FIRST SUNDAY IN ADVENT (Dec. 2nd) – CYCLE C

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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.

  1. What was a helpful or new thought from the readings or from the homily you heard on Sunday?

 

  1. From what you learned, what personal application did you choose to apply to your life this week?

 

 

SECOND DAY           READ JEREMIAH 33:14-16       FIRST READING

                    (“The Lord our Justice.”)

     1. What does the Lord say is coming? Jeremiah 33:14

 

  1. What promise has the Lord made, and how can we benefit from His promise?   Deuteronomy 28:7-9

 

  1. What will the Lord raise up for David, and what will he do?   Jeremiah 33:15

 

  1. As king, what will this righteous shoot do?     Jeremiah 23:5-6

 

  1. What did King Solomon, son and successor to King David, ask from the Lord, and what did he grant him?     1 Kings 3:9-12

 

  1. Who was the righteous shoot of David for whom the Magi were looking, and what was the inscription over Jesus’ head while he hung on the cross?  Matt 2:2 & 27:37

 

  1. In those days, who will be safe and dwell secure?     Jeremiah 33:16

 

  1. What will the city be named? Jeremiah 33:16

 

  1. How have we been made right with God or justified with God? Romans 3:21-26

 

  1. How did David, Samuel and the prophets conquer kingdoms? Hebrews 11:33

 

Personal –  In what way has God fulfilled his promise to you personally?   Where do you find your security?

 

 

THIRD DAY         READ 1 THESSALONIANS 3:12-4:2    SECOND READING

             (“…may the Lord make you increase and  abound in love for one another.”)

  1. In what are you to abound and increase, and for whom?   1 Thessalonians 3:12

 

  1. What will loving one another do to your heart?    1 Thess. 3:13 

 

  1. Why do you thank God always for one another?    2 Thessalonians 1:3

 

  1. How will you become before God at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ? 1 Thess 3:13

 

  1. Whom does Paul ask to make the brothers holy and blameless? 1 Thessalonians 5:23

 

  1. How is Paul asking the brothers to conduct themselves?     1 Thessalonians 4:1

 

  1. What were they to do with a brother who acted in a disorderly way, and how did Paul act?  2 Thess.3:6-7

 

  1. What was given to the brothers, and who was it through? 1 Thessalonians 4:2

 

  1. Who is able to instruct and admonish one another?     Romans 15:14

 

  1. What happens to a wise and just man who is instructed?     Proverbs 9:9

 

Personal –  How has your love increased for your spouse, children, friends, and neighbors during the past month?  In what way do you see a difference in the way you love now compared to last year?

 

 

FOURTH DAY                    READ LUKE 21:25-28, 34-36                 GOSPEL

 (“Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent.”)

  1. Where will there be signs, and why will nations be perplexed?   Luke 21:25

 

  1. What will happen to the sun, moon, stars and powers of the heavens?   Matthew 24:29

 

  1. What will happen to people in anticipation of what is to come upon the world? Luke 21:26

 

  1. Who are you to fear? Luke 12:5

 

  1. Who will people see coming on a cloud with power and great glory?   Luke 21:27

 

  1. When these signs begin to happen, how should you stand? Why should you stand this way? Luke 21:28

 

  1. What will happen to God’s chosen ones? Luke 18:7-8

 

Personal  –  If the heavens shook today, would you die of fear or would you stand erect looking up to see him coming on the cloud?

 

  1. Of what should you be wary, and what will happen to everyone who lives on the earth?   Luke 21:34-35

 

  1. What are you to be at all times, and for what are you to pray? Luke 21:36

 

  1. What did Jesus tell his disciples while he was in the Garden of Gethsemane? Matthew 26:41

 

Personal – What have you been doing in anticipation of his coming again?  Share this scripture with a family member or a friend.

  

 

FIFTH DAY          READ PSALM 25:4-5,8-10, 14

              (“He guides the humble to justice,”)

Read and meditate on Psalm 25:4-5,8-10, 14.

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

                       JEREMIAH 33:14-16

     This passage tells about God’s plan to restore Jerusalem, not because the people cried, but because it was part of his ultimate plan.  The disaster brought to the Jews by the Babylonians did not change God’s purpose for his people.  Although Jerusalem would be destroyed, it would eventually be restored, because God’s justice is always tempered by his mercy.  The emphasis is on the promise of a worldwide reign on earth by a Messiah.  The immediate historical context is not what this reading is about.  It is about God’s control of history; he can act anytime he chooses. We must never forget that God will act in his time (Hebrews 12:26, 27).

