CATHOLIC BIBLE STUDY
TWENTY-FIRST SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – CYCLE A
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 ISAIAH 22: 15, 19-23 FIRST READING
(“…and give over to him your authority.”)
- Who is speaking, and where does he say to go?
- Who is Shebna, and what does Isaiah 36:3 say about him? Isaiah 22:15
- What happened to Shebna? Isaiah 22:16-19
- Who does the Lord summon, and who is his father?
- With what does the Lord clothe and gird Eliakim, and what does he give over to him? Isaiah 22:21
- Who has full authority over heaven and earth?
- Who established the existing authority? Romans 13:1
- To whom is Eliakim the father? Isaiah 22:21
- What will the Lord place on Eliakim’s shoulder, and what will happen when he opens and shuts the house of David? Isaiah 22:22
- What did Jesus entrust to Peter, and what authority does that give him? Matthew 16:19
- How does the Lord fix Eliakim, and where does he place
him with his family? Isaiah 22:23
Personal – Where do you see yourself as far as “when you open, no one can shut; when you shut, no one can open?” How has God given you the key to forgive or hold others bound by your unforgiveness? Think about this, and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal his truth to you.
THIRD DAY READ ROMANS 11:33-36 SECOND READING
(“For from him and through him and to God are all things.”)
- Fill in the following blanks: Oh, the depth of the ___________and___________and__________ of God? Romans 11:33
- How is God’s wisdom made known? Ephesians 3:10
- In whom is every treasure of wisdom and knowledge hidden? Colossians 2:2-3
- What is inscrutable and unsearchable? Romans 11:33
- What questions are being asked in Romans 11:34 and in
- How has God revealed this wisdom to us? 1 Corinthians 2:10
- What is given to God, and for what reason is it given?
- How are all things? Romans 11:36
- What is to him forever? Romans 11:36
- From whom do all things come, and for whom do we live?
Through whom was everything made, and through whom do we live? 1 Corinthians 8:6
- How was everything on the earth created? Colossians 1:16
Personal – In what way do you show the Lord your love for him as the Great Creator? Take a few moments right now and praise him for the All Powerful Mighty God that he is.
FOURTH DAY READ MATTHEW 16:13-20 GOSPEL
(“Who do you say that I am?”)
- To what neighborhood has Jesus come, and what did he ask his disciples? Matthew 16:13
- Who do the people say Jesus is? Matthew 16:14
- Who did Herod the Tetrarch say Jesus was? Matthew 14:1-2
- What direct question did Jesus ask his disciples?
- Who answered Jesus, what did he call him, and who did he say was his Father? Matthew 16:16
- What is the meaning of Messiah? John 4:25
- What was Jesus’ reply to Peter’s answer, and who revealed this to Peter? Matthew 16:17
- What did Jesus declare to Peter, what will he build on him, and what will not prevail against it? Matthew 16:18
- What does he entrust to Peter? Matthew 16:19
- What happens when he declares something bound on earth
and loosed on earth? Matthew 16:19
- What did Jesus tell his disciples not to do?
Personal – Who do you say Jesus is? Write out on a piece of paper who Jesus is to you?
FIFTH DAY READ PSALM 138: 1-3, 6, 8
(“You build up strength within me.”)
Read and meditate on Psalm 138: 1-3, 6, 8.
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
ISAIAH 22:15, 19-23
This passage is the result of Isaiah’s prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem. Isaiah warns his people against making alliances with foreigners and telling them they should trust in God alone for their future. Jerusalem was savagely attacked and its people were slaughtered. The real tragedy, in today’s reading, is the people had plenty of warning and chose to trust in their own ingenuity, weapons and even their pagan neighbors. Isaiah told them that unless they repented of their evil ways, they would face God’s punishment. They did not want to hear this kind of talk. They said, “Let us eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die.”
We need to reflect on how much we depend on God to help us in our decision making. Too often we turn to things which, though good in themselves, really will not give us the help we need. We must do all the necessary work today in our homes, community, and country, but God must guide our efforts. Today, national danger should be a call to national repentance. The essence of all sin is self. We are called to root out the rebellion in our spirit before we start to clean out anyone else. We can only do that by repentance, a complete change of mind (Rom. 12:2). We need to confess with our lips and believe with our hearts that Jesus Christ is Lord (Rom. 10:10). We can only repent or change when we obey God’s law and not man’s law (Acts 5:29).
