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.
1. What was a helpful or a 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 ACTS 10:25-26, 34-35, 44-48 FIRST READING
(“In every nation whoever fears the Lord and acts uprightly is acceptable to him.”)
1. When Peter entered, what did Cornelius do? Acts 10:25
2. What did Peter do and say to Cornelius? Acts 10:26
3. What did Barnabas and Paul say about themselves, and what do they proclaim? Acts 14:15
4. What are we not to do, and for what reason? Revelation 19:10, Revelation 22:8-9
5. As Peter spoke in truth, what did he say that God does not show? Acts 10:34 and also Romans 2:11
6. Who is God? What does he not have and accept? Deuteronomy 10:17
7. Why does the Lord not favor anyone? Job 34:19
8. Who is acceptable to the Lord? Acts 10:35
9. What happened to all who were listening to the word? Acts 10:44
Personal? – How have you experienced the Holy Spirit as you have listened to the Word of God?
10. What astounded the circumcised believers who had accompanied Peter? Acts 10:45
11. What could they hear them doing that astounded them? Acts 10:46
12. What was the question asked by Peter? Acts 10:47
13. What did Peter order, and what did they invite him to do? Acts 10:48-49
14. What does God know, and what does he grant us? Acts 15:8
Personal? – In what way do you show respect and fear of the Lord and act uprightly?
THIRD DAY READ 1 JOHN 4:7-10 SECOND READING
(“Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love.”)
1. What are we to do, what is of God, and who is begotten by God, and knows God? 1 John 4:7
2. What is the message we have heard from the beginning? 1 John 3:11
3. Whoever is without love does not do what, and what is God? 1 John 4:8
4. Whoever remains in love remains in whom, and who remains in him? 1 John 4:16
5. In what way is the love of God revealed to us? 1 John 4:9
6. Who has seen God and revealed him? John 1:18
7. What did God send his Son into the world not to do, but what did he send him to do? John 3:16-17
8. Where do we find life? 1 John 5:11
9. “In this is love, not that we have loved God,” but what? What did God send his Son to do? 1 John 4:10
10. How does God prove his love for us? Romans 5:8, 10
11. God set forth as an expiation Jesus through and by what? Romans 3:25
Personal? – How have you experienced God’s love for you personally?
FOURTH DAY READ JOHN 15:9-17 GOSPEL
(“This I command you: love one another.”)
1. How does Jesus love us, and in what are we to remain? John 15:9
2. How are we brought to perfection, and what will the world know? John 17:22-23
3. How will we remain in Jesus’ love, what has Jesus done, and why has he told us this? John 15:10-11
4. Why does the Father never leave Jesus? John 8:29
5. What will be made complete by asking anything in Jesus’ name? John 16:24
6. What is Jesus’ new commandment? John 15:12, John 13:34
7. What is there nothing greater than? John 15:13
Personal? – How have you laid down your life for your friends?
8. While we were still helpless, for whom did Christ die at the appointed time? Romans 5:6
9. How did we come to know love, and what ought we do for our brothers? 1 John 3:16
10. How do we become Jesus’ friends? John 15:14
11. What is a true friend more loyal than? Proverbs 18:24
12. What does Jesus no longer call us, and for what reason? What does he call us, and for what reason? John 15:15
13. Who does Jesus tell of what he has heard from the Father? John 8:26
Personal? – What has Jesus told you about the Father?
14. Who chose us, what did he appoint us to do, and what would happen? John 15:16
15. Why will Jesus give us whatever we ask in his name? John 14:13
16. What are we to the Lord, and what has he chosen us to be? Deuteronomy 7:6
17. What does God command us? John 15:17
Personal? – In what way does the fruit of love show forth in your life? Do others see joy in your service?
FIFTH DAY READ PSALM 98:1-4
(“…in the sight of the nation he has revealed his justice.”)
Read and meditate on Psalm 98:1-4.
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 10:25-26, 34-35, 44-48
The barrier between the Jews and the Gentiles did much to prevent the spread of the Gospel. God, however, overcomes all barriers and shows no favoritism in Peter’s time, nor does he in our day. God was making it crystal clear that the Good News is for everyone. Today, because our world is much smaller due to the media, the temptation to think that only a certain few are God’s favorite children is very deadly. We should not allow any barriers, such as language, culture, prejudice, geography, economic class or education, keep us from spreading the Gospel. In every nation hearts, minds, and ears are bent toward hearing God’s holy word, but someone must take it to them.