     Today’s reading refers to both the first and second comings of Christ.  When this long-awaited Messiah would come, he would set up his reign in the hearts of the believers.  At his second coming he will execute justice and righteousness throughout the whole earth.  What a tremendous prophecy this was for the people. They knew that no matter what horror was done to them their Messiah was coming to bring them freedom.

     Today, all over the world, there is tyranny, oppression, hunger and violence.  In the deepest darkness of all of this pain is the “Good News.”  The Good News is a message of hope.  It is the light of the world that has pierced and defeated the darkness of death.  Today, our world is caught up in its own self-prophecy and refuses by its action to say, “The Lord is our righteousness.”

     The promise of eternal life and joy is far more meaningful for us because the Messiah has come and his name is Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior.  He is the Good News.

 

                    1 THESSALONIANS 3:12-4:2

     In today’s passage we are treated to a special glimpse of the apostle Paul’s mind, because for him everything was of God. He prays to God to show him the way to Thessalonica.  He turns to God for guidance in the ordinary day-to-day problems.

     One of the great and incredibly common mistakes of life is to turn to God only in the over-powering emergencies and shattering crises.  How many times have you or someone you know called on Christ in an emergency?  Like a good fireman, he comes and puts out the fire. You say a few, quick “thank yous” and send him back to his fire station to await yet another call from you.

     Paul is talking about prayer being an active type of relationship. When two people are in love, they want to share all their successes as well as all their sorrows.  Christ becomes the person with whom we share our minds, hearts and souls; and we do this in prayer.   Prayer is two people in love telling each other how much they love each other.  This love that we have for Jesus will overflow to others.  This is how people judge us, not by what we say, but by how much we love others.  Being polite and courteous is not enough, we need to show our love to others, especially the unlovable.

     Our love should be continually growing, and if it seems your love for others has remained unchanged for some time, get on your knees and ask him to fill you with his Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18), and then you will be able to love even the unlovable.  This passage ends with a call to please God with our daily living. The standards of the world want to entice us and kill us. The standard of God wants to free us, to save us, to love us, and to let us become capable of loving others.  Which standard will we choose?

 

                      LUKE 21:25-28, 34-36

     We are confronted with a very piercing question in today’s Gospel.  If the heavens shook and opened up, would we die of fear or would we stand erect, looking up to see him coming on the clouds? To the believer, this calls for some serious thought; to the unbeliever, this is foolishness to even talk about the subject. 

     Jesus told his disciples to be on guard and pray.  The picture of the coming persecutions and natural disasters is gloomy, but ultimately they are cause not for worry, but for great joy.  He knew that when believers see these events happening, they will know that the return of their Messiah is near. They can look forward to his reign of justice and peace.

     Today we are experiencing natural disasters like earthquakes, forest fires, famine, and drought.  Rather than being terrified by what is happening in our world, we should be confident and prayerful awaiting Christ’s return.  Jesus told his disciples to keep a constant watch for his return.  Are you keeping a faithful watch with the lifestyle you are living? The followers of Jesus Christ live in anticipation of his return, and they are very much on guard against the temptation of the world.

     Although nearly two thousand years have passed since he spoke these words, their truth remains: He is coming again, and we need to watch and be ready.  This means working faithfully at the tasks God has given us, and not wishing we were someone else. If you were the only person in the world, Christ would have gone on that cross anyway, simply because he loves us enough to die for us, so that we can be with him when he comes back again.

 

Application

     The first reading tells us that the light is coming to destroy the darkness.  In the second reading we see that prayer is alive and active because it is a dialogue between two people. The Gospel calls us to be on guard and to pray about everything.

     This week, show your family, school or work associates what you are doing in anticipation of Jesus’ return. Your actions can be shown in taking time alone in prayer with the Lord, by reading scripture with your family, by doing bible study on your lunch hour and by loving others even when you do not feel loving. Remember, love is not a feeling; love is a decision.  Get active in prayer, reading God’s Holy Word, in God’s church and fellowship with the believing community.

Posted in Bible Studies.