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 GENESIS 2:7‑9, 3:1‑7 FIRST READING
(“Creation of our first parents, and sin.”)
- Out of what did the Lord God form man? Genesis 2:7; Sirach 33:10; Isaiah 64:7
- What did he blow into his nostrils and what did man become? Genesis 2:7
- What did the Lord God plant, where did he plant it, and whom did he place there? Genesis 2:8
- What did the Lord make out of the ground? Genesis 2:9
- Fill in the following blanks: Out of the ground the Lord God made various trees grow that were delightful to look at and good for food, with the tree of life in the middle of the garden and the tree of the knowledge of good and bad. Genesis 2:9
Personal ‑ How do you see yourself being molded by Jesus each day? Have you offered yourself to God and allowed him to shape you in his own image, or have you offered yourself to those around you and allowed them to shape you into the world’s image? Meditate on this.
- Who is the most cunning of all the animals that the Lord God has made and to whom did the serpent ask the question, and what was the woman’s answer to the question? Genesis 3:1-3
- What did God say would happen to them if they ate from the tree in the middle of the garden? Genesis 2:17, 3:3
- What did the serpent say to the woman? Genesis 2:17, 3:4-5
- Compare the three things the woman saw in Genesis 3:6 with the three things the world has to offer in 1 John 2:16.
GENESIS 3:6 1 JOHN 2:16
- good for food sensual lust
- pleasing to the eyes enticement for the eyes
- desirable for gaining wisdom pretentious life
- What did she do, who was with her, and what happened when they ate the fruit? Genesis 3:6-7
THIRD DAY READ ROMANS 5:12‑19 SECOND READING
(“The results of the gift, Jesus Christ, outweigh one man’s sin.”)
- How did sin enter the world and what went with sin? Romans 5:12
- To whom did death come and what was in the world before the law? Romans 5:12-13
- What reigned from Adam to Moses and even over those who had not sinned yet? Romans 5:14
- What is the gift not like and what overflowed for the many? Romans 5:15
- To whom is grace given? Ephesians 6:24, Psalm 84:12, Romans 11:5
- How does God’s grace work in us and what is God’s gift to us? Ephesians 2:8, Acts 2:38 and 1 Peter 2:19
- What is entirely different from the sin committed by the one man? Romans 5:16
- What happened in the first case and what happened in the second case? Romans 5:16
- If death began to reign through one man because of his offense, what will those receive through the one man, Jesus Christ? Romans 5:17
- Compare the following and fill in the blanks: Romans 5:18‑19
a single offense a single righteous act
one man’s disobedience one man’s obedience
Personal ‑ How are you walking in obedience to God’s Word? Do you know it enough to distinguish whether you are or are not walking in obedience? In what way is his grace sufficient for you? Think about this.
FOURTH DAY READ MATTHEW 4:1‑11 GOSPEL
(“Like Adam and Eve, Jesus was tempted, but did not sin.”)
- What happened just before Jesus was led into the desert? Matthew 4:2, Matthew 3:13
- Who led Jesus into the desert and by whom was he tested? Matthew 4:1
- How long did he fast and what was his physical condition after he fasted? Matthew 4:2
- What is the devil called and what did he say to him? Matthew 4:3
- What was Jesus’ reply and how did he say this man was not to live? Matthew 4:4
- What are some other ways besides hunger by which the devil can tempt us? Ephesians 4:26, 27 James 4:6-7, 1 Peter 5:8
- What did the devil do next and what did the devil say to Jesus? Matthew 4:5-6
- What did the devil quote in Matthew 4:6, and where did the quote come from? Psalm 91:11
- What did Jesus answer him and on what did Jesus again rely? Matthew 4:7, Deuteronomy 6:6
- What did the devil then do, what did the devil promise Jesus, and what would he have to do in order to receive this promise? Matthew 4:8‑9
- What did Jesus say to him, what did the devil do, and who came and waited on Jesus? Matthew 4:11
Personal – If, when being tempted by the devil, Jesus responded with “Scripture has it,” should we not also respond to temptation with “Scripture has it?” How has the study of God’s Word helped you resist temptation and make Satan flee? Use God’s Word and concentrate on areas in which you are weak and are tempted. If you cannot think of a scripture in that particular area, remember to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal one to you.
FIFTH DAY READ PSALM 51:3‑6, 12‑14, 17
(“In the greatness of your compassion, wipe out my offense.”)
Read and meditate on Psalm 51:3-6, 12-14, 17.
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
GENESIS 2:7‑9; 3:1‑7
We see in this passage the tremendous gift that comes from God, and that, of course, is life. The body is lifeless until God breathes life into it. Our bodies return to dust when God removes his life‑giving breath from us. It is incredibly important that we see that man’s life and worth come from the breath of God. This passage clearly shows us our need for God. We need only to look around and see how temporary our achievements are. We find that God is the only permanent value in our lives. Because of him, you and I can face tomorrow without any need to fear.
