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 JOB 38:1, 8-11 FIRST READING
(“Then the Lord addressed Job out of the storm,…”)
l. Who addressed Job, and where was he when he addressed him? Job 38:1
2. When we cry in distress to the Lord, what will he do to the storm around us? Psalm 107:28-29
3. When Moses stretched his hand over the sea, what did the Lord do? Exodus 14:21
4. When the sea burst forth from the womb, what did the Lord do? Job 38:8, Genesis 1:9-10
5. What does the Lord set for the sea, and for what reason? Proverbs 8:29
6. When God set limits for the sea, what happened to the proud waves? Job 38:9-11
7. To what is there no limit? Psalm 147:5
8. What happens to the waters at his command, and to what is there no limit? Sirach 39:17-18
9. What does the Lord still in the people? Psalm 65:8
10. Whom does the Lord see and know from afar? Psalm 138:6
Personal – How can you yield, like Job did, and let God be the one in control of your life?
THIRD DAY READ 2 CORINTHIANS 5:14-17 SECOND READING
(“So whoever is in Christ is a new creation.”)
1. What impels us, and to what conviction do we come? 2 Corinthians 5:14
2. What happened to our old self, and from what is a dead person absolved? Romans 6:6-7
3. By what do we now live? Galatians 2:20
4. For whom did Jesus die, and for what reason? 2 Corinthians 5:15
5. Whether we live or die, to whom do we belong? For what reason did Christ die and come to life? Romans 14:8-9
6. How do we no longer know Christ? 2 Corinthians 5:16
7. Although we are in the flesh, with what do we not battle? 2 Corinthians 10:3-4
8. What is meant by, whoever is reconciled in Christ; what has passed away, and what has come? 2 Corinthians 5:17
9. For if we are God’s handiwork, in whom have we been created, and for what reason? Ephesians 2:10
10. How were we buried with Christ, and how might we live? Romans 6:4
Personal – What does being a new creation mean to you? Are you still trying to hang onto something in the old creation? How are you able to let go of the old?
FOURTH DAY READ MARK 4:35-41 GOSPEL
(“Why are you lacking in faith?”)
1. What did Jesus say as evening drew on, how did they go, and were others with them? Mark 4:35-36
2. Why did Jesus tell his disciples to have a boat ready for him, and where was he going? Mark 3:9, Mark 5:1
3. What came up, and what was breaking over the boat? Mark 4:37
4. Where was Jesus, what was he doing, and what did his disciples do and say to him? Mark 4:38
5. What does Jesus say about those who hear his voice and follow him? John 10:28
6. When Jesus woke up, what did he do to the wind? What did He say to the sea, and what was the result? Mark 4:39
7. What two questions did Jesus ask his disciples? Mark 4:40
8. What did Jesus do and say to Peter? Matthew 14:31
9. What did Jesus do to the eleven, and for what reason? Mark 16:14
10. With what were those in the boat filled, and what did they say to one another? Mark 4:41
11. What does Jesus command and they obey him? Mark 1:27
Personal – What kind of storm is going on around you? Who are you calling on to help you and how are you calling him? What has Jesus’ response been to you in the past when you called out to him in a stormy time in your life?
FIFTH DAY READ PSALM 107:23-26, 28-31
(“His command raised up a storm wind which tossed its waves on high.”)
Read and meditate on Psalm 107:23-26, 28-31.
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
JOB 38:1, 8-11
Today’s reading is a powerful example of our God being a God of order. God used Job’s lack of knowledge about how the earth was made to function in a natural order to reveal to him how little Job knew of God’s moral order. If Job did not understand the workings of God’s physical creation, how could he understand God’s mind and character?
We are told in Scripture to be still and know that he is God (Psalm 46:11). He is our God, our refuge, our strength, our fortress (Psalm 91), and he is our ultimate standard. God is the only one who is to be the judge. There is no standard or criterion higher than God. We see people in our society laugh and reject God’s authority, and for some, it seems like they are in complete control of their lives and destiny. Scripture tells us that God is not one who likes things to be disorderly and upset (1 Cor. 14:33). Our God is a loving God, and a just God, and he will not turn his head or blink his eye while someone is disturbing his moral order. Scripture tells us that God says, “Vengeance is mine,” (Deut. 32:35) and it tells us that God will punish the evildoers in full for all their sins.