Today we see people giving up hope and following drugs, alcoholism and immoral sex. The world’s response to hopelessness is despair and self-indulgence. The proper response is to turn to God and trust in his promise of eternal life (John 3:16).
Shebna was a high official who got above the Law of God and became a law unto himself. We see that type of individual in many nations today. Shebna was the peg that was pulled out of the wall and all his power and riches were gone. You are a good leader when you are building up others, and the source of your good leadership is Jesus Christ.
Paul tells us the greatness of our God is almost beyond description. The depth of his riches, knowledge and wisdom is far beyond the comprehension of our mind. Scripture tells us that “eye has not seen, ear has not heard, nor can man ever comprehend what God has in store for those who love him” (1 Cor. 2:9). The wisdom of God has been revealed to us by means of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will do what he has promised. The presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives is our assurance of eternal life with all of its blessings.
The world fears power, yet we belong to the God of the universe, who raised Jesus Christ from the dead. We do not need to fear any power whether it be dictator, nation, death or Satan himself. God’s incomparable power is for us who choose to believe in him. The Holy Spirit searches out and shows us all of God’s deepest secrets. These secrets are contained in Jesus Christ. The secrets are his resurrection and the plan of salvation which has been revealed to those who believe that what God says is true.
Those who believe and put their faith in Jesus will know all that they need to know to be saved. To really put on the “mind of Christ” we need to realize that it means to get a true perspective of humility for ourselves. We do not need to put ourselves down, that is not true humility. We do need to see that we are sinners, saved only by God’s grace. To put on the “mind of Christ” is to avoid selfishness, and the cure for selfishness is servanthood. This brings unity among believers and is a witness to unbelievers that God’s power is present in this world. We must always remember that selfish ambitions destroy church unity by putting one Christian against another.
The full glory of God is manifested to us in the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. God glorified Jesus because of his obedience. God glorified him by raising him to his original position at the right hand of the Father, where he will reign forever as our Lord and judge (Phil. 2:2-4). Jesus Christ was humble and willing to give up his rights in order to obey God and serve people. Like Jesus, we must serve out of love for a God who is all-knowing, all-powerful, all-wise, and the riches of his will all be ours through the saving grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Today’s Gospel passage took place in territory ruled by Caesarea Philippi. The influence of Greek and Roman culture was everywhere and pagan temples and idols were extremely popular. The city was rebuilt and named after Caesar and called Caesarea.
Jesus asked the disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” They told him that many people thought he was a great prophet returned. Peter told him that he was “the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of the Living God.” Jesus was pleased that Peter was not fooled by the culture or the latest fad. He knew that his Father had revealed his identity to Peter.
Jesus tells Peter that he is a stable leader, a rock, and that he will build his church on that rock. Jesus personally tells Peter that his church would stand up victorious against even the gates of hell. This is a tremendous statement made by Jesus. We have a church that was commissioned by Jesus Christ who tells the whole world that his church will never fall. He gives Peter the keys of the kingdom of heaven, which means the authority to rule in his name. He tells Peter, “Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Jesus gave this authority to Peter and his successors who passed this on down until today.
A Catholic is forgiven his sins by a priest in the name of Jesus Christ. You can hold someone in bondage by not forgiving them and cutting off their supply of love. This will result in your damaging not only the other person but yourself too. You can loose the person of their bondage by your forgiveness and the result is freedom to both of you. Jesus wants all of us to be free, and he calls all of us into repentance. God has chosen each one of us to help someone find the way. Remember, to all who believe in Christ and obey his words, the kingdom doors are swung wide open.
This week’s first reading tells us to trust in God, not people. The second reading tells us that no one can fully understand the mind of Christ, but we can put on his mind by following his example. The Gospel shows how God built his church and gave Peter the keys of heaven to preach, teach, and rule. The church is guaranteed by Christ to never fail.
If you are holding a grudge against anyone and you are having trouble forgiving them, try the following three steps:
- Forgive that person for what has been done to you.
- Ask the Lord to forgive that person for what has been done to you.
- Ask the Lord to cleanse your heart of the bitterness, resentment, anger, and the unforgiveness that you have towards that person who hurt you. This will bind the spirit of anger, resentment, bitterness and unforgiveness. It will loose the spirit of forgiveness and love and set you and that person free.