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?
2. From what you learned, what personal application did you
choose to apply to your life this week?
SECOND DAY READ 1 KINGS 19:4-8 FIRST READING
(“Get up and eat, else the journey will be too long for you.”)
l. Who went to the desert, and what did he pray for as he sat beneath the tree? 1 Kings 19:3-4
2. Who did Elijah say he was no better than? 1 Kings 19:4
3. Who is another person who told the Lord he wanted to die, and what was the Lord’s response to him? Jonah 4:6-11
4. What does the Lord say about his ways of doing things? Isaiah 55:8-9
5. What did Elijah lie down and do, who touched him, and what did he order him to do? 1 Kings 19:5
6. What did Elijah find at his head, and for what did the angel of the Lord come back a second time? 1 Kings 19:6-7
Personal – What has caused you to want to give up and die? Bring it to the Lord and ask him to reveal his truth to you on this situation.
7. What did Elijah get up and do for the second time, and what did it do for him? 1 Kings 19:8
8. Where do we get our strength, and what gives you life? John 6:53
9. How long did Elijah walk, and where was he going? 1 Kings 19:8
10. In what are we to walk or live our life? 2 John 4
Personal – How has God provided a way out of a difficult situation for you?
THIRD DAY READ EPHESIANS 4:30-5:2 SECOND READING
(“So be imitators of God, as beloved children.”)
1. With whom were we sealed for the day of redemption, and whom should you not grieve? Ephesians 4:30
2. What must be removed from us? Ephesians 4:31, also verse 29
3. What kind of shouting is acceptable? Psalms 47:1
4. How are we to be toward one another, and what has God done for us in Christ? Ephesians 4:32
5. What did Jesus say to the Father as he was being crucified? Luke 23:34
6. What do we have in Jesus? Ephesians 1:7
7. Whom are we to imitate, and what are we to him? Ephesians 5:1
8. How are we to imitate God? 1 John 2:6
9. How are we to live, and how did Christ show his love for us? Ephesians 5:2
10. Whose interest are we to look out for, and how should we regard others? Philippians 2:3-4
Personal – In what way can you take on the attitude of Christ in your home, work, parish, or school?
FOURTH DAY READ JOHN 6:41-51 GOSPEL
(“…the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.”)
1. About what were the Jews murmuring? John 6:41-42
2. What did Jesus tell them to stop doing? John 6:43
3. How did Jesus say we come to him, and what will he do on the last day? John 6:44
4. When Jesus was lifted up from this earth, whom did he say he would draw to himself? John 12:32
5. What is written in the prophets, and who comes to Jesus? John 6:45
6. What shall be great among those taught by God? Isaiah 54:13
7. How do we understand what is taught by God? 1 Corinthians 2:12-13
8. Who has seen the Father? John 6:46
9. Who has eternal life, and what does Jesus say he is? John 6:47-48
10. What happened to our ancestors, and what is this bread? John 6:49-50
11. Who does Jesus say he is, what will happen to those who eat this bread, and what does Jesus say the bread he gives is? John 6:51
Personal – How have you been strengthened by the bread that came down from heaven (Jesus), and in what ways do you partake of his body? How has Word and sacrament at Mass affected your life?
FIFTH DAY READ PSALM 34:2-9
(“I sought the Lord, and he answered me, and delivered me from all my fears.”) Read and meditate on Psalm 34:2-9.
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
1 KINGS 19:4-8
Today’s passage shows us how a powerful prophet of the Lord allows fear to cripple him. We see Elijah running from the wicked Queen Jezebel after he had just destroyed her false prophets in a spectacular display of divine power. Elijah experienced the depths of fatigue and discouragement just after his two great victories, the defeat of the prophets of Baal and the answered prayer for rain.
Jezebel’s threat to kill Elijah completely drained him. To lead him out of this state of depression, God let him rest and eat. God then confronted him to get on with his mission in life, and that was to be God’s prophet. Elijah’s battles were far from over, and there was still much work for him to do.
We need to remember that when we feel a letdown after a great spiritual experience, God’s purpose for our life is not yet over. Elijah fled to the safety and silence of Mt. Horeb, where God met Moses and gave his laws to mankind. God gave Elijah the strength to travel about 200 miles to that great sacred mountain without additional food. Elijah, like Moses before him and Jesus after him, fasted for forty days and nights. Elijah thought he was the only person left who was still true to his calling. He experienced victory and then discouragement, and that made him feel sorry for himself. When we are tempted to feel we are the only ones remaining faithful, be assured that others are faithfully obeying God and carrying out their duties also.
Paul tells us in today’s passage that we can grieve the Holy Spirit by the way we live our lives. He warns us against foul language, meanness, improper use of language, quarrels, harsh words and bad attitudes toward others. We do not have to act this way. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we can be forgiving, just as our Lord has forgiven us of our sins. You need to reflect for a moment, right now. Are you pleasing or grieving God with your words, attitudes and actions? You tell the world that the Holy Spirit within you is a sign that you belong to God and only God.
The law of Christ is summed up in love and forgiveness. They both are decisions and it is a sign to all that Christ is really present in us when through the power of the Spirit we decide to love and decide to forgive. God does not forgive us because we forgive others; he forgives us out of his great mercy. We want to be more like him as we become more open to his Holy Word, and having received his forgiveness, we are open to forgive others. It is very evident that those who are unwilling to forgive have not become one with Christ, who was willing to forgive, even those who crucified him (Luke 23:34). Our love for others should be a love that goes beyond affection to self-sacrificing service. Jesus loves each one of us like that.
This passage shows that the Jewish leaders, like many people today, judged things by human values and by external standards. Their reaction to Jesus’ claim as to who he was produced the fact that he was only a poor Nazarene who was the son of a poor local carpenter. There was no way that someone who was so ordinary as he could be a special messenger of God.
Today’s Gospel really drives home the point that we should never neglect a message from God, because we do not care for the messenger. God has many messengers. His greatest message came through a Galilean carpenter and for that very reason the Jews disregarded it. Their appraisal of him as a small town carpenter totally blurred their vision of him and interfered with accepting his claim of divinity.
Today many people reject Christ because they say they cannot believe he is the Son of God. In reality, the claims he makes on their lives are what they really object to. They deny the messenger in order to protect themselves from the message. The Jewish leaders of Jesus’ time asked the same questions that many people ask today. How can Jesus give us his flesh to eat? We need to know and believe that to eat his living bread means to unite ourselves with Jesus. We are united with him in several ways. One is by believing in his death and resurrection and by committing ourselves to living as he commanded us. Others include reading daily his Holy Word, by partaking of him in sacramental union and by trusting in the power of his Holy Spirit.
The first reading shows us that God is our refuge, our fortress and our strength (Psalm 91). The second reading reveals that we need to be, before we do. The Gospel reveals that God delivers his message through many messengers.
This week, show what you believe by how you live. Show your family that you are in peace by receiving Jesus in the Eucharist, his Holy Word, meditation and Christian fellowship. Show them that because the Holy Spirit resides in you, you do not have to be afraid of anything or anyone. Let them see you experience God’s love as you partake of his living bread in Holy Communion.