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 ISAIAH 6:1-8 FIRST READING
(“All the earth is filled with his glory.”)
- In the year King Uzziah died, what was seen? Isaiah 6:1
- What was seen stationed above the Lord, what did each of them have, and for what were they used? Isaiah 6:2
- What did the Seraphim cry to one another? Isaiah 6:3
- What is said about the Lord, of what is he worthy, and what did he create? Revelation 4:8, 11
- How have we seen God’s glory? John 1:14 and John 2:11
- At the sound of the cry of the Seraphim, what happened to the door and the house? Isaiah 6:4
- What did the man of unclean lips say? Isaiah 6:5
- What did the Lord tell Moses when he asked to see his glory? Exodus 33:18-23
- What did the Seraphim do, what did he do with the ember, and what did it remove? Isaiah 6:6-7
- How do we get cleansed from sin? 1 John 1:7-10
- What did the voice of the Lord say, and what was the reply? Isaiah 6:8
Personal – Have you seen the glory of the Lord, and how has he shown himself to you? If you cannot say you have seen his glory, try to identify where the blockage might be. Ask him to reveal this to you.
THIRD DAY READ 1 CORINTHIANS 15:1-11 SECOND READING
(“But by the grace of God, I am what I am and his grace to me has not been ineffective.”)
- Of what was Paul reminding the brothers? 1 Corinthians 15:1
- What is happening to you if you hold fast to the Word preached? 1 Corinthians 15:2, also Romans 1:16
- What did Paul pass on that he had also received? 1 Corinthians 15:3-4
- How did the gospel come to him? Galatians 1:11-12
- To whom did Jesus appear, who was the least of them, and why was he the least of them? 1 Corinthians 15:5-9
- How did Paul come to know Jesus personally? Acts 9:3-7
- How did Paul become who he is, and how did he respond? 1 Corinthians 15:10
- What does Christ Jesus come to give as an example for those who would come to believe in him? 1 Timothy 1:16
- What is done and what will you do? 1 Corinthians 15:11
- What are we being charged to do? 2 Timothy 4:1-2
Personal – What has the grace of God empowered you to do? How have those around you been affected by you?
FOURTH DAY READ LUKE 5:1-11 GOSPEL
(“Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.”)
- What was the crowd doing, and where was Jesus standing? Luke 5:1
- What did Jesus see, where did he go, and what did he sit down and do? Luke 5:2-3
- After Jesus got through speaking, what did he tell Simon to do, and what was Peter’s reply? Luke 5:4-5
- What is Jesus’ command to you? John 15:12
Personal – Are you as quick as Simon was to God’s command to you? How is that seen by those close to you?
- What happened when Simon did what Jesus commanded? And after signaling to their partners in the other boat to come help, what happened to the boats? Luke 5:6-7
- What did Simon Peter do and say? Luke 5:8
- How did Abraham see himself? Genesis 18:27
- What was the reaction of Simon Peter and the others at the catch of fish? Luke 5:9
- What did Jesus tell Simon not to be, and what did he tell him that he would be catching from now on? Luke 5:10
- When the fishermen brought their boats to shore, what did they do? Luke 5:11
- How are you made fishers of men? Matthew 4:19
Personal – Who are you following, and what has been the result?
FIFTH DAY READ PSALM 138:1-8
(“Great is the glory of the Lord.”)
Read and meditate on Psalm 138:1-8.
What is the Lord saying to you personally through the Psalm?
How can you apply this to your life?
SIXTH DAY READ ALL OF THE COMMENTARY
In this reading we see Isaiah responding to a vision from God. Isaiah was called to be God’s messenger to his people, and his message was going to be very unwelcome. He had to tell people who believed that they were the chosen nation and very much blessed, that God was going to destroy them because of their on-going disobedience. We see as Isaiah experienced the vision, a sense of God’s greatness, mystery, and power.
Isaiah recognizes that he is sinful and confesses his sins before God. His picture of forgiveness reminds us that we, too, are forgiven, and we have the sacrament of reconciliation to bring us back into a right relationship with God. Today we can look back and see how many nations chose to be disobedient toward God and were destroyed as a consequence. When we recognize how great God really is, how sinful we are, and the extent of his forgiving nature, we will fall on our knees and praise him for his wonderful mercy.
