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 ACTS 14:21-27 FIRST READING
(“It is necessary for us to undergo many hardships to enter the kingdom of God.”)
- What did Paul and Barnabus proclaim in Derbe, what happened there, and to where did they return? Acts 14:20-21
- What is the Good News they proclaimed? Acts 13:32-34
- What did Paul and Barnabas strengthen in the disciples, in what did they encourage them to persevere, and what did they say was necessary? Acts 14:22
- Where does your strength come from in order to bear your share of the hardship for the Gospel and of what are you not to be ashamed? 2 Timothy 1:8
- What did Paul and Barnabas appoint for the people, what did they do, and then where did they go? Acts 14:23-24
- What were the disciples doing when the Holy Spirit spoke to them? Acts 13:2
- Where did the disciples proclaim the Word of God? Acts 14:25-26
- Why did Paul and Barnabus call the church together in Antioch? Acts 14:27
Personal – What can you report to your family or friends as to what God has done with you?
- What happened to the Gentiles who heard the Word of the Gospel and believed, and how did God purify their hearts? Acts 15:7-9
- For what should you pray, and how should you conduct yourself towards outsiders? Colossians 4:2-5
Personal – How do you approach or talk to those outside your faith? What can you do to bring the Gospel message to those around you who do not believe or know what Jesus has done for them?
THIRD DAY READ REVELATION 21:1-5 SECOND READING
(“Behold I make all things new.”)
- What was seen and what had passed away? Revelation 21:1
- What dwells in the new heavens and the new earth? 2 Peter 3:13
- What was seen coming down out of heaven from God and how was it prepared? Revelation 21:2
- Of whom is the bride the wife? Revelation 21:9
- What was heard from the throne, where is God’s dwelling, and what will they be to him? Revelation 21:3
- What are we to the living God and what is he to us? 2 Corinthians 6:16
- What will God wipe from his peoples eyes, of what will there be no more, and what has passed away? Revelation 21:4
- What is anyone who is in Christ? 2 Corinthians 5:17
- What did the one who sat on the throne say and why did he say to write them down? Revelation 21:5
- What are true and just? Revelation 19:1-2
Personal – In what way does your life show God has made his dwelling place within you? Can you see the old and the new person? Reflect on this.
FOURTH DAY JOHN 13:31-35 GOSPEL
(“As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.)
- After Judas left, what did Jesus say? John 13:31
- How do we glorify the Father? John 15:7-8
- If God is glorified in Jesus, what will God do to Jesus? John 13:32
- Whom did Jesus say the Father will honor or glorify? John 12:26
- How did Jesus glorify God on earth? John 17:4
- What did Jesus call his disciples, and what did he say about where he was going? John 13:33
- Where was Jesus going? John 7:33
- What did Jesus give us, and how should we love one another? John 13:34
- What did Jesus say about no greater love than this? John 15:12-13
- How will all know that you are a disciple of Jesus? John 13:35
- Why do we love, and who is the one who loves God? 1 John 4:19-21
Personal – What do you do to show your love for God and one another?
FIFTH DAY READ PSALM 145:8-13
(“The Lord is faithful in all his words and holy in all his works.”)
Read and meditate on Psalm 145:8-13.
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
Paul tells us in today’s reading that honesty and the willingness to accept afflictions was going to be a strong requirement in the new church. He told them that there was no easy way and reminded them that Jesus did not come to make life easy but to make men great. Paul shows them that Christianity must be lived in fellowship.
One of the great fathers of the Church stated, “No man can have God for his Father unless he has the Church for his mother.” None of us will go to heaven alone; it will be because someone influenced us to seek Christ, know Christ, and be saved by Christ. To some people, the only bible they will read will be you. We are called into Christian fellowship.
Like a loving mother, the Church teaches, preaches, and rules her children so that they will grow up and die to themselves and live for Christ by living for others. Good parents want their children to grow up, go out and forward. The Church wants the same for her children, to grow up, go out, and bring someone back to Christ.
