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 GENESIS 2:18-24 FIRST READING
(“This one, at last, is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh.”)
1. What did the Lord God say was not good, and what did he say he would do? Genesis 2:18
2. What did the Lord God form out of the ground, what did he do with them, and what did the man do? Genesis 2:19-20
3. What did not prove as a suitable partner for man? Genesis 2:20
4. What did the Lord God do to the man? Genesis 2:21
5. When is there a time when God speaks to man? Job 33:14-15
6. What did the Lord God do with the man’s rib? Genesis 2:22
7. For what was woman created? 1 Corinthians 11:9
8. What did the man say about the woman? Genesis 2:23
9. How is man to treat the woman? Ephesians 5:28-30
10. Who does a man leave, to whom does he cling, and what happens to his body? Genesis 2:24
Personal – If you are a male, how do you treat the females in your life; and if you are a female, how do you treat the males in your life? What changes can you make in your relationships that would better reflect the scripture you just studied?
THIRD DAY READ HEBREWS 2:9-11 SECOND READING
(“Therefore, he is not ashamed to call them `brothers,'”)
1. With what do we see Jesus crowned, and for what reason? Hebrews 2:7-9
2. How did Jesus humble himself, and because of this, what did God do to him? Philippians 2:7-9
3. How was Jesus made perfect? Hebrews 2:10
4. Who is the leader and perfecter of faith? Hebrews 12:2
5. Whose sufferings did Jesus endure? Isaiah 53:4
6. Son though he was, what did he learn from what he suffered? For whom did he become the source of eternal salvation? Hebrews 5:8-9
7. What does he who consecrates and those who are being consecrated, all have? Hebrews 2:11
8. How are people consecrated? Hebrews 13:12
9. What is he not ashamed to call them? Hebrews 2:11
10. Whom did Jesus say were brother, sister, and mother to him? Mark 3:35
Personal – In what way have you suffered, and how is that perfecting your faith?
FOURTH DAY READ MARK 10:2-16 GOSPEL
(“Let the children come to me;”)
1. What did the Pharisees ask Jesus, and what were they doing by asking him this? Mark 10:2
2. What did Jesus ask the Pharisees, and what did they reply? Mark 10:3-4
3. Why did Jesus say Moses wrote this commandment, and what did he say was from the beginning of creation? Mark 10:5-8
4. What did Jesus say about what God has joined together? Mark 10:9
5. What should a wife not do, and what should a husband not do? 1 Corinthians 7:10-11
6. As the disciples questioned Jesus, what did he say a wife or husband does that divorces, then marries another? Mark 10:10-12
7. When is a woman not an adulteress? Romans 7:3
Personal – What new insight did you receive regarding divorce, and with whom can you share that?
8. What were the people doing, for what reason, and what did the disciples do? Mark 10:13
9. When Jesus saw the disciples rebuking the people for bringing the children, what was his reaction, and what did he say to them? Mark 10:14-15
10. What did Jesus do to the children? Mark 10:16
11. What happens to those who touch Jesus? Matthew 14:36
Personal – As a child of God, in what way have you been healed by his touch, or by your reaching out to touch him? Do you see yourself as one of the children, or as one of the disciples rebuking the children? Reflect on this.
FIFTH DAY READ PSALM 128:1-6
(“Happy are you who fear the Lord, who walk in his ways.”)
Read and meditate on Psalm 128:1-6.
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 reveals to us that God’s work was not complete until he made woman. God could have made Eve from the dust of the ground just as he had made Adam. He deliberately chose to make Eve from the man’s bone and flesh. He showed us that in marriage a man and a woman become one flesh. This is a union, not just in the physical sense, but in the emotional and spiritual sense as well. This is a mystical union of two people’s hearts and lives.
God tells us all throughout the Bible to treat this special union with the utmost care. If you are married or planning to be married, are you willing to keep the commitment which, in fact, makes the two of you one? The goal in marriage is far more than friendship; the goal in marriage should be oneness.
God has given men and women different styles, gifts and equipment for various tasks, but when married all lead to the same goal – honoring God. Man has given life to the woman, and woman gives life to the world. The rule of each carries exclusive privileges that should completely eliminate any attitudes about an inferior or superior sex.
