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 ISAIAH 62:1-5 FIRST READING
(“But you shall be called `My Delight,'”)
- For whose sake will there be no silence until what happens? Isaiah 62:1
- Whom shall the Lord rescue, where will the remnant be, and who dwells there? Joel 3:5 and Joel 4:21
- What will nations see, by what shall you be called, and who will pronounce it? Isaiah 62:2
- What does the Spirit say to the churches? Revelation 2:17 and 3:12
- What shall you be in the hand of the Lord? Isaiah 62:3
- If you fall, what sustains you? Psalm 37:24
- What will men no longer call you or your land? Isaiah 62:4
- Where has the Lord written your name? Isaiah 49:14-16
- What shall you and your land be called, and what does the Lord do for you and your land? Isaiah 62:4
- Who is your husband, and what is he called? Isaiah 54:5
- Who shall marry you, and who shall rejoice in you? Isaiah 62:5
Personal – What has been your response to being “His Delight” or being so precious to the Lord? Spend some time alone and meditate on these five verses of Isaiah 62.
THIRD DAY READ 1 CORINTHIANS 12:4-11 SECOND READING
(“To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit.”)
- Of what is there a variety, but the same Spirit? 1 Corinthians 12:4
- Our gifts differ because of what? Romans 12:6
- In what are there differences, but the same God Who produces all of them? 1 Corinthians 12:5-6
- What have some in the church been designated to be? 1 Corinthians 12:28
- Who gives us the desire to work, and for what purpose? Philippians 2:13
- What is given to an individual for some benefit? 1 Corinthians 12:7
- What are the gifts given by the Spirit? 1 Cor. 12:8-10
- What shall we seek, and for what reason? 1 Cor. 14:12
- Who produces all the gifts, and how does he distribute them? 1 Corinthians 12:11
- How is grace given to us, and what is said about Jesus? Ephesians 4:7-8
Personal – What gifts has the Lord given you, and how has the church been built up because of your gift? Seek after gifts that will build up the church.
FOURTH DAY READ JOHN 2:1-12 GOSPEL
(“Do whatever he tells you.”)
- What was happening in Cana of Galilee, and who was there? John 2:1-2
- When the wine ran short, what did the mother of Jesus say to Him? How did he address her, and what did he say to her? John 2:3-4
- What did Jesus’ mother say to the servants? John 2:5
Personal – How have you followed Mary’s instructions to the servants today?
- How many stone water jars were there, how much did they hold, and what did Jesus tell them to do? John 2:6-7
- What did Jesus tell them to draw and where were they to take it? John 2:8
- What did the headwaiter taste, who knew where it came from, and whom did he call? John 2:9
- What did the headwaiter say to the bridegroom? John 2:10
- Of what was this the beginning, what did it reveal, and who began to believe in him? John 2:11
- Where did Jesus perform his second sign, and what did he say to the people? John 4:46, 48, and 54.
- What signs accompany those who believe? Mark 16:17-18
- After the changing of the water to wine, where did Jesus and the others go? John 2:12
Personal – What signs can you see in your everyday life that reveals the presence of God’s Spirit?
FIFTH DAY READ PSALM 96:1-3, 7-10
(“Sing to the Lord; bless his name; announce his salvation,”)
Read and meditate on Psalm 96:1-3, 7-10.
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
In today’s reading we see Isaiah in earnest prayer for not only Jerusalem, but for all of God’s people. He prays for the time of future deliverance, when all people will live with God in perfect peace. God offers us not only hope in the future, but help in our present needs. Isaiah’s zeal for his country and his desire to see the works of salvation completed caused him to pray without ceasing, hoping that Israel would be saved.
Isaiah prays that the name of Jerusalem will bring upon itself the full protection of God and will be called a city in which God takes delight. He prays that never again shall his people have to go through such suffering.
We would do well today to have some of Isaiah’s zeal to see God’s will done. We are told in scripture not to worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God your needs and do not forget to thank him for his answers (Philippians 4:6). Isaiah has shown us that when we put our trust in God through prayer, he listens and answers.
St. Paul tells us to turn our hopes and even our worries into prayers. Do you want to worry less and to be at peace? Then pray more. Whenever you start to worry, stop and pray. Isaiah found God’s peace, not in positive thinking, but in knowing that God was in control and that prayers of praise would be heard very clearly by God. We can pray just like Isaiah, and find peace, too.
1 CORINTHIANS 12:4-11
Spiritual gifts are special abilities given to each person by the Holy Spirit. These gifts may bring diversity, but they constantly orient us to unity. They enable us to minister to the needs of the believers. There are many spiritual gifts and one gift is not superior to another. All of the spiritual gifts come from the Holy Spirit and their purpose is to build up Christ’s body, the church.
Paul was concerned about the friction going on in the Corinthian church because, instead of building and unifying the church, spiritual gifts were splitting it. The spiritual gift is given for the benefit of the community and not for the individual. All Christians have faith; some, however, have the spiritual gift of faith which is an unusual measure of trust in the Holy Spirit’s power. Paul encourages us to remember that whatever spiritual gift we have been given, it is to be used to uplift the community. The power of the Holy Spirit is upon all of us, and we all have been given a spiritual gift.
The gifts are manifested in our life as we daily receive the grace from God through our prayer life, reading of scripture, sacraments, and fellowship with other believers. St. Peter tells us everyone has some abilities; find yours and use them. All of our abilities should be dedicated to others. None are for our own exclusive enjoyment.
Today’s Gospel shows us that whatever Jesus touched was changed. He changed the water into wine, and he changed sinners into saints. The weddings in Jesus’ day were celebrations that lasted for a full seven days. Banquets were prepared for many guests, and the week was spent celebrating the new life of the married couple. Many times the whole village was invited, and because it was an insult to refuse an invitation, most people came. To run out of wine was an embarrassment and broke the strong unwritten laws of hospitality of the area.
Jesus was called upon by his mother to protect the honor of a good local family. Jesus was on a mission to save the world, and yet he took time to attend a wedding and take part in its festivities. Jesus knew that being part of people’s lives was very much a part of his mission to Calvary. He valued these wedding festivities because they involved people, and he came to be with the people. Mary did not understand Jesus’ reply, but she trusted in him completely and knew he would do what was needed.
Our call to ministry or our mission to bring God’s word to others can often be accomplished in joyous times of celebration with others. We need to bring balance into our lives and we do that by bringing Jesus into times of pleasure as well as times of work. Today we who believe in Jesus, but run into situations we cannot understand, must continue to trust that he will work in the best way.
This week’s first reading tells us that God gives us, not only a new name, but also a new life. The second reading explains how each individual gift of the Holy Spirit is for the benefit of the community. The Gospel shows what Jesus touches, he changes…be it water or hearts.
This week, let your gifts of the Holy Spirit be manifested in the community. Pray with your family, school or work associates. Let your gifts uplift those around you. A gift of healing can be a simple hug or making someone a meal. A gift of teaching or preaching may be reading scripture to someone who can not read or it may be teaching a scripture class to the community. The gift of hospitality might be driving someone to church or to the store. The gifts are many, but they come from the one Spirit. The Holy Spirit resides in your temple (1 Corinthians 6:19).