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 EXODUS 3:1-8, 13-15 FIRST READING
(“This is what you are to tell the Israelites: I Am sent me to you.”)
- What was Moses doing, where did he arrive, and what was it called? Exodus 3:1
- How did an angel of the Lord appear to Moses, at what was he surprised, and what did he decide to do? Exodus 3:2-3
- Approximately how old was Moses when the angel appeared to him? Acts 7:23, 30
- What did God do and say when Moses came near the bush? Exodus 3:4-6
- What did Jacob say was a gateway to heaven? Genesis 28:17
- What was Moses afraid to do? Exodus 3:6
- What did the Lord say he has witnessed, what does he know, and what has he come down to do? Exodus 3:7-8
- What are we to do to those who are being dragged to death? Proverbs 24:11
Personal – As the Lord has rescued his people from slavery and death, how have you continued to be his hands and feet and rescued those who have been programmed for abortion? What can you do at the abortion mills to make his presence known?
- What did Moses say and ask God, and what did God say is his name? Exodus 3:13-14
- What did God tell Moses to say to the Israelites? Exodus 3:15
- How long does God’s name endure, and what is his title? Psalm 135:13
- Who will enter the kingdom of heaven? Matthew 7:21
Personal – What do you call the One who has sent you, and what has he sent you to do?
THIRD DAY READ 1 CORINTHIANS 10:1-6, 10-12 SECOND READING
(“Therefore, whoever thinks he is standing secure, should take care not to fall.”)
- Of what does Paul not want the brothers to be unaware? 1 Corinthians 10:1-2
- Into who and what have you been baptized? Romans 6:3
- From what did they all eat and drink, from what kind of a rock did they drink, and who was the rock? 1 Cor. 10:3-4
- What spiritual food did he give our ancestors, and what spiritual food does he give us? John 6:31, 6:35
- Why were our ancestors struck down? 1 Corinthians 10:5-6 and Hebrews 3:17
- What did the Lord do to those who did not believe? Jude 5
- What should we not do as some of our ancestors have done? 1 Corinthians 10:10
- Why have these things been written down, and of what should you be careful? 1 Cor. 10:11-12
- Why do you not become haughty, and how should you stand? Romans 11:20
Personal – What attitudes that are not pleasing to God have been passed on to you by your ancestors? How can you or how have you overcome them?
FOURTH DAY READ LUKE 13:1-9 GOSPEL
(“If you do not repent, you will all perish as they did.”)
- What did some people tell Jesus, and what was his reply? Luke 13:1-2
- What did Jesus say will happen if you do not repent? Luke 13:3
- What does Jesus say about the eighteen people who were killed when the tower at Siloam fell on them, and what does he repeat? Luke 13:4-5
- If you do not believe Jesus is what, what will happen to you? John 8:24
- Of what are you to repent, and what will you receive? Acts 2:38
- What did Jesus tell the people, and what was planted in the man’s orchard? Luke 13:6
- What did the man say to the gardener? Luke 13:7
- What did Jesus do to the fig tree, and what did he tell his disciples? Matthew 21:19-21
- What will happen to every tree that does not bear good fruit? Matthew 3:10
- What did the gardener tell the man he would do in hopes it would bear fruit in the future, and what did he say to do if it did not bear fruit? Luke 13:8-9
Personal – Repent means to change. How has your life changed since you have been studied God’s Word, and what fruit is evident from this change?
FIFTH DAY READ PSALM 103:1-4, 6-8, 11
(“Merciful and gracious is the Lord, slow to anger and abounding in kindness.”)
Read and meditate on Psalm 103:1-4, 6-8, 11.
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
EXODUS 3:1-8, 13-15
In today’s reading we are shown the startling contrast between Moses’ life as an Egyptian prince and his life as an obscure shepherd. As a prince, he had everything done for him, and as the son of an Egyptian princess, he became very famous and very popular. As a shepherd he experienced hard work, little recognition and much loneliness. He was now holding the very job he had been taught to despise. He lived in the hills unknown and as a foreigner. This must have been an incredibly humbling experience for Moses, but God in his infinite wisdom was preparing Moses for leadership. Moses could not see this yet, but God was getting him ready to free Israel.