To want to know about God is not enough. People must find him, and then experience him. Leading others to Christ is a special vocation, and we always need to take time to listen to him (Psalm 46:10) so that we will be able to know and follow his will.
The “Good News” is for everyone because it is a message of hope. Cornelius was a very wealthy Gentile and a powerful military man. Peter, on the other hand, was a Jew and a common fisherman turned preacher. God’s plan included both of them just as they were, and today he includes us in his plan. A new chapter was written in history that day when a Jewish Christian leader and a Gentile Christian convert each discovered God at work in the other person. Cornelius needed Peter and his Gospel to know he could be saved. Peter needed Cornelius and his salvation experience to know that God was available to anyone who believed in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son.
We who are believers in Christ need each other to understand how God works. Peter was invited to share and teach more about his faith, and Cornelius was very eager to learn more about his new faith. Are you as eager to learn more about Jesus as new believers are eager? Spend as much time as you can around mature Christians and strive to learn from them. Remember, the rest of the world will know that we are Christians by the way we love one another.
1 JOHN 4:7-10
Love is a decision that involves a choice followed by an action. Love is not being sentimental or displaying mushy feelings. Love is very patient and kind, never jealous or envious. Love is never selfish or being rude. Love is being truthful and loyal, no matter what the cost. This kind of love is not natural; it is possible only if God helps us to set aside our own desires and instincts. The closer we come to Christ, the more we will be able to love others while expecting nothing in return.
Society wants us to believe that love is important because it is an expression of our feelings. In reality, love is a decision and Jesus is our example of what love is. He gave us everything of himself, even going to the cross and dying for those who cursed him, rejected and even killed him. The Holy Spirit is where we get the power to love in the face of rejections and ridicule.
God’s love always involved a choice and an action, and our love should be like his. Take a moment right now and ask yourself, “How well is my love of God displayed to others, in the choices I make, and in the actions I take?” God is love, and our world with its selfish views on what it calls love tries to contaminate its true meaning. The world thinks love is what makes you feel good and is willing to sacrifice moral principles and other rights in order to obtain such “love.” We need not be fooled, because it is not real love. It is the exact opposite – selfishness. Our definition of love must come from God who is holy, just and perfect. The world today must learn to love like God loves.
The key passage in today’s gospel message is the words of Jesus telling his disciples that they have not chosen him, but he has chosen them. It was not we who chose God, but God in his mercy and grace approaches us with a call and an offer made out of his love. He chose us for love and to go out into the world to love one another. He chose us for joy in doing the right thing. A gloomy Christian is a contradiction in terms. It is true that the Christian is a sinner, but he is a redeemed sinner, and therein lies his joy.
A joyful Christian is a loving Christian, and laying down your life for another is the ultimate way of proving it. We may at some time in our life have questioned this great command of Jesus. He would look us lovingly in the eye and tell us that no one can show greater love than to lay down one’s life for his friend – and he did that.
Jesus chose us to be his friends, and he wanted to abide in us more than we could ever want to abide in him. He has offered us an intimacy with God which not even the greatest men knew before he came upon this earth. It meant that we have the privilege to enter into the presence of the Master without any special announcement. Think about it, the Lord of Lords, the Prince of Peace, the King of Kings is always available when we call, even if it is for just a few moments.
Jesus chose us to be his ambassadors, and he chose us to send us out (Matt. 28:19) to make disciples of all nations. He chose us to come first to him, and then after we have spent time living with and in him (John 15:7), he sends us to go out to the world. He chose us to be his.
You have been chosen by Christ to go forth and make disciples of all nations because he loves you. He does not love you because of what you do, or who you are. He loves you because of who he is. You are a loving person because he loved you first by choosing you to be his friend. The Good News, my loving friend, is that he has chosen us to love and because of him we are more than conquerors.
The first reading shows us that we are not to forget public worship. The second reading tells us that love is a decision, not a feeling. The Gospel reveals to us that God chose us; we did not choose him.
This week commit yourself to a choice and action of loving someone unconditionally. Choose someone in your family, school or work area. Pick someone who seems to be difficult to love. Pray each morning for the grace and power of the Holy Spirit. Be specific in your choice and type of action. Be prepared for an incredible miracle in your life, and then share that miracle in your testimony.