THE BREAD OF LIFE
CATHOLIC BIBLE STUDY
THIRD SUNDAY IN LENT – CYCLE B
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)
The first reading tells us that in our times of testing, we are growing in moral development. The second reading shows us the incredible power of God’s redeeming grace. The Gospel shows that being transfigured is letting the radiance of Christ shine in you and through you.
This week look for only the good points in those around you. Speak only about what is good about them. No flattery, just affirmation, and watch them go through a transfiguration right before your eyes. Try it.
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 20:1-17 FIRST READING
(“I, the Lord, am your God,…”)
- What did God deliver, from where did he deliver them, and where did he speak to them? Exodus 20:1 and Nehemiah 9:13
- What did the Lord say you shall not have, what shall you not carve, and what kind of a God is He? Exodus 20:3-5
- What is cast by a craftsman? Isaiah 40:19
- What do knowledge and love do, and what do we know about idols and God? 1 Corinthians 8:1-6
- What will God bestow down to the thousandth generation, and to whom will he bestow it? Exodus 20:6
- Who will be shown mercy? Matthew 5:7
- What shall you not do to God’s name, and whom will the Lord not leave unpunished? Exodus 20:7
- What day are you to remember to keep holy, what must you not do on that day, and what did the Lord do on the seventh day? Exodus 20:8-11
- Whom are we to honor, and by honoring them what may we
have? Exodus 20:12
- As seen in Exodus 20:13-17, what shall we not do?
- What did Jesus tell the man he needed to do in order to inherit eternal life? Mark 10:17-22
- What did Jesus come to do? Matthew 5:17
Personal – Which of the commandments do you have difficulty following? What can you do to change that area of difficulty for yourself?
THIRD DAY READ 1 CORINTHIANS 1:22-25 SECOND READING
(“Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God.”)
- What do the Jews demand, and for what do the Greeks look? 1 Corinthians 1:22
- What was the beginning of Jesus’ signs in Cana, what did this reveal, and what did his disciples begin to do? John 2:7-9, 11
- In what did Jesus advance? Luke 2:52
- What comes with pride, and what comes with the humble?
- What is the beginning of wisdom? Proverbs 9:10
- What does Paul proclaim, and what is this to the Jews and Gentiles? 1 Corinthians 1:23
- What did Simeon say to Mary about Jesus? Luke 2:34
- What did Paul say about the message of the cross?
1 Corinthians 1:18
- To those who are called, what is Christ?
1 Corinthians 1:24
- What is the foolishness of God and the weakness of God? 1 Corinthians 1:25
- Out of what was Jesus crucified, how does he live, and how do we live with him? 2 Corinthians 13:4
Personal – How do you proclaim Christ crucified to your family, friends, co-workers, and/or schoolmates? Could there be a stumbling block for you or others in proclaiming Christ crucified?
FOURTH DAY READ JOHN 2:13-25 GOSPEL
(“..He was speaking about the temple of his body.”)
- Since the Jewish Passover was near, where did Jesus go? Whom did Jesus find seated in the temple, and what were they doing? John 2:13-14
- What did Jesus make, and what did he do with it, and
what did he do with the coins and tables? John 2:15
- What did Jesus say to those who sold doves? John 2:16
- What did Jesus’ disciples recall, and at this, what did the Jews say to him? John 2:17-18
- What did Jesus say about the temple? John 2:19
- How long did the Jews say the temple had been under
construction? John 2:20
- About what was Jesus speaking? John 2:21
- What is our body, who dwells within us, and what must we do with our body? 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
- What happened to the disciples when Jesus was raised from the dead, and what two things did they come to believe? John 2:22
- Who reminds us of all that Jesus says? See John 14:26
- What made many begin to believe in his name? John 2:23
- Why did Jesus not trust himself to them, and what did he understand well? John 2:24-25
- How might the cross of Christ be emptied of its meaning? 1 Corinthians 1:17
- Who did God choose from the world, and what did Jesus
become for us? 1 Corinthians 1:27, 29-31
Personal – How can profiting and making money be a stumbling block to your temple (your body)?
FIFTH DAY READ PSALM 19:8-11
(“The law of the Lord is perfect,”)
Read and meditate on Psalm 19:8-11.