God spoke to Moses from an unexpected source: a burning bush. When Moses saw it, he went to investigate. God often uses unexpected sources when working in our lives. You can be open to investigate as God speaks through his people. He might speak to your spouse, parents, friend, relative, or anyone. You need to investigate and be open as Moses was open to God’s use of people or experiences.
Be ready for God’s surprises. He may have guidance for you that can come when you are ready to listen to a “burning bush.” God told Moses to take off his shoes because he was standing on holy ground. Moses immediately obeyed and covered his face as well. Taking off his shoes was an act of reverence and conveying to God his own unworthiness. God is our friend, but he is first and foremost our sovereign Lord. When you worship God, do you approach him casually or as though you were an invited guest before a king.
1 CORINTHIANS 10:1-6, 10-12
Today’s reading is a powerful example of what happens to a person, a people, or a nation when over confidence and lack of discipline bring about a great spiritual immaturity. This reading encourages us to remember our own Baptism and how we have been blessed to have God within us. Like the people in today’s reading, we too have been guided through many raging storms and have been led through to safety by the love and power of God. They followed a cloud by day and fire by night.
We have Christ within us personally. We can have instant access to him if we so desire. The world today, as the Egyptians tried to do to the Israelites, is trying to drive us into the sea of despair and destruction. Because we are temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19), we can call upon the power of the Holy Spirit within us (1 John 4:4) and calm the storms that rage in different times of our lives.
We need to remember, just as the Israelites needed to remember, that unless we continue to be people of prayer, worship, and doers of God’s Holy Word, we will be rebellious, and we will die in our wilderness too. The pressures of today’s world make it easy to forget the lessons of the past, but the daily reading of Scripture will be a powerful reminder of how God wants us to really live. We do not need to make the same mistakes as the people in today’s reading. We have been given the tremendous gift of free will. Our God is a God of love, and we have within us the power of the Holy Spirit to help us choose to love.
Today’s Gospel is a call to repentance. Being killed or staying alive are not measures of righteousness in themselves. Everyone will die at some time; that is part of being human. But not everyone needs to stay dead. Jesus promises all of us that if we believe in him, we will not perish, but instead we will have eternal life (John 3:16).
There are many people in our communities, and even in our families, who are like the fig tree in today’s reading. They are being nurtured through life, and they are not producing any fruit. They refuse to listen on how to bear good fruit, and finally, many of them die or are cut down. We need to really hear what is being said in today’s Gospel because we are like that tree and we need to repent. We need to be watered and re-cultivated or we will be ripped out and thrown away. Jesus died for us; he has left his Spirit to help us grow.
Our church embraces us with the teachings of Christ, the sacraments, Holy Scripture, fellowship; all of this to help us bear the fruits of love. We are bearers of a wonderful kind of life-giving fruit. They will know who we are when they see and taste our fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. This is the kind of fruit we were meant to bear.
Jesus is constantly pleading to save your tree of life within you. Listen to him today. Let him open your roots and root out all the rotten growth through the sacrament of reconciliation. Let Jesus love you through prayer and his Holy Word, and spend time just listening to him. Let him make you his delight once again.
The first reading tells how Moses saw the burning bush and investigates just as we should investigate. In the second reading we see our baptism is constantly being experienced throughout our lives. The Gospel says a Christian is born to never die, but to live forever.
This week, like Moses, look and listen to God speak. He may be speaking through someone in your family. Moses heard him in a “burning bush.” Your baptism made you a temple of the Holy Spirit, and your language reflects your attitude of what you think is inside your temple. Let those around you hear only words that are honorable and acceptable in the presence of a king. What kind of fruit do you bear? Ask those closest to you what kind of fruit they see in you? This week spend time in pruning, nurturing, and watering your tree of life, and your fruit will feed your family.