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 ACTS 6:1‑7 FIRST READING
(“The Word of God continued to spread.”)
- About what were those who spoke Greek complaining? Acts 6:1
- What makes for pure worship? James 1:27
- Whom did the twelve assemble, and what did they tell them it was not right for them to neglect? Acts 6:2
- For what did the disciples tell them to look, and what are these men to be like? Acts 6:3
- By words being taught by the Spirit, what does this enable us to do? 1 Cor 2:13
- On what two things would this permit the disciples to concentrate? Acts 6:4
- By this proposal being unanimously accepted by the community, whom did they select? Acts 6:5
- With what was Stephen filled? Acts 6:5
- What two things did the disciples do to them when they were presented? Acts 6:6
- What happened at the same time the word of God spread? Acts 6:7
- Who were among those who embraced the faith? Acts 6:7
Personal ‑ How have you responded in your role of leadership as clergyman, parent, teacher, etc.? How have you shown that you are deeply spiritual and prudent in your home and work or community?
THIRD DAY READ 1 PETER 2:4‑9 SECOND READING
(“Those who stumble and fall are the disbelievers in God’s word;”)
- To whom are you to come, what kind of a stone is he, by whom was he rejected, and by whom is he approved and precious? 1 Peter 2:4, Acts 4:11
- What are we, how have we been built, and into what have we been built? 1 Peter 2:5
- What are we offering, to whom have they been acceptable, and whom is it through? 1 Peter 2:5
- What does Scripture say is being laid in Zion, and what kind of stone? 1 Peter 2:6, Isaiah 28:16, Romans 9:33
- What will happen to him who puts his faith in the corner‑stone (Jesus)? 1 Peter 2:6
- To whom is the stone of value? 1 Peter 2:7
- What is the stone for those who have no faith? 1 Peter 2:7‑8
- Who are those who stumble and fall? 1 Peter 2:8
- Who are we, and what does he claim for his own? 1 Peter 2:9
- From what did the one call you? 1 Peter 2:9
Personal ‑ In what way do those around you see in whom you put your faith? In what way do your actions reflect what you believe to your spouse, children, family, friends, co‑workers, etc.
FOURTH DAY READ JOHN 14:1‑12 GOSPEL
(“I am the way, the truth, and the life.”)
- What are we not to do, and in whom are we to have our faith? John 14:1
- Where are there many dwelling places, and what did Jesus say he was going to do? John 14:2
Personal ‑ How do you picture heaven, and what will it be like? Whom do you think you will see there?
- What does Jesus repeat in verse 3 of John 14, what does he say he will come back to do, and for what reason, and what does he say you know? John 14:3-4
- What did Thomas say to Jesus, and what are the three things that Jesus says he is, and how do you come to the Father? John 14:5-6
- From where does salvation come, and what assures us entrance into the sanctuary? Acts 4:11-12, Hebrews 10:19‑20
- Who does Jesus say he is? John 6:35, John 10:9
- To whom do we have access through Jesus? Eph 2:13, 18
- If we really knew Jesus, who else would you know, and what does Jesus say from this point on? John 14:7
- What does Philip say to Jesus and what was his response? John 14:8‑9
- What question does Jesus ask them, what does he say about the words he speaks, where does the Father live, and for what reason? John 14:10
- What is Jesus asking us to believe, and what does he do to help us believe? John 14:11
- What will the person who has faith do and why? John 14:12
- What is the work of God? John 6:29
Personal ‑ How has Jesus been the way, the truth, and the life in your life? How have others seen the way, the truth, and the life of Jesus in you?
FIFTH DAY READ PSALM 33:1‑2, 4‑5, 18‑19
(“Prepare your words and you will be listened to.”)
Read and meditate on Psalm 33:1‑2, 4‑5, 18‑19.
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
The Greek‑speaking Jews were probably from other lands and they complained that their widows were being treated unfairly. This discrimination was probably compounded by a language barrier. The apostles put seven Greek‑speaking, respectable men in charge of the food and shelter program. This allowed the apostles to keep the focus of their ministry on teaching and preaching the Good News about Jesus.