God has given us a miraculous gift called life and we need to value it as much as he does. We do this by valuing the lives of others and protecting the sanctity of human life wherever we may go. God showed us how special we were by placing Adam and Eve in a beautiful and safe garden of plants and trees.
We need to confront the age‑old question, why would God place a tree in the garden and then forbid Adam to eat from it? God, of course, wanted Adam to obey him, but he also gave him the freedom to choose. Today, God gives us that choice, and many times, like Adam, we make a wrong choice. These wrong choices that we make today can cause us and others great pain and irritation. They also can help us to learn and grow and make better choices in the future. Adam was given a choice, because he would have been a prisoner forced to obey if he couldn’t say “no”. We see Satan disguised as a serpent trying to tempt Eve.
Satan is still trying to tempt everyone away from God even as you read this commentary. Satan failed and he was crushed by God (Gen. 3:14). Adam and Eve learned that since God is holy and hates sin, he must punish sinners. Why does Satan tempt us? Temptation is Satan’s invitation to give in to his kind of life and give up on God’s kind of life. Satan tempted Eve and was successful in getting her to sin, and ever since that time he’s been busy getting people to sin.
We can resist temptation by praying for the strength to resist. We can run away or remove ourselves from situations that cause the temptation (bad movies, dirty jokes, bad companions, etc.). Finally, we can say no when confronted with what we know is wrong. Satan tries to show Eve that sin is lovely, and today, we see that same philosophy in our movies and TV shows at home. People usually choose wrong things because they have been convinced that these things are good. Be prepared to resist the attractive temptations that may come your way.
“It isn’t fair.” That is the cry of many who refuse to be declared guilty of something Adam did thousands of years ago. Many people feel it is not right or fair for God to lay his judgment on us today for what Adam did so long ago. Yet each one of us confirms our identification with Adam by our sins. We are made of the same stuff, quick to rebel, quick to make judgments on others. We are all sinners who fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) and what we really need is not fairness, rather it is mercy.
Paul tells the people that keeping the law does not bring salvation. He goes on to tell them that the law helps people to see their sinfulness. The law points out our sin and places the responsibility for it squarely on our shoulders. The law does not save us from the results of sin; only the healing power of Jesus Christ can save us.
We must turn to Jesus in order to be saved. Adam has brought to all of us the results of his sin, inherited guilt, the tendency to sin, and God’s punishment. Because of Jesus’ dying for us on the cross even while we were yet sinners (Romans 5:8), we can still trade judgment for forgiveness. Jesus has offered us the chance to be born into his spiritual family, the family that begins with forgiveness and leads to eternal life.
We have an incredible opportunity to make a choice. If we do nothing we have death through Adam. If, on the other hand, we decide to come to God through faith, we will have life through Christ. Think about this question very seriously. To which family line do you now belong?
Matthew shows us, in this passage, the humanness of Jesus and his being tempted while being very vulnerable and hungry in the desert. This experience allowed Jesus to reaffirm God’s plan for his own ministry. This temptation of Jesus is very important for us because it showed that even Jesus had to face temptation, and we should expect no less than this, too.
Jesus did not give in to his temptation, and we can do the same through faith and obedience to Our Lord Jesus Christ. A person has not shown true obedience if he has never had the opportunity to be disobedient. We need to realize that we too will be tested and we should be alert and ready for it. We are not being tempted by Christ because he does not try to drag us down. We are being tempted by Satan, and only through faith in Jesus can we resist and make the devil flee.
It is important for us to remember our convictions are only as good as they are under pressure. Testing is a time that we experience as we react to the temptation. We need to remember that temptation itself is not a sin. We sin when we give in and disobey God. We see in this passage that Satan’s temptations focused on four crucial areas in our lives: physical desires, possessions, power, and pride. These temptations are very much in activities against the people of today as well as they were for Jesus.
Jesus resisted Satan because he knew scripture and he called on it and obeyed it. We are told that God’s Word is a weapon, like a hammer that smashes rocks (Jeremiah 23:29). Knowing scriptures is important in resisting Satan’s attacks, but we must obey God’s Word as well. We might well remember that Satan knew scripture too, but he chose to disobey God’s Holy Word. Satan used scripture to try to convince Jesus to sin, and today, sometimes a friend will try to convince you with a scripture that seems to support his viewpoint. Pray, read, and study God’s Word daily and you will be ready when Satan tries to trap you into giving in to temptation.
The first reading shows us that distortion of the Word is dangerous. In the second reading we clearly see that the gift of Jesus’ death on the cross totally wipes out the results of Adam’s sin. The Gospel reveals that knowing God’s Word, while important, is not enough to resist temptation. We must act on God’s Word to really be free of the temptation. This week, let us look for a scripture that fits a particular temptation that we come up against. An example is that we should never go to bed while angry at someone, such as a spouse, father, mother, brother, sister, etc. We should act upon the scripture, Ephesians 4:26, which says, “Don’t let the sun go down with you still angry, get over it quickly.” We do that by confessing our sin and asking that person to forgive us. That is a great way to resist Satan and make him flee.