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 13:14, 43-52 FIRST READING
(“The disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.”)
- Who arrived in Antioch, and what did they do on the Sabbath? Acts 13:13-14
- Who followed Paul and Barnabas, and what did they urge them to do? Acts 13:43
- To what is the grace they are to remain faithful? Romans 3:24-25
- What did almost the whole city do on the following Sabbath, and when the Jews saw the crowd, what did they do? Acts 13:44-45
- How did Paul and Barnabas speak out, what did they say it was necessary to do, and to whom have they now turned? Acts 13:46
- What has the Lord commanded them to be, how did the Gentiles react to this, and what did they glorify? Acts 13:47-48
Personal – How has God made you an instrument of salvation to the world?
- Who came to believe, and what did the word of the Lord continue to do? Acts 13:48-49
- Whom did the Jews incite, and what did they do to Paul and Barnabas? Acts 13:50
- Who does not please God, and what do they try to prevent? 1 Thessalonians 2:14-16
- Why did Paul and Barnabas shake the dust from their feet, and with what were the disciples filled? Acts 13:51-52
- What did Jesus tell his disciples? Matthew 10:14-15
Personal – When you gather to hear the Word of God, what is your reaction to it and to the person proclaiming it? Who are the people who proclaim the Word of God, and how can you affirm them?
THIRD DAY READ REVELATION 7:9, 14-17 SECOND READING
(“…God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”)
- Who had a vision of great multitudes, where were they standing, and what were they wearing and holding? Revelation 1:1 and 7:9
- What was said by one of the elders about those wearing the robes, and how did they make their robes white? Revelation 7:14
- What does the blood of the Lamb do for you? Hebrews 9:13-14
- What must you do to be cleansed from sin? 1 John 1:7
- What do the multitudes do, and what will the one who sits on the throne do? Revelation 7:15
- From what does the Lord shelter us? Psalm 31:21
- What will no longer happen to the multitudes? Revelation 7:16, see also Isaiah 49:10
- What did Jesus tell his disciples? John 6:35
- Who will shepherd them and lead them to life-giving water, and what will God do? Revelation 7:17
- Who did Jesus say he was, and what did he say to the woman at the well? John 10:11 and John 4:10
- Where does God dwell, and what has passed away? Revelation 21:3-4
Personal – How have you been washed by the blood of Jesus? How and where is Jesus leading you today?
FOURTH DAY READ JOHN 10:27-30 GOSPEL
(“My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”)
- What does Jesus say his sheep hear, whom does he know, and what do they do? John 10:27
- Why were they trying to kill Jesus? John 8:37
- Who hears the words of God? John 8:47
- What does Jesus give his sheep, what will never happen to them, and what can no one do? John 10:28
- What is the will of the Father? John 6:39-40
- To whom does the Lord open his hand? Psalm 145:16
- Who is the Father greater than and what can no one do? John 10:29
- Why did the Father give Jesus authority over all the people, and who belonged to the Father? John 17:2, 6
- What are the Father and Jesus? John 10:30
- What did Jesus pray that we all be? John 17:20-23
Personal – How do you recognize Jesus’ voice and know when to follow him? When was the last time you felt the protecting hand of God upon you?
FIFTH DAY READ PSALM 100:1-3, 5
(“Serve the Lord with gladness.”)
Read and meditate on Psalm 100:1-3, 5.
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
ACTS 13:14, 43-52
The Jewish leaders tried to hide behind the shadow of jealousy as they brought legal and religious arguments against Paul and Barnabas. The root of their jealousy was that Peter and the apostles were already getting more respect than they had ever received. The difference between Peter, Paul, and Barnabas and the religious leaders was that the Pharisees demanded the respect and reverence for themselves. The goal of the apostles was to bring respect, reverence, and honor to God. The apostles were respected, not because they demanded it, but because they earned it. It is difficult to rejoice with others who are succeeding where we are not; but when we call upon the Holy Spirit, he will give us the strength we need (1 John 4:4).
Jealousy is a human and natural reaction, and it is tragic when we let our own jealous feelings make us try to stop God’s work. If a work being done is God’s work, then rejoice in it, no matter who is doing it.
Paul wanted the Jewish people to join him in proclaiming God’s salvation. Unfortunately, many Jews did not recognize Jesus as the Messiah, and they did not understand that in Jesus, God was offering salvation to everyone, Jews and Gentiles. Paul, being a Jew himself, hoped that the people would see that through Israel came Jesus, the light of all nations (Luke 2:32). This light would spread out and enlighten the whole world. The Jewish leaders turned away and like so many people today, when confronted with a disturbing truth, they often turn away and refuse to listen. When God speaks we must listen to him, or else we risk pushing the truth out of our lives.
REVELATION 7:9, 14-17
In today’s reading we see a great crowd gathered in front of the throne before the lamb. Some say the crowd was a group of all the martyrs who died preaching God’s word. In the face of warfare, famine, persecution, and death, Christians will be called to stand firm for what they believe. These souls were sealed by God and now they are victorious. This crowd in heaven appears to be composed of those who remained faithful to God throughout the generations. The ones who came out of the tribulation washed their souls clean with the blood of Jesus Christ. The blood of Christ is the world’s greatest purifier, because it removes the ugly stain of sin. White symbolizes the qualities of sinlessness or holiness which can be imparted by shedding the blood of the sinless Lamb of God.
Some believe the suffering of the martyrs has gone on through the ages, and some believe there will be a specific time of intense tribulation. God will provide for his children’s needs in their eternal home. There will be no hunger, thirst, or pain; he will wipe away all tears in his beautiful eternal “Holy City.” This is a tremendously comforting verse when you feel that it is hopeless to even go on trying. This truth will sustain you in your time of trial. It is important to remember that all who have been faithful throughout the ages are singing before God’s throne. Their tribulations and sorrows are over and all their sins are over. All believers have been resurrected and die no more. Alleluia!
The role of a shepherd was very well known in Palestine, and they knew that a flock of sheep knew their master by the sound of his voice. Jesus compared his followers to sheep, and he was their shepherd. When he spoke, the people knew very well what he was talking about. He promised them eternal life if they accepted him as Master and Lord of their lives.
He offers that to us right here and now. All the littleness of our earthly life would be gone and we would know the splendor of being loved by God. He promised a life that would know no end. Death would be the beginning of living forever. He promised a life that was secure. Nothing could snatch that life from his hand. It did not mean that they would be saved from sorrow, suffering, or death. It did mean that they would know the serenity and power of God.
Jesus made a tremendous claim to the crowd of Jews, and he showed them his tremendous trust in God. He had been speaking to them about his sheep and his flock and that no one would ever take them away from him. He revealed that his Father gave him the sheep, and both the sheep and he were secure in his Father’s hand. Jesus was so sure of himself because he was sure of his Father. He then told them and us that he and the Father were one (17:11).
Jesus is saying that the unity between himself and the Father is the same unity he wants for us. His prayer is that all Christians be united in love as he is united in love with the Father.
The first reading says faith is a free gift and respect is something you earn. In the second reading we see that only the Blood of Christ can wash away sin. In the Gospel we see prayer as a dialogue between two people in love with one another.
This week let your prayer be that the Lord gives you the courage to confess your sins by receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Then let the power of the Holy Eucharist nurture you and let you approach your family and friends with humility and reverence. Let your faith be shared in unity with members of other denominations in a spirit of joy. Jesus commanded all of us to be filled with his Spirit (Eph. 5:18) and then go out and make disciples of all nations (Matt. 28:19-20). Let your unity begin with God and you; then God, you, and your family; then God, you, your family, and your community. Miracles will then be happening in your neighborhood.