Paul tells about the problem of so many Gentiles coming into the new church. He states the friction over what a Christian is really supposed to be. Gentiles wanted to be Christians. The other side of the problem, Jews were not allowed to have anything to do with Gentiles. The church welcomed all to come into God’s family, as they are, not as someone else thought they should be. That is what being a Christian means today. So be all that you can be and be excited in who you are. You are unique, there is no one else quite like you. Remember, all that you do, and all that you say, and all that you are is being brought into perfection in direct proportion to your obedience to God’s Holy Word.
Today’s passage reveals that the dream of a new heaven and earth was deep in Jewish thought. Today we hear people in many lands still looking forward to a better place than what they have here on earth. Isaiah speaks of the new heaven and earth that God will make, and he calls for the people to make their lives an act of worship (Isaiah 66:22). In the new heaven and earth, there is the eternal hope of no more sorrow, no more tears; sin is defeated, darkness is no more, and joy is forever. This vision has been strongly held throughout the ages because of man’s faith in God and his inherent sense of sin.
The ancient people feared the sea because they believed terrible creatures came from the sea. They believed that one day the sea would not be a barrier between God and man. Their beliefs consisted of two concepts regarding the new Jerusalem. The first concept was of Greek origin. It taught that in the invisible world there existed the perfect thing or place of everything visible here on earth. That meant there was a heavenly Jerusalem of which the earthly Jerusalem was an imperfect copy. The ideal is a challenge, in that, even if in this world the imperfect can not be made perfect, it can still be worked out in the next world, because God is the source of all ideals. The second thought or concept is Jewish and it shares the many dreams of the prophets.
The new Jerusalem or the “Holy City” was a constant dream that inspired and sustained the Jew as he was constantly being in the process of being obliterated. The Jews never lost confidence that they were the chosen people and God would someday present them with their “Holy City,” the new Jerusalem. They expressed their hope in material things, but these were just symbols for the faithful. We see that God is to make his dwelling place with men. In the wilderness the tabernacle was a tent. Today the tabernacle of God is you. You carry him wherever you go. His power lies within you waiting to be used to make the world “The New Jerusalem.”
When you look at the word “commitment” you think of someone giving their complete all. The glory of Jesus is the glory of commitment and that is the glory of the cross. Jesus has shown
us that the greatest glory in life is the glory which comes from sacrifice. In war time the supreme honor and glory belongs to those who lay down their lives so that others may live. History has taught us that those who have made great sacrifices have entered into great history.
Jesus Christ in his humility and obedience went to the cross for you and me and he brought honor and glory to God. We have found through time tested experience that obedience is the foundation of love. The most notable way a child can honor his parents is by being obedient to them. In Jesus God glories himself in the incarnation and the cross. Jesus’ love, for us shows us that there is no glory like that of being loved. Let that sink in for a moment. He died for you because he loved you just as you are, not as you should be.
The enthronement of Christ followed his crucifixion. The crown of thorns has changed into a crown of glory and as scripture tells us “eye cannot see, ear cannot hear, nor can man even comprehend what God has in store for those who love him.” Jesus leaves us his stamp of glory and that is we are to love others as he has loved us. We will be asked to love the unlovable, the unwashable, the unkissable, the ugly, the deformed, the sick, and the people of the land. We need only to look and see how he loved. He loved deliberately, openly, unhesitant, completely, gently, unreservedly. He chose to love because simply he is love. His glory will be in you loving others as he has loved you.
In the first reading it brought out to be a Christian in the new church meant equality for all. In the second reading the Holy Spirit resides in you waiting to be used to make the world “a new Jerusalem.” The Gospel shows the glory of God lies in the incarnation and the cross.
This week, let yourself be committed to making the world around your home, office, or school “a new Jerusalem” or “Holy City” by seeing in others the signs of Christ. Let yourself, this week, love others as Christ loves you. This especially means those in your family or those around you that you find very difficult to love. Remember, commitment means sacrifice and sacrifice means going to the cross. Your glory will be God’s glory in you. You will be his glory as he sees you loving the people around you as Jesus loves you. This will bring the “new Jerusalem” right into your heart.