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.
- 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 PROVERBS 8:22-31 FIRST READING
(“…and I found delight in the sons of men.”)
- What is the firstborn of the Lord’s way, and what is the oldest of his words? Proverbs 8:1, 22
- Where does wisdom cry aloud and raise her voice? Proverbs 1:20
- When was wisdom poured forth, and what was not settled into place? Proverbs 8:23-26
- What came with wisdom? Sirach 1:4
- Where does all wisdom come from? Sirach 1:1
- When will wisdom not cease? Sirach 24:9
- How did God establish man? Wisdom 9:1-2
- When was wisdom beside God? Proverbs 8:27-30
- How was wisdom beside God, and what was she doing? Proverbs 8:30-31
- In what did wisdom find delight? Proverbs 8:31
- Who is the wisdom of God? 1 Corinthians 1:22-24
Personal – In what way can you take delight in those around you and show the wisdom of God? How can you recognize the wisdom of God, and what do you need to do to see it clearly playing on the surface of the earth?
THIRD DAY READ ROMANS 5:1-5 SECOND READING
(“…the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given us.”)
- How have we been justified, and what do we have with God through our Lord Jesus Christ? Romans 5:1
- How have we been justified? Romans 4:24-25
- How is the manifold wisdom of God made known and where and how do we get boldness and confidence to approach God?
- To what have we gained access, and in what do we boast? Romans 5:2
- Of what else do we boast, and what does it produce? Romans 5:3
- What does Christ do in our afflictions and what does this enable us to do? 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
- For what do we need endurance? Hebrews 10:36
- What does endurance produce? Romans 5:4
- Who will never mature in character? Sirach 23:15
- What does hope NOT do, what has been poured out in our hearts, and how has it been done? Romans 5:5
- What was Paul’s hope? Philippians 1:20
- How did God save us, and how did he pour it out on us? Titus 3:4-6
Personal – In what way has affliction produced endurance in your life? What has kept you going on, and how has the peace of God been evident in you during affliction?
FOURTH DAY READ JOHN 16:12-15 GOSPEL
(“He will guide you to all truth.”)
- What was the reason Jesus did not tell his disciples any more? John 16:12
- How did Jesus speak the parables to his disciples? Mark 4:33
- Whom did Jesus say will guide us to all truth and what will he speak and declare to us? John 16:13
- In what does Jesus ask you to be consecrated, and what is truth? John 17:17
- Who will teach you and remind you of everything Jesus did? John 14:26
- Who testifies to Jesus, and what are you also to do? John 15:26-27
- What did Jesus say you would do if you love him, and for what would he ask the Father? John 14:15-17
- What will the Spirit of truth do, and what will he give or tell you? John 16:14
- What belongs to Jesus, and what is he giving you? John 16:15
- What did the father say to the son who was with him? Luke 15:31
Personal – How has God’s Spirit guided you and taught you about Jesus and how to apply what he taught you to your life? Give a specific example.
FIFTH DAY READ PSALM 8:4-9
(“You have given him rule over the works of your hands.”)
Read and meditate on Psalm 8:4-9.
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
The Book of Proverbs gives us a person’s poetic demonstration of God’s wisdom. Christian believers have always read this passage as a prophetic allusion to Jesus Christ, the second person of the Blessed Trinity. This reading was about the word that would be made flesh in Jesus. Nothing is more immediate than the awesome spectacle of life, and nothing is more real than the wonder of creation.
Today’s reading shows us how to discern God’s hand at work in the world, and how to see the Father’s life-giving energy behind every created beauty. The mystic in us “knows God” as we are struck with a sense of the sacred while gazing at a sunset. God is telling us that wisdom is the foundation on which all life is built. Today’s reading shows wisdom as being the special attribute of God. Wisdom was present at the creation and works even today with the Creator as in the beauty of the sunset. Wisdom affects every aspect of our entire lives, from beginning to end.
You need to be sure that God’s wisdom flows through you and opens all corners of your life to God’s direction and guidance. Wisdom will be our main attribute when we put God first in our lives (Matthew 6:33). Look at your values and priorities. What is most important to you? Where is God on that list? Keep him first in everything you do. He will crown your efforts with his wisdom and his understanding. You will see others with spiritual vision instead of plain human vision. Remember, the difference between wisdom and common sense is that common sense is the ability God gives to all people to think and make choices; he only gives wisdom to those who follow him.
In this reading, St. Paul states that the core of our belief in the Trinity, is that we come to the Father through Jesus in the love which is the Holy Spirit. Paul was writing to ordinary Christians, like us, about the experience of God’s love flooding the human heart. Nothing is more tangible than an intensely felt love or even our longing for it, and Paul boldly connects that experience with the Holy Spirit.
Paul is speaking about a peace that means being reconciled with God, knowing that he loves you not for what you do but simply because of who you are. Jesus paid the price for this special kind of relationship with his death on the cross. Because of Jesus, we have entry into the presence of the King of Kings and entry into the haven of God’s grace.
Our relationship with God has begun in faith which reveals to us that we are delivered from our past by Christ’s death. Hope grows as we learn all that God has in store for us, and God’s love supplies all our needs and enables us to reach out to others. In the future we will become, but now we must overcome. Scripture tells us that “eye has not seen, ear has not heard, nor can man even comprehend what God has in mind for those who believe in him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9).
We can put all of our trust in God because he is in control of our future. We can look at our times of difficulties and know, even if we do not understand how, that we will grow emotionally as well as spiritually. Problems we run into will develop our patience, which in turn will strengthen our character and deepen our trust in God. Thank God for these opportunities to grow, and deal with them in his strength.
Jesus teaches the apostles about the availability of the Holy Spirit. He told them that the Holy Spirit would teach them about the nature of their ministry. He also told them that they would face very difficult opposition and that the outcome of their opposition would be revealed by the Holy Spirit. They did not understand any of this until after Jesus’ death and resurrection. The Holy Spirit then revealed truths to them, and they in turn formed the writing of the New Testament. It is very important for you to remember that the truth into which the Holy Spirit guides you is the truth about Christ. The name for his followers bringing the revealed truth about Christ to all men through generation after generation is Christian “Tradition.”
Understanding of this revelation is bound to be an ongoing process, because Jesus knew that the disciples were not capable of understanding at that point in time. He knew that his Spirit that followed him would enlighten, empower, and sanctify his followers. He knew that they would need time to fully understand their role in bringing Christianity to the waiting world.
He knows of our limitations today, and he has left the same Holy Spirit for us to receive and to empower us. The development of the apostles’ faith and the faith of the early church demonstrate to the whole world that the Holy Spirit is revealing the truth of Christ to all peoples. All truth is God’s truth, and the revelation of all truth is the work of the Holy Spirit. When you say “Yes, Lord,” the power of the Holy Spirit reveals to you that you are at last really set free; Jesus is the truth, and only through him can you really be free (John 8:32).
In the first reading the Word was made flesh and he dwelt in their midst (John 1:14). The second reading shows the core of the Holy Trinity as we come to the Father through Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit. We see in the Gospel that behind all truth is the presence of God.
This week, let us celebrate the Blessed Trinity by being open to the power that the Holy Spirit has given us. We have seen that the real power is the power of truth. This week, speak to your family only in the Spirit of truth. Truth means being humble, gentle and obedient to God’s Holy Word. Your words of truth, matched by your actions of service, will show those around you that the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit are alive within you and the name of Jesus will set you, as well as others, free.