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 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 WISDOM 1:13-15; 2:23-24 FIRST READING
(“…the image of his own nature he made him.”)
l. What did God not make, and in what does he not rejoice? Wisdom 1:13
2. How did Jesus destroy the one who has the power of death? Hebrews 2:14
3. When sin reaches maturity, to what does it give birth? James 1:15
4. In what does God not delay? What is he with us, and for what reason? 2 Peter 3:9
5. Why did God fashion all things, what are the creatures of the world, and what is there not among them? Wisdom 1:14
6. What is undying? Wisdom 1:15
7. To what does the path of justice lead, and to what does the abominable way lead? Proverbs 12:28
8. What did God form man to be, and in whose image did he form him? Wisdom 2:23, Genesis 1:27
9. How did death enter the world, and who experienced it? Wisdom 2:24
10. How did sin enter the world? What came through sin, and who has sinned? Romans 5:12
11. What do envy and anger do? Sirach 30:24
Personal In what way in your everyday life are you a reflection of the image of God? Give specific examples. Whose image dominates your day? Reflect on this.
THIRD DAY READ 2 CORINTHIANS 8:7, 9, 13-15 SECOND READING
(“…by his poverty you might become rich.”)
1. What do you do in every respect, in faith, discourse, knowledge, all earnestness, and in love? 2 Corinthians 8:7
2. How were you enriched in every way, with all discourse and all knowledge? 1 Corinthians 1:4-5
3. What did Jesus Christ become for our sake, although he was rich, and for what reason? 2 Corinthians 8:9
4. What did Jesus, though he was in the form of God, not regard himself as? Philippians 2:6-8
5. What did Jesus come to do? Matthew 20:28
Personal – In what way do you see yourself as poor?
6. What is Paul’s desire for the brothers? 2 Corinthians 8:13-15
7. Of what was the community of believers, and what was there not among them? Acts 4:32-34
8. What is a reason for working? Ephesians 4:28
9. What is it that is written? 2 Corinthians 8:15
10. What occurred when the Israelites gathered the manna? Exodus 16:16-18
Personal – How have you been sharing what you have with the needy? Do you see the community of believers (those in your parish) being cared for equally, and if not, what can you do to change it?
FOURTH DAY READ MARK 5:21-43 GOSPEL
(“Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be cured.”)
1. As a large crowd gathered around Jesus, who came forward? What did he do upon seeing Jesus? Mark 5:21-23
2. What did he say would happen to his daughter if Jesus laid hands on her, and when Jesus went off with him, who followed them? Mark 5:23-24
3. What happened to the woman afflicted, how did she suffer, and was she helped by the doctors? Mark 5:25-26
4. After doing what three things do you give the doctor his place? Sirach 38:9-12
5. When the woman with the hemorrhage heard about Jesus, what did she do and what did she say? Mark 5:27-28
6. What immediately happened to the woman when she touched Jesus? What did Jesus ask when he was aware that power had gone out of him? Mark 5:29-30
7. How did the woman approach Jesus, and what did he say saved her? Mark 5:31-34
Personal – How has your faith saved you?
8. What happened while Jesus was still speaking? Disregarding the message, what did Jesus tell the synagogue official? Mark 5:35-36
9. Whom did Jesus allow to accompany him inside, how were the people acting, and what did Jesus say to them? Mark 5:37-39
10. How did the people react to Jesus; and, putting them out, whom did he take in with him? Mark 5:40
11. What did Jesus do and say to the child, and what was the girl’s response? About what did Jesus give strict orders, and what did he tell them to do for the girl? Mark 5:41-43
Personal How do you see touching as having a healing effect on those around you?
FIFTH DAY READ PSALM 30: 2, 4-6, 11-13
(“You changed my mourning into dancing.”)
Read and meditate on Psalm 30:2, 4-6, 11-13.
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
WISDOM 1:13-15, 2:23-24
This passage clearly reveals to us that death and sickness are not of God’s making. They are, in fact, just the opposite of what God is. Suffering, whether it be physical, emotional or spiritual, raises some very hard questions. Why does God allow so much suffering to take place in the world? This is a question that seems to be asked all through the ages.