We may wish that we could belong to a church like the early church with all its miracles, sharing, and joy of being part of a community, but they had just as many problems as we do today. No church will ever be perfect until Christ and his church are united at his second coming. All churches are struggling in their growth and if your church’s shortcomings distress you, ask yourself; would a perfect church let me be a member?
We need to remember that we are all called to be faithful, not successful. We can all pitch in to make our own particular church a vibrant, living, healthy community of God by focusing on the teaching and the preaching of the Good News of Jesus Christ.
We might ask, “What is the Good News?” The Good News is a message of hope ‑ a hope that the oppressed will be free, the sick will be healed, the lame will walk, the blind will see, the naked will be clothed and the homeless will be sheltered.
We can bring this Good News to everyone we meet because within us is the power of the Holy Spirit (1 John 4:4), and it is important for us to realize that we are called to live our lives for others, not for ourselves. We are called to die to ourselves and love others just as Jesus has done.
The early church is still here today and it is being guided by the same Holy Spirit. You need to pray, and let your God‑given abilities become revealed to you, and then seek others in your community to help.
1 PETER 2:4‑9
Peter is giving the new Christians a reminder that they are called to be holy, and this will be revealed by the way they witness to others. Christians must be the living material from which the new temple of God is formed. The temple of Jerusalem was built out of ordinary dead stones, but we, because of Jesus Christ, have become living temples of God (l Cor. 3:16).
John tells us in Scripture that he is our vine and we are his branches and, without the vine, the branches cannot bear any fruit (John 15:5). In the temple of Jerusalem they sacrificed animals and offered fruits of the field to God.
Now, you and I, because of Christ, through Christ, and in Christ, will offer ourselves and our sacrifice of praise to Christ. As temples of God we will perform good works, and the Eucharist will be a daily way of life for us. Jesus is our cornerstone, and upon that stone he has built a human temple of living saints. We do good things, not to become good or to earn a reward. We do good things because of the goodness that is within us. That goodness is the presence of the Holy Spirit which empowers us to reach out and bring our brothers and sisters out of the darkness and into the light. Much of the world today is in darkness because people have not experienced being personally loved by Christ. You are called to bring that light to them. I pray that you will start within your own family, your priestly family.
Jesus tells us that if we really believe in him, there is no uncertainty about death and to what it leads. He tells us that heaven is as positive as our trust and faith in him. He has prepared the way; that is certain.
The only uncertainty is our willingness to believe that he has prepared eternal life for us. We do not have to fear death for ourselves or our loved ones. We know that he has prepared a place for us and when it is ready he will come and take us home to our Father’s mansion. This is the incredible promise that Jesus has made to all who believe in him.
We see Jesus describing the way to find God, and it is only through him that we can reach the Father. He states, I am THE way because he is both God and man. By uniting our lives with his, we become united with God. Trust in Jesus and he will personally take us to the Father. Some people think that saying Jesus is the only way to the Father is too narrow. His way is wide enough for the whole world, if the world chooses to accept it. Have you really chosen to accept him as the way, the truth and the life?
We must remember that Jesus was the visible image of the invisible God. As the way, he leads us to the Father. As the truth, he is the reality of all God’s promises. As the life, he joins his divine life to ours, both now and eternally.
Jesus Christ, being divine, was the only person who was ever born to die for us. Because of him, you and I will never die; believing in him, we will live forever with him in his Father’s mansion (John 3:16). The question that Philip asked, “Who is the Father; show us,” is answered by Jesus at that time and is being answered by him today.
Be still and listen to God speaking to you (Psalm 46:10) and you will hear him say, I love you, even when you were a sinner, I still decided to die for you (Rom. 5:8) because I simply love you. He is the way, the truth and the life. Let your life show others that this is true.
The first reading tells us that we are to be servants of the Lord. The second reading calls us to be holy people, a people who care about others. In our Gospel, we are shown that only through Jesus can we be with the Father.
Let us, this week, practice this by being a servant to someone who is causing us some difficulty. Do not let the person know that you are making a special effort to serve him. Let your holiness be grounded in service and prayer this week. A suggested way might be to offer to help a family member with household chores or to help a co‑worker with some of his work.