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 JEREMIAH 1:4-5, 17-19 FIRST READING
(“…for I am with you to deliver you, says the Lord.”)
- To whom did the Word of the Lord come? Jeremiah 1:1, 2, 4
- When did the Lord say he formed him, what did he do before he was born, and what did he appoint him? Jeremiah 1:5
- Who are others that were called from their mother’s womb?
Isaiah 1:1, 49:1; Luke 1:13-15;
Galatians 1:1, 15; Psalm 139: 13, 16
Personal – When do you think God called you to be his servant?
- What was Jeremiah to stand up and tell the people, what was he not to be, and for what reason? Jeremiah 1:17
- What does the Lord say he will never do, and what can we say with confidence? Hebrews 13:5-6
- What has the Lord made Jeremiah, and who is it against? Jeremiah 1:18
- Where do we draw our strength, and what are we to put on to become fortified? Ephesians 6:10-11
- What will Judah’s kings, princes, priests and people do, and what will happen? Jeremiah 1:19
- What are we not to say, and what are we to do? Proverbs 20:22
- What did Jesus tell Paul, and for what reason? Acts 26:17-18
Personal – For what reason has the Lord delivered you from the darkness of your sinful way to the light of Christ?
THIRD DAY READ 1 CORINTHIANS 12:31-13:13 SECOND READING
(“Love is patient, love is kind.”)
- For what are we to strive and what is to be shown? 1 Corinthians 12:31
- If we speak in human and angelic tongues, but do not have love, what are we? 1 Corinthians 13:1
- What can we have and gain without love, and what does that make us? 1 Corinthians 13:2-3
- What two things does it say love is, what does it say it is not, and in what does love rejoice? 1 Corinthians 13:4-6
- What does the one who loves fulfill? Romans 13:8
- What does love cover? 1 Peter 4:8
- What three things does love do? 1 Corinthians 13:7
- What does love never do, what will end? 1 Cor. 13:8-10
- What happened when you were a child and became a man? At present how do we see and know things, and how will it be then? 1 Corinthians 13:11-12
- What remains, and what is the greatest? 1 Cor. 13:13
Personal – Within your family or those to whom you are closest during the day, how often do you show kindness and patience to them? If you brood over injuries and are prone to anger, you need to come into repentance. Spend more time alone with the Lord, so he can heal the hurts within you so you can be loving.
FOURTH DAY READ LUKE 4:21-30 GOSPEL
(“Amen I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own native place.”)
- What did Jesus say after he read in the synagogue the passage from Isaiah? Luke 4:21
- How did all speak of Jesus, and what did some ask? Luke 4:22
- What did Jesus say, and where is no prophet accepted? Luke 4:23-24
- How was Jesus accepted by his own relatives? Mark 3:21
- What did Jesus say about the widows in Israel, the one widow in Zarephath in the land of Sidon, the lepers in Israel, and Naaman the Syrian? Luke 4:25-27
- With what were the people filled who heard Jesus in the synagogue? Luke 4:28
- To whom are we not to be a companion? Proverbs 22:24
- What does a fool do? Proverbs 29:11
- What did the people in the synagogue do to Jesus, and what did Jesus do? Luke 4:29-30
- What did the people try to do to Jesus and what prevented this from happening? John 8:59
Personal – In what way have you not been accepted in your family, church or native place for your belief and for speaking about Jesus? In what way have you not accepted someone in your family, church or native place for their belief? What do you need to do to become one with other believers?
FIFTH DAY READ PSALM 71:1-6, 15-17
(“…from my mother’s womb you are my strength.”)
Read and meditate on Psalm 71:1-6, 15-17.
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 COMMENTAR
JEREMIAH 1:4-5, 17-19
In today’s reading we hear Jeremiah tell us that God knew us, long before we were born, or even conceived. He knew you, thought about you, and then planned for you. When you feel that your contribution in life is not worth very much, remember that God has always thought of you as being one of his most valuable creations and has had a specific purpose in mind for you. We need to always remember that there is no other like ourself, not now, not before or in the future. You are special because you are an original.
Each Christian has a specific purpose in life. Some are anointed by God or appointed by God for a special kind of work. Whatever work we are called to do should be done for the glory of God. If God has given you a special kind of job, accept it cheerfully and do it with excellence. If God has given you a job that is not very special in the eyes of the world, seek to fulfill the mission of all believers, which is to love, obey and serve God in all that you do or say.
Today many people struggle with new challenges because they lack self confidence. They feel they do not have the proper ability, training or experience. Jeremiah thought he was too young and inexperienced to be God’s spokesman to the world. But God promised to be with him and God has made that same promise to you. He loved you so much he gave his only begotten Son to die on the cross for you. When Jesus left this world he told us that he would never leave us orphans. He told us that he would leave us his Spirit. Remember, if God gives you a job to do, he will provide all you need to do it.
1 CORINTHIANS 12:31-13:13
Paul describes, in this reading, the power that overcomes all obstacles — love. We are in an age when phony feelings and attitudes masquerade as love, but we need to measure our love by the standards that we have received in today’s passage. What the world needs now is love, and Paul explains to the people of his time what real love is and the message is timeless.
We are told that love is more important than all the spiritual gifts exercised in the church today. There is no action of man that is good unless it is rooted in love. Great faith and miracle-working power produce very little without love. Love makes what we do and what we give have value. Many people may have different gifts, but the gift of love is available to everyone and is needed by everyone. Today’s society has a tendency to confuse love with lust. Love is giving and lust is taking. God’s love is directed outwardly toward others. Lust is directed inwardly and is utterly selfish. To be patient and kind is not natural, rather it is an integral part of the human struggle. It is only possible if God helps us supernaturally and we set aside our own desires and instincts, so we can give love while expecting nothing in return.
The closer we come to Jesus, the more love we will show others. We have been given these spiritual gifts by God to strengthen our fellow Christians who make up the body of Christ. One day we will be complete when we see Christ face to face, and we will no longer need the spiritual gifts. Someday we will be able to love God fully for all eternity and the best way to prepare for that kind of love is to love one another now, as he loves us.
In experiencing the rejection and anger of his friends and neighbors, Jesus faced the cross at the beginning of his short public ministry. They were insulted and furious and they wanted to push him over a cliff and silence him completely.
The remarks by Jesus stung the people of Nazareth because Jesus was saying that non-believers were more interested in God’s good news than they were. Jesus told them that they needed to enter into a deep state of repentance and even accused them of being as unbelieving as the people of the northern kingdom.
Today there are many so-called believers who become very angry and hostile when they are challenged about the way they are practicing their faith. In almost every country we see a breakdown in the family and traditional values. We hear from many religious leaders in different nations calling for a spiritual renewal. Before we can call for any kind of renewal, we have to call all believers into repentance. There can be no renewal unless there is first repentance. Jesus told them that in him everything is complete, and they did not believe him. In rising above their expectations, he began to reveal the mystery of the resurrection.
To know Christ is to know the truth, and knowledge of this truth is what this world desperately needs today. People all over the world are confused and lost. If we expect people to turn to God, we will have to let them see this truth in us. People that are confused need to see in us the love of Jesus. This is a love that reaches outwardly to the unloved, the unwashed, and the unwanted.
The first reading shows that putting our trust in God will give us the strength to overcome our fears. The second reading revealed that the power of love overcomes all obstacles. The Gospel tells us this is the love that must be proclaimed outwardly even when it is not accepted.
This week, look at each member of your family with God’s eyes and see their beauty and particular special gifts. With each family member or with a friend, take time to say, “What I like most about you is ….” Then watch the power of love as that person becomes radiant in the glow of God’s love through your love.