THE BREAD OF LIFE CATHOLIC BIBLE STUDY
by Deacon Ken and Marie Finn at St. Dismas Guild
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 7:7-11 FIRST READING
(“I pleaded and the spirit of wisdom came to me.”)
l. When Solomon prayed, what was given, and what spirit came to him? Wisdom 7:
2. For what did Solomon ask the Lord, and what did the Lord give him? 1 Kings 3:9-12
3. If we ask for intelligence and understanding, what will we then understand and find; and who gives it to us? Proverbs 2:3-6
4. To what did Solomon prefer wisdom, and compare her? Wisdom 7:8-9
5. To what did he love her more than, and choose her? Wisdom 7:10
6. What comes to us in the company of wisdom? Wisdom 7:11
7. What happens to those who love wisdom? Proverbs 8:21
8. What does the man who finds wisdom win? Proverbs 8:35
9. What did Christ become for us? 1 Corinthians 1:30
10. Where are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge hidden? Colossians 2:2-3
Personal – How have you received God’s Wisdom in dealing with your relationships with others? What is your attitude in regard to wisdom? How can you use this gift and experience the good things that come from it?
THIRD DAY READ HEBREWS 4:12-13 SECOND READING
(“Indeed, the Word of God is living and effective.”)
1. If God’s Word is living and effective, what does it penetrate and divide? Hebrews 4:12
2. As we draw our strength from the Lord, what is part of the armor we are to put on in order to fight the tactics of the devil? Ephesians 6:10-11, 17
3. What does God’s Word discern or judge? Hebrews 4:12
4. What does God send forth his Word to do? Psalm 107:20 and Psalm 147:18
5. What shall happen to God’s Word that goes forth from is mouth? Isaiah 55:11
6. How did Jesus cleanse the church? Ephesians 5:25-26
7. How did God will to give us birth? James 1:18, also 1 Peter 1:23
8. What is concealed from God’s sight? Hebrews 4:13
9. What is exposed to him, and to whom must we render an account? Hebrews 4:13
10. What does God know about all men, and from where does he observe this? Psalm 33:13-15
Personal – How does it make you feel to know that God knows everything about you? How has God cut away and divided some area in your life by something you read in his Word? Share the Word that he gave you.
FOURTH DAY READ MARK 10:17-30 GOSPEL
(“For human beings it is impossible but not for God.”)
1. When the man asked Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life, what did the man call Jesus, and what was Jesus’ response? Mark 10:17-18
2. What did Jesus say about the commandments, and what did the man say he has done with them? Mark 10:19-20
3. How did Jesus look at the man, what did he say he was lacking, and what did he tell him to do? Mark 10:21
4. What did those who believed and were baptized do with their property and possessions? Acts 2:44-45
5. What happened to the rich young man, and as Jesus looked around, what did he say to his disciples? Mark 10:22-23
6. How did the disciples react to Jesus’ words, and what did he say again? Mark 10:24-25
7. What does the lure of riches do to the word of God? Mark 4:19
8. What did the disciples say to themselves, and what did Jesus say was possible for God? Mark 10:26-27
9. What did Jesus tell his disciples that they will receive for giving up everything to follow him, and when would they receive it? Mark 10:28-30
10. What did he tell the disciples they would receive along with houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and lands? Mark 10:30
Personal – What can you give up in order to follow Jesus? Is there anything in your life holding you back, and how can you come to a point of trusting Jesus in this area? Before you purchase anything, ask yourself these questions: Is this a need or a want? Is this going to be a benefit in my relationship with others? Is this something Jesus, Mary, or Joseph would buy if it were available to them?
FIFTH DAY READ PSALM 90:12-17
(“Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain wisdom of heart.”) Read and meditate on Psalm 90:12-17.
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 shows us very clearly that wisdom is a special gift from God. Today the gift of wisdom or justice is desperately needed in so many areas of our world. In today’s reading, we see King Solomon has prayed to God for this incomparable gift. He does not try to pretend that he has the deep insight and great understanding.
