THE BREAD OF LIFE
CATHOLIC BIBLE STUDY
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 DANIEL 12:1-3 FIRST READING
(“But the wise shall shine brightly like the splendor of the firmament.”)
l. Who shall arise, what shall there be, and who shall escape? Daniel 12:1, Matthew 24:21
2. Against whom did Michael and his angels battle? Revelation 12:7
3. Over what are we to rejoice? Luke 10:20
4. What will happen to those who sleep in the dust of the earth, and what will happen to them? Daniel 12:2
5. Who will go off to eternal punishment, and who will go to eternal life? Matthew 25:45-46, John 5:28-29
6. What will the wise or the learned do? Daniel 12:3
7. As you hold onto the Word of Life, what will you do in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation? Philippians 2:15
8. What will those who lead many to justice be like? Daniel 12:3
9. Like what is the path of the just? Proverbs 4:18
10. To what are we to be attentive until two things happen? 2 Peter 1:19
Personal – In what way do you shine or standout among the corruption going on around you?
THIRD DAY READ HEBREWS 10:11-14, 18 SECOND READING
(“For by one offering he has made perfect forever those who are being consecrated.”)
1. What does every priest do, and what can sacrifice not do? Hebrews 10:11
2. Who was taken from among men to stand before God and offer sacrifices, and what is impossible? Hebrews 5:1 and 10:4
3. What did Jesus do, and for what is he waiting? Hebrews 10:12-13
4. When Jesus ascended into heaven, where did he go? Mark 16:19
5. What did Joshua tell the men of Israel that the Lord would do to all the enemies against whom they will fight? Joshua 10:24-25
6. Who are our enemies, and what has God given us the power to do? Luke 10:17-20
7. By one offering, who has Jesus made perfect? Hebrews 10:14
8. How are we being consecrated? John 17:17-19
9. What has happened that eliminates sin offerings? Hebrews 10:18
10. How are we given knowledge of our salvation? Luke 1:77
Personal – In what way do you show that your enemies are your footstool? How do you recognize your enemies? Read Ephesians 6:11-12 to help you identify the enemies.
FOURTH DAY READ MARK 13:24-32 GOSPEL
(“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.”)
1. What will happen in those days after the tribulation? Mark 13:24-25
2. How does the day of the Lord come? Isaiah 13:9-10
3. What will they see on that day? Mark 13:26
4. What did Jesus tell the high priest when he asked him if he was the Messiah? Mark 14:60-62
5. Who will see Jesus when he comes on the cloud? Revelation 1:7
6. Who will he send out, and what will they do when he comes in all his glory? Mark 13:27
7. From what are we to learn a lesson, and when will we know that he is near? Mark 13:28-29
8. What will not pass away? Mark 13:30-31
Personal – What truth about yourself and God has he revealed to you this day?
9. Who will be called least and greatest in the kingdom of God? Matthew 5:18-19
10. Who is the only one who knows the day or the hour of his coming? Mark 13:32
11. How will the day of the Lord come to us? 1 Thessalonians 5:1-2
Personal – If Jesus were to come on the cloud today, in what way have you been preparing yourself to be gathered up by the angels?
FIFTH DAY READ PSALM 16:5, 8-11
(“…; with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.”)
Read and meditate on Psalm 16:5, 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 passage is a prophecy of the last days. Great suffering is in store for Israel throughout the many years ahead. Jeremiah also used this way of describing the future (Jer. 30:7), and Jesus did too (Matthew 24:21). Yet great suffering is also tempered by a great promise of hope for true believers.
In today’s reading we see a clear reference to the resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked, although the eternal fates of each will be quite different. Up to this point in time, teachings on the resurrection were not common. Yet every devout Jew believed that one day he or she would be included in the restoration of the new kingdom. The idea that there would actually be a bodily resurrection was quite radical.