God allows suffering to exist because he has given all mankind the freedom to accept or reject him and his teachings. He created each one of us in his image, and as we are told in Genesis, everything that God made was good. We can say this in another way: God does not make junk, but through one man, sin entered into the world, and the wages of sin are death (Rom. 6:23). Sin gave birth to death and suffering. We need only look around and we can see how much death and destruction are put upon the people of the world through pollution, toxic chemicals, drug abuse, alcoholism, abortion, and the incredible plague of war. Man has, in many cases, made God’s image a reflection of man’s image. Those who are in possession of this false destructive image induced by Satan experience all of death and destruction. This death and destruction also touches many innocent people, and it will be stopped only when people turn to the healing power of God. Nations have to stop plundering and destroying each other.
We are being called to the only real peace, and that is the peace of Christ. Jesus Christ died so that all men might have eternal life (John 3:16). His death won for us freedom from Satan (death) even while we were still sinners (Rom. 5:8). Our God is a loving and just God. All who suffer and repent are forgiven and all who suffer and are innocent, he glorifies in heaven, and they are with him forever.
2 CORINTHIANS 8:7, 9, 13-15
Today’s reading is a classic example of an old saying that goes like this: “It is not enough to talk the talk, you must also walk the walk.” We give others a clear message of what we really believe by the way we live our lives. Today’s reading is not just an appeal to be a giver, it is a call to be a joyful giver. Giving is the natural response of love, and Paul was not ordering the Christians to give. He told them that actions speak much louder than words.
When you love someone, you want to provide for his needs. If we refuse to help, our love may not be as genuine as we say. Jesus gave up his rights as God to become man. Incarnation means God voluntarily became man. Jesus gave up his life for all, and he let himself take on the form of a mere slave. He was obedient even up to his death on the cross.
The Corinthian church had money and Paul challenged them to give of their time, talent, and money for the needy and the poor. Paul shares with us several principles of giving. Your willingness to give is more important than the amount you give. He states that if you give to others in need then you too will be helped in your need. You are called to give as your response to Christ, not for what you may get out of it. Giving or tithing expresses a fundamental trust in God’s provision for our lives (Phil 4:19).
Jesus chose to give us eternal life, and his giving continues as he gives us grace and power. Jesus tells us in scripture that whatever we do to the least of his brethren, we do unto him (Matt. 25:31-45). Christians are called to share alms with the poor and those in need (Luke 11:41).
In today’s Gospel there are all the elements of tragedy and hope. The passage begins with Jesus being confronted by a ruler of the local synagogue named Jarius. Many synagogue rulers had close ties with the Pharisees. It was very likely that calling on Jesus’ help was not supported very much by Jarius’ peers. To bow before Jesus in front of all those Jewish people was a daring act of respect and worship on Jarius’ part. When his daughter fell ill, something happened to him, and he thought of Jesus. His prejudices were forgotten. He must have regarded Jesus as an outsider, as one to whom the synagogue doors were closed. His dignity was forgotten. He, the ruler of the synagogue, came and threw himself at the feet of Jesus. His pride was forgotten. This was a man who forgot everything except that he wanted the help of Jesus.
We see a woman with an incurable condition desperately reach out and touching Jesus. Her disorder caused her to bleed constantly which would have made her ritually unclean (Lev. 15:25-27). She knew her bleeding would cause Jesus to be unclean, according to Jewish law, if she touched him. Still she reached out by faith and was healed.
Many times we feel our problems keep us from being close to God, but he is always present and ready to help us. We should never let our fear keep us from reaching out to him. Jesus said her faith caused the cure. Jarius’ faith caused him to seek out Jesus for his daughter. His faith caused his daughter’s cure. Genuine faith involves action. Faith that is not put into action is no faith at all.
The first reading tells us that God does not make junk. The second reading shows us that our actions speak louder than words. The Gospel reveals God’s presence in all situations.
This week, by your actions, show what it is that you really believe. Look for specific ways to be humble to your family, like the ruler in the synagogue. Make a decision to put your family members’ interests before your own. Share the Good News of the Gospel with each member of your family. Love one another as he loves you.