession, dearer to him than all other people? Exodus 19:5, Deuteronomy 26:18
- What belongs to the Lord? Exodus 19:5, 1 Corinthians 10:26
- What was Moses to tell the Israelites? Exodus 19:6
- Why are we “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own? ” 1 Peter 2:9
- To what did Jesus choose us before the foundation of the world? Ephesians 1:4
Personal – In what way do you feel you are a special possession of God? What makes you holy in his sight and the sight of your family and friends?
THIRD DAY READ ROMANS 5:6-11 SECOND READING
(“But God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.”)
- When did Christ die for the ungodly? Romans 5:6, Galatians 4:4
- What is difficult to do and how does God prove his love for us? Romans 5:7-8
- What did God do for us and for what reason? John 3:16
- What did Jesus do for us, and what does this say about love? 1 John 4:10, 19
- From what sins were we set free? Romans 3:25
- How have we been justified, and from what are we saved? Romans 5:9
- Against what is the wrath of God being revealed from heaven? Romans 1:18
- How were we reconciled to God while we were enemies, and once reconciled how will we be saved? Romans 5:10
- Of what has God given us the ministry? 2 Cor 5:18
- Of what do we boast, and what do we have through him? Romans 5:11
Personal – How have you experienced God’s love and forgiveness in your life? How have you died to yourself, your way of doing things, in order to be reconciled with someone who may have hurt you?
FOURTH DAY READ MATTHEW 9:36-10:8 GOSPEL
(“The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few.”)
- Why was Jesus’ heart moved with pity? Matthew 9:36
- What did Jesus say to his disciples about the harvest, and what were they to ask the master of the harvest? Matthew 9:37
- What did Jesus say for us to look up and see? John 4:35
Personal – In what way have you gone out and tried to bring someone back to church?
- Over what did Jesus give his disciples authority, and what would they be able to do with diseases and illness? Matthew 10:1
- What were the names of the twelve apostles? Matthew 10:2-4
- Who was Judas, and what had to be fulfilled? Acts 1:16
- Who did Jesus send out, and where did he instruct them not to go? Matthew 10:5
- Where did Jesus tell the twelve to go? Matthew 10:6
- What proclamation were the disciples to make? Matthew 10:7
- What did John the Baptist and Jesus both preach? Matthew 3:2 , Matthew 4:17
- What were the disciples to do, how did they receive, and how were they to give? Matthew 10:8
Personal – What have you received without cost in your life and what have you given away without charging for it?
FIFTH DAY READ PSALM 100:1-3, 5
(“…He made us, his we are; his people, the flock he tends.”)
Read and meditate on Psalm 100:1-3, 5.
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
Mount Sinai is one of the most sacred locations in the history of Israel. On this mountain Moses met God as a burning bush, God made his covenant with Israel, and Elijah heard God in “the sound of a gentle whisper.” This is where God’s people learned the potential blessings of obedience and the tragic consequences of disobedience. God was ready to tell the Israelites why he had rescued them from slavery. He tells them of how he wanted Israel to become a holy people, a nation of priests in which anyone could approach God freely. These priests were to represent what the entire nation should be like. Though all of the men from the Tribe of Levi were dedicated to the service of God, only Aaron’s descendants were allowed to be priests. This distinction allowed them to perform sacrifices at their worship services. The priests had to make sure they were cleansed and rededicated to God before they could help the people follow the path of righteousness. As part of their dedication rite, blood was placed on the priests to let them know that the entire person was set apart for service to God. This ritual was to show that holiness came from God and not from the role of being a priest.
God’s plan was soon corrupted. God then established the Levites as priests. All the people were not chosen or selected to be priests, but all the people were to hold the priestly vision in their hearts and actions. However, with the coming of Christ, God extended his plan to all believers. We are to become holy, a priestly people, a changed people filled with God.
Today, there is a strong and urgent need for a holy and changed people. God wanted to have a special nation on earth, to represent his ways and to be a saving presence in the world. Pray that your nation, your community, your family and you will be “filled with God.” Pray, especially, that your spiritual leaders will remember that their holiness comes from God and not their social standing.
In today’s reading, we discover that we are helpless because we cannot do anything on our own to save ourselves. Someone had to come and rescue us. God controls all history in his time and in accordance with his will, and we were rescued through the death on the cross by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Now, we are at peace with God, which differs from mere peaceful feelings of security and confidence. Peace with God means being one with him, being reconciled with him. Peace with God is possible only because Jesus paid the price for our sins with his death on that cross at Calvary. He died for us while we were still sinners. God sent Jesus to die for us, not because we were deserving, but because he loved us. He loved the lovable; he loved the unlovable. He would have died on that cross if you were the only person in the world, because he loved you before you ever converted to him.
His love is that same love that gives us the power to resist Satan every day. The power that saved Christ from the dead is the power that lives in us at the present time. The Father’s love that allowed his Son to die for our sins is the same love that sends the Holy Spirit to live in us. Be assured, you have a reserve of power and love to call on each day to help you meet every challenge or trial. As surely as you can pray for forgiveness, so also, you can pray expectantly for God’s power and love as necessary.
Jesus requires workers who know how to deal with the problems of people. We can comfort others and guide them on how to live, because we have been helped in our problems, because we know that he is the source and supplier of all our needs (Phil. 4-19). In today’s Gospel we see the tremendous need for laborers to be in God’s field to harvest his crop. The harvest is for men and women’s souls and we are the laborers. Jesus looked at the crowds following him and referred to them as a field ripe for harvest.
Today, there are many people who will give their lives to Christ if someone will show them the way. That someone can be you, so be prepared for God to use you. Jesus called his disciples and, as of now, he is calling you. He didn’t force them into his group but he did ask for volunteers. Being called by Christ means to be chosen to serve Christ in a special way.
Jesus asked his disciples to go only to the Jews, because they were chosen to tell those remaining in the world about God’s saving power. Jewish disciples preached the “Good News” all over the Roman Empire and soon Gentiles poured into the church. Today, the Good News is that the kingdom is still near. Jesus, the Messiah, has already begun his kingdom on earth in the hearts of his followers.
Jesus called people from all walks of life – fishermen, political activists, tax collectors, rich, poor, and educated. Today many people discriminate as to who qualifies to follow Christ. God can use anyone, regardless of how insignificant he feels. He uses ordinary people to do his extraordinary work.
The first reading tells us that obedience leads to blessings and disobedience leads to loneliness and frustration. The second reading tells us that Jesus loves us so much, he died for all, even the ones who could care less about him. The Gospel reveals to us that people are ripe for the harvest, but more laborers are necessary to lead and to show them the way.
This week, let your actions reveal to your family that you are a person who wants the very best for them. Let them know what is obedience and humility by your actions. Give your family the gift of your service.
Since you have received the gift of joy and other gifts, give them away freely. Give them a gift of your joy. Make an attempt to read to a small child. Take an elderly person to lunch, and share your faith and your love for the Lord with someone. Your ability to freely give will inspire someone to freely follow Christ.