We look around our own communities, and we see people trying very hard to be “superstars” in this transient world of entertainment, only to find their “stardom” very temporary. God tells us how we all can be superstars eternally. We can do that by turning to God’s call to holiness, and the call to holiness involves obedience to God’s will and service to others. The road to stardom for believers is a road that has many distractions, but also many great moments of satisfaction.
If we share our Lord with others, we can be true stars that will shine forever radiantly beautiful in God’s sight. God has called each one of us to lead someone to him. Jesus tells us in scripture that we are to make disciples of all nations and baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19-20). We are in the last days, and we are the ambassadors of our Lord Jesus Christ.
HEBREWS 10:11-14, 18
It was customary for the priests to stand while offering sacrifices. The sacrifices under the old system were repeated again and again, year after year; but even so these sacrifices could never save those who lived under their rules. Christ’s act of sitting down at God’s right hand symbolizes the end of the sacrificial system. Christ gave himself to God for our sins as one sacrifice for all time, and then sat down in the place of highest honor at God’s right hand.
There was a danger of the people returning to the old Jewish system, which would be saying that Christ’s sacrifice was not enough to forgive their sins. Any system to win God’s approval through good works is essentially rejecting the significance of Christ’s death and spurning the Holy Spirit’s work. Do not let anyone tell you that Christ’s sacrifice was incomplete or that something else is needed to make you acceptable to God, because this can lead you away from right faith and right living.
We have been made complete in Christ, and yet we are still being made holy. We do good things not to become good, but because of the goodness that is within us (1 John 4:4). Through his death and resurrection, Jesus Christ once and for all made it possible for his believers to become perfect in God’s sight by washing them clean from sin. At the same time he is making them holy in their daily pilgrimages through life. We must realize that because God is not finished with us, we must be open to this growth process by being obedient to Christ, by living out the values of scripture and the church in our daily lives. Most of all, we need to accept the forgiveness that Christ provides for each one of us.
In today’s passage we find that Jesus tells us that when the time of tribulation has ended his return will be unmistakable. In the midst of that time of persecution even strong believers will find it very difficult to follow Jesus and to keep from being deceived by false teachers. When Jesus does return there will be no doubt of his identity. If you have to be told that the Messiah has come, then he has not (Matthew 24:27).
Christ’s coming will be obvious to everyone, and there will be “deep mourning” because unbelievers will suddenly realize they have chosen the wrong side. In the time of Jesus the world seemed very concrete and dependable. The roles of the people were clearly defined, giving the impression of permanence. It was just that essence of permanence that Jesus was threatening to change.
Today many people fear the destruction of the world through nuclear power. Jesus tells us that while we can be sure the earth will pass away in time, the truth of his words will never be changed or abolished. God and his holy word provide the only stability in our unstable world. It is so incredibly shortsighted to spend so much of our time learning about this temporary world and accumulating its possessions, while neglecting God, scripture, church and all the eternal truths of our faith.
Today many books are written in many languages that predict when Jesus will come back. These books are written to give the impression that man has figured out what Jesus said. Only his Father knows, and we are to stay alert (Mark 13:32,33). When Jesus said that, even he did not know the time of the end. He was affirming his humanity. Jesus voluntarily gave up the unlimited use of his divine attributes when he became a man. The bottom line on this passage is that no one can predict by scripture or by science the exact day of Jesus’ return. Jesus teaches us that preparation, not calculation, is needed.
The first reading tells us that we can be eternal stars if we share our Lord with others. The second reading shows that to deny Christ’s forgiveness to ourselves is to deny it to all. The Gospel reveals that the earth will pass away, but God’s word will never pass away.
This week, prepare for the coming of the Lord through service to others, not by trying to calculate it through books and movies. Show your family and friends by your actions that you are preparing to live forever and are ready to die right now. Let them see the power of your prayer life. Let them see that you pray about everything and complain about nothing. Let them experience your forgiveness and show them that you forgive others because you know you are forgiven. Do this with your family, friends, school, and work associates, and you will be amazed at what can happen in just one week. This is your week; let it happen.