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
Today’s reading brings to us the law that was designed to lead Israel to a life of practical holiness. The Ten Commandments were intended to direct the community to meet the needs of each person in a loving and responsible manner. The Israelites had just come from Egypt, a land of many idols and gods. It was very common to worship many gods in order to have a fulfilled life. When God told his people to worship him, the people thought he was just one more god to add to the list, and when he said, “Worship no other God than me,” it was hard for the people to accept. God made this his first commandment and emphasized it more than the other commandments.
By the time Jesus came along, most people looked at the Law the wrong way. They saw it as a means to salvation, but God shows that the Law is a blueprint for living, not a method of salvation. We need only to look around us and we can see that many people today allow certain values to become gods to them. Good health, money, fame, work, or pleasure can become gods when we concentrate too much on them for meaning and security in our life.
No one really sets out to worship these things. Yet, the amount of time they occupy in people’s lives lets them grow into gods that ultimately control our thoughts and energies. We can keep these idols and false gods from dominating us when only God takes the central place in our lives. God’s name is special, for it carries his personal identity. The way we use his name conveys the way we really feel about him. Lying is an attempt to deceive. God warns us against this kind of deception. Even though deception is a way of life for many people, we must resist it. Only God can supply all of our needs (Phil. 4:19) and we need go to him only in prayer (Phil. 4:6-8) and we will find the peace that surpasses all understanding.
1 CORINTHIANS 1:22-25
Paul tells us that many people in Corinth thought the Good News of Jesus Christ was foolish, because they had been taught that the Messiah would be a conquering hero, not a suffering servant. Jesus did not restore David’s throne as they had expected. The execution of Jesus as a common criminal certainly did not help those of Corinth to look upon Jesus Christ as their Savior. The Greeks thought the Gospel was foolish, too, because they did not believe in a bodily resurrection. The Greeks did not see in Jesus Christ the strength of their mythological gods, and they also thought no reputable person would be crucified. To the Greeks death was defeat, not victory.
Today, the Good News of Jesus Christ still sounds foolish to some people. Our society worships youth, influence, wealth, power, and health. Jesus came as a humble, poor servant (Phil. 2:2-11). Jesus offers his kingdom to those with faith, not talent, money or power. To the world this method looks backward, but it is the way God chose to save it.
Paul preached about the crucified Christ, and his message was that of the cross. He taught that Jesus emptied himself and obediently went to his death on the cross (Phil. 2:2-11). We are called to do no less. We are called to defer to one another and die to our own desires and needs. We live in a world that glorifies self and tries desperately to ignore the rights and needs of the broken, lonely and oppressed people. We are strongest when we are meeting the needs of the weakest. Mother Teresa shows us that we are richest when we are meeting the needs of the poorest of the poor. Jesus himself tells us that when we serve others, we are serving him (Matthew 25:31-46).
The Passover celebration took place yearly at the temple in Jerusalem. All Jewish males were expected to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem during this time. Jerusalem was both the political and religious seat of Palestine, and it was the place where the expected Messiah was to arrive. The temple in today’s reading was built on the same location as the one built by Solomon over a thousand years earlier (1 Kings 6).
The temple tax had to be paid in the local currency; hence the need for moneychangers. Profits were being made and high interest was very common with moneychangers. The people needed to make a sin offering so animals were sold also. The price of sacrificial animals was much higher in the temple area than elsewhere. Jesus was very angry at the dishonesty and greed of the moneychangers and merchants. Their presence made a mockery of the temple, the place of worship to God, not a marketplace.
We need to be sure that our attitude reflects our desire to attend church because it is a place of prayer, worship, and social activities that give varied types of help to the poor and oppressed.
Jesus exerted righteous indignation and not uncontrolled rage. It is right to be angry over injustice and sin, and it is wrong to be angry over trivial personal offenses. Jesus’ resurrection would prove his authority to drive out the merchants, to heal, to cast out demons, and to forgive sins. We are called to make our temple of the Holy Spirit, which is our body (1 Cor. 6:19-20), a place that is a living and holy sacrifice.
The first reading is a call to practical holiness. The second reading reveals the Messiah as a suffering servant. The Gospel tells us that our church is meant to be a place of worship.
This week, see what needs to be done by your family to make your church a place of worship. See what needs to be done by you to make your family see you as one who is becoming holy. Then go in the name of Jesus Christ, through the power of his Holy Spirit, and in accordance with his Father’s will, DO IT.