Isaiah knew that there was no hope of measuring up to God’s standard of holiness and yet God, through the burning coal, cleansed him. Isaiah responded by submitting himself entirely to God’s service. He knew that the life he was being called to was very dangerous and difficult, and yet, he cries out, “Here I am Lord; I will go, send me.”
Isaiah had to go through the painful process of cleansing before he could be ready to serve the Lord. You may be going through a time of painful cleansing right now. Like Isaiah, let the power and love of God completely engulf you, and let yourself be cleansed. Let the blood of Jesus Christ wash you free, and you will be able to say, “Here I am Lord, I will go Lord, I will hold your people in my heart,” just like Isaiah did.
1 CORINTHIANS 15:1-11
In today’s passage Paul reminds the people about the instruction that they have already received on the resurrection of Christ. Paul is saying that the Good News has not changed because the message is the truth. Paul was talking to unbelievers.
Today we still have churches where the people are moving in the direction of belief, and others filled with pretending impostors. Paul tells the people then and the people now that the Good News is that Jesus Christ died for our sins, he rose from the dead and sits in glory at the right hand of his heavenly Father. And when we believe and accept Christ, we too will die with him and rise with him and spend eternity with him. The real good news of this message was and is, that salvation is available to everyone because Christ’s dying on the cross paid for our sins and makes us clean and acceptable to God. So, whatever your background has been, wherever a loved one of yours might be now, just fall on your knees and plead that the blood of Christ will wash you and your loved ones clean.
There will always be people who say Jesus did not rise from the dead. Paul faced this opposition even after pointing out that over 500 people saw Jesus after the resurrection. Jesus himself cooked and ate with the disciples on the shore of Lake Galilee after his resurrection (John 21:12). Today there are many doubters who have resorted to fiction, plays, books, and even movies to discredit the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ, but we do not need to be discouraged by doubters who really have not believed in the Good News, because to really believe in Christ calls for a commitment of our life, and in Jesus’ name, we have made that commitment.
Luke tells us that Jesus provides more than just a miraculous catch of fish. Imagine if you will, a group of tired fishermen who have been tending their nets unsuccessfully all night and into the dampness of early morning. As the fishermen were mending their nets, Jesus tells Simon, a professional fisherman, where to fish, and even where to drop their nets. Out of sheer curiosity and a little tinge of respect, Peter tells him that area did not look too good, but he would try it once more. Peter and the rest of the fishermen were awestruck at this miracle. Peter immediately recognized his own insignificance in comparison to Jesus’ greatness. Peter knew about Jesus’ healing power, but he was amazed that Jesus cared about his day-to-day routine and understood his needs.
God is interested, not only in saving us, but also in helping us in our daily lives. When we decide to follow God, two major preconditions appear. We must first recognize that our human nature is good but has been wounded by sin. Then we must recognize the futility of human effort by itself to overcome sin, just as these men had fished all night without success, but at the powerful command of Jesus, filled their nets. Jesus had established authority in the synagogue first by healing the sick and casting out demons. Now he established authority in their lives and on their level and helped them in their work. They then left their nets and followed him and became fishers of men (Luke 5:10-11).
For us to follow Jesus is more than acknowledging him as Savior. It means renouncing our sinful past completely and, in obedience and humility, devoting our lives and future to him.
The first reading tells us that each one of us is called to say, “Here I am Lord, use me.” The second reading reminds us that the central message of our faith is that Jesus’ death and resurrection gave us salvation. In the Gospel we see Jesus make the fishermen real fishers-of-men.
This week, let the call to serve Christ be reflected in your daily routine of living. Take time to see where you can be a prophet in your family, school, or work area. Show your care and concern on the level of the person with whom you are attending or working. Remember, Jesus won them over with his personal care of their everyday needs. Isaiah said, “Here I am Lord, use me.” Try saying this to a family member or someone with whom you have difficulty. Jesus will take you at your word, and the miracle will start with you.