Adam and Eve received the gift of marriage from God. They were literally made for one another. God did not institute marriage for convenience, nor was it brought about by any culture. Marriage’s three aspects are: a man leaves his father and mother in a public act and promises himself to his wife. The man and woman take responsibility for each other’s welfare, and love their mate next to God, above all others. The two become one person in the intimacy and commitment of sexual union which is reserved for marriage. A strong marriage of today will include all three of these aspects.
Jesus is Lord is really what this passage is all about. Jesus is in charge of everything and he has revealed himself to us. We do not actually see him reigning on earth because we are only using spiritual vision. We see him reigning in our hearts and minds. We can picture him in his heavenly glory and know that we are heirs to that kingdom. We see him as we do simply because we chose to believe that Jesus Christ is Lord.
To call Jesus “Lord” means to call him “master” over everyone. To call him master means that we have chosen to obey his commands. Jesus has two commandments: “Thou shall love the Lord thy God with all your heart, mind, and soul,” and “You shall love thy neighbor as thyself.” It calls for complete obedience. Obedience is the core of love, and there can be no love without obedience.
Jesus learned obedience through his suffering. His suffering led him to enter into the greatest sacrifice ever made for mankind. When you become confused about tomorrow and let anxiety cloud your future, try to keep a clear view about Jesus – who he is, what he has done, and what he is doing for you right now. This will help as you make your choices for the next day in the kingdom.
God’s kindness led Jesus Christ to go freely to his death. Kindness can and often does involve sacrifice and pain. Jesus did not come into this world to gain status or political power, but to suffer and die so that we could truly live. Jesus Christ was the only person who was ever born to die. He died so that all men could choose to live forever, by believing in him. Not all men did accept this invitation to believe in him, and the turmoil and strife on our planet earth is proof of this. If the sacrifice of suffering and death by Christ is difficult to understand, maybe it is time to evaluate your own motives. If kindness, not selfishness motives us, we too may have to suffer.
This passage shows us again how the Pharisees were trying to trap Jesus with their deceitful questions. They tried to trap him by getting him to state that he supported divorce. Jesus would, in that case, be upholding the Pharisee’s procedures, and they doubted he would do that. If he spoke out against divorce, he would seem to be condemning Moses; it was not a question of popularity but heresy they tried to trip him on. He also could incur the wrath of King Herod, who had already killed John the Baptist for speaking out against divorce and adultery (Mark 6:17-28).
The Pharisees saw divorce as a legal issue rather than a spiritual issue. They were not thinking about what God intended for marriage, but had reduced it to a legal structure that could be ended on a whim. Today we see the arena of marriage being torn apart by a secular society that bases its beliefs in humanism. The idea of a covenant between God and the man and woman is almost non-existent to much of today’s world. The rule of a contract is much more identifiable with much of today’s world. In a contract you buy something and if it does not perform as well as stated in the contract, you throw it away, or you send it away, and this is called divorce.
Scripture tells us that God never intended for man to separate what he has joined together. Women were often treated as property and marriage and divorce were treated as transactions similar to buying and selling land. Jesus condemned this attitude and practice then, just as he does today. God’s original intention was that marriage brought oneness. Jesus held up God’s ideal for marriage and told his followers to live by it.
Do not enter marriage with the option of getting out, but be committed to permanence. You can win your mate’s heart with your prayer life, your commitment to God’s Holy Word with God’s help. To be with God in your life here on earth is our true desire, to be with a marriage partner that shares this vision with you is a blessing beyond our wildest expectation. Through Jesus Christ, it is available and only through him is it available.
The first reading tells how God made marriage to bring about oneness. The second reading shows that kindness can lead to suffering which will lead to obedience, which is the core of love. The Gospel shows us that Jesus is the only way to oneness.
This week, listen to your spouse. Really listen to what is being said. Your response will determine how well you are listening. Spend more time alone with Jesus and read his Holy Word on marriage. Then share together what he is telling both of you. The strength and power of a person is in his ability to listen.
If your marriage has ended in divorce or death, renew your covenant with Jesus. Let him become your spouse, and let him fill in the empty spots in your life. He can, and he will.