We can get much hope from today’s reading because we too can ask God for the gift of wisdom, and like Solomon, we can expect to receive it. The wisdom to master life’s challenges can be found only in one’s relationship with God. The Hebrew view is practical in focus. Wisdom is expressed in Godly living. For the Lord gives wisdom and out of his mouth come knowledge and understanding. This means that as we not only read and study God’s holy Word, but also live it out, we come to understand what is right and just. Wisdom will enter into our hearts and knowledge will be pleasant to our souls. Wisdom will protect us from the ways of deceitful people. A person who is full of wisdom is a person who is sensitive to God and willingly subjects himself to him in everything. A wise person is one who is at peace with God, knows God, and spends a great deal of time with God.
You can be that person through the gift of discipline. The Holy Spirit will bring this wisdom to you through Jesus Christ. God’s wisdom to the world is Jesus Christ. Jesus is the Father’s wisdom applied to resolve the problems caused by human sin. Scripture tells us that the Word of Christ dwelling in us, alone enables us to teach and admonish each other in wisdom (Col. 3:16). We can be sure that only when our life is oriented to God and his revealed viewpoint is applied to our daily experience can we become wise.
The word of God is not merely words from God, a vehicle for communicating ideas. It is living and life changing. The power of the word is dynamic as it works in us. Like a surgeon it cuts through the standard areas of infection and blockage. The Word does not allow us to be anything other than truthful. It gives us the gift to discern what is within us, both good and evil.
We must become more than just a hearer of the word, we must become a doer of the word also. God tells us in his Holy Word over and over again how much he loves us. He tells us his plan for us and how we can spend eternity with him by following his Holy Word. Since nothing can be hidden from God, he sees all we do and knows all we think. He is always present even when we are unaware of him and even when we try to hide from him. We can have no secrets from him, and yet, that is not a scary thing to behold. It brings a sense of comfort when we know that at any time or any place under any conditions, we know we will be welcome.
He loves you completely all of the time, no matter what you have done. His love for you is revealed in his Holy Word, and his plan for you is to be his ambassador, messenger, bearer of the “Good News.” You must never forget that to share God’s Word is a great responsibility, which calls for a response from us. The way we present God’s word and live it will encourage people to either accept it or reject it. Whether you speak from a pulpit, teach it in a classroom, or share it with friends, you are entrusted with accurately communicating and living out God’s Holy Word.
In today’s Gospel we see Jesus stop a young man in his tracks and tell him to not use flattery on him. Jesus did not let the young man continue to address him as “Good Teacher.” He was, in effect, saying to the rich young man to stop and think of what he was saying and doing. Jesus was telling him, even at the very outset, to count the cost and that becoming a Christian was not based on sentimental passion.
Jesus was the ultimate teacher, in that he knew that the teacher or preacher must never point to himself, but he must always point to God. The man’s statements were a testimony to the fact that responsibility is not enough. The man was saying that he never did anyone any harm in his whole life. The rich young man was missing the REAL question even today, what good have we done? Jesus confronted him with a challenge, and he does that today to all of us. In effect, Jesus told him to get out of his moral respectability, stop looking at goodness as consisting in not doing this or that.
Jesus was really asking the man, “How much do you want REAL Christianity?” Do you want it enough to give away all your possessions? The man told Jesus that he wanted it, but not as much as all that. The man is really not very different from a lot of people in our society today who really want goodness in their lives, but not enough to pay the price. Jesus is looking at you today with the same appeal of love and with the challenge to live the Christian way. God grant that he may never look at you with sorrow because of your refusal to be all that you can be through him.
The first reading tells us that wisdom is a gift from God. The second reading shows us that God’s word is like a hammer that smashes the rocks in our life. The Gospel reveals God calling us to be all that we can be.
This week, show your family your true wealth, not your worldly possessions, but the real treasure that is in your heart. Show them the power of God’s Holy Word by taking time to read Scripture each day to your children. Read Scripture with your spouse every day. Witness to your family that they are rich in being children of God. Remember, respectability is in not what you do not do, but in what you do. Remember, to some people in your walk of life, the only Bible that they will read will be you!