We are called, just like Job, to let God be the one in control of our lives. This does not mean that we become a robot. Rather, it gives us a tremendous level of freedom. We will know with certainty that God will never leave us. We will never walk alone anymore through the valley of the shadow of death. God’s wisdom will become our strength. We will never be abandoned by God. Nothing can separate us from God’s love, not sickness, persecution, trials, divorce, or even death itself. Our God is in control of the whole universe, and he has chosen us to be his very special children. He is a God of order, and he wants us to live in harmony with each other and to love one another as he has loved us (John 13:34).
2 CORINTHIANS 5:14-17
Paul boldly writes against any philosophy of life based only on human ideas and experiences. He tells us that Christians are brand new people on the inside. The Holy Spirit gives them new life, and they are not the same anymore. When we accept Christ as Lord of our life, life begins again with a fresh, new start. We are not reformed, rehabilitated or reeducated; we are a new creation, living in vital union with Christ (Col. 2:6,7).
It is very important to remember that when we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior, we are giving him permission to take up residence in us. We have told him that we want to abide in him and he to abide in us (John 15:7). We are not merely turning over a new leaf, we are beginning a new life under a new Master. This means we must follow his leadership on a daily basis.
You can live for Christ by committing your life and submitting your will to him (Romans 12:1,2). You can continue to seek to learn from him, his life and his teachings (Col. 3:16). You can recognize the Holy Spirit’s power within you (Acts 1:8).
Paul used the illustration of our being rooted or connected to Christ. As plants get their nourishment from the soil, so we draw our strength, nourishment, and life itself from Christ. The more we abide (reside) in Christ, the less we will be fooled by those who make false claims to life’s answers. Paul really shows us that being a new creation means that in the sight of God, our motives are pure and our hands are clean. But suspicion will still be cast on us by people who knew us before we committed our lives to Christ.
We must always remember that a man’s message will always be heard in the context of his character. Paul tells the people that his conduct has been the result of wanting only to serve God. Our conduct should not have anything less than the motive of Paul. Many people thought Paul was a lunatic and they rejected him, beat him and jailed him for his conduct. Paul was not bothered that people thought he was a fool because he was a fool for Christ. Today, does the world think of you as a fool for Christ because of your conduct?
The Sea of Galilee was notorious for its storms because it is 680 feet below sea level and surrounded by hills. Some of the disciples were veteran fishermen who had spent their lives fishing on this lake, but in this storm they panicked and the storm threatened to destroy them all. Jesus was sleeping in the back of the boat where distinguished visitors would have been seated on a small seat placed on a carpet. He seemed to be completely unaware and unconcerned with the storm.
We do this story a great injustice if we merely take it in a literalistic sense. This was a physical storm, but storms come in other forms too. When the disciples realized the presence of Jesus was with them, the storm became calm. Once they knew he was there, fearless peace entered their hearts.
Think for a moment about the storms in your life and the situations that cause you great anxiety. We can experience what Jesus’ disciples experienced in that boat. That voyage with Jesus was a voyage in peace even in a storm. Let me repeat that again for you: In the presence of Jesus, we can have peace even in the wildest storms of life. Whatever our difficulties, we have two options, we can worry and think that Jesus is no longer concerned about us, or we can resist fear by putting our trust in him. When we feel like panicking, we need to confess our need for God, and then remember that he will give us peace in the storm of sorrow. He changes the darkness of death into the sunshine of the thought of eternal life. He will give us peace in the tempest of doubt, tension, and uncertainty.
Ask his will, submit to it and the way to peace comes at such a time. He gives us peace in the storm of anxiety. The chief enemy of peace is worry, and Jesus brings us his peace which is the unconditional love of God. Invite Jesus to calm the storms in your life and he will fill you with awe just as he filled the disciples with awe in that boat on the Sea of Galilee.
The first reading tells us that our God is a God of order. The second reading shows that we are not rehabilitated; we are new creations. The Gospel reveals that Jesus can calm any storm in our lives.
This week, ask the Lord to reveal to you what he wants you to do. Be specific. Ask his guidance about your role as a child, spouse, parent, or leader. Look at the people in your family, school, or work and see whether you are part of a storm in their lives. Submit to Jesus’ guidance, and he will heal the storm in your life.