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 NUMBERS 11:25-29 FIRST READING
(“…as the Spirit came to rest on them, they prophesied.”)
l. What did the Lord do, and to whom did he speak? Numbers 11:24-25
2. What did the Lord take from Moses, and what did he do with it, and what did they begin to do? Numbers 11:25
3. What did the prophet Joel say about God’s spirit and prophesying? Acts 2:17
4. What happened to Eldad and Medad, and where did this happen? Numbers 11:26
5. Why have we been put on his list or chosen? 1 Peter 2:9
6. What did the young man tell Moses about Eldad and Medad? Numbers 11:27
7. What was Joshua to Moses, and what did he tell him? Numbers 11:28
8. What did Moses say to Joshua? Numbers 11:29
9. What did Paul say that was similar to Moses’ response to Joshua? Philippians 1:15-18
10. What is one way of determining if we are walking in the flesh and not by the Spirit? 1 Corinthians 3:3
Personal – Do you see yourself walking in the flesh by competing or being jealous of someone in your family, work, or school? How can you begin to walk by the Spirit’s lead?
THIRD DAY READ JAMES 5:1-6 SECOND READING
(“You have stored up treasure for the last days.”)
1. Over what is the rich to weep and wail? James 5:1
2. Who has already received their consolation? Luke 6:24
3. What have the rich stored up for the last day? James 5:2-3
4. What are we to do with our money? Sirach 29:10-11
5. What has reached the ears of the Lord of hosts? James 5:4
6. Against whom will the Lord be swift to witness? Malachi 3:5
7. What have those who live on earth for luxury and pleasure done? James 5:5
8. What will happen to the rich man who does not care for the poor man? Luke 16:25
9. What has the rich man done? James 5:6
10. Who are the righteous (or the innocent), and who are the accused? Matthew 25:37-43
Personal – In what way can you share what you have with the poor? Examine yourself and see if you have been fair in all your dealings with people. Repent where needed.
FOURTH DAY READ MARK 9:38-43, 45, 47-48 GOSPEL
(“Any man who gives a drink of water because you belong to Christ, will not, I assure you, go without his reward.”)
1. What did John say to Jesus? Mark 9:38
2. Why did Jesus tell him not to prevent him from driving out demons in his name? Mark 9:39
3. What can no one say except by the Holy Spirit? 1 Corinthians 12:3
Personal – In what way have you used the name of Jesus to drive evil away from you or your family?
4. If someone is not against Jesus, for whom is he? Mark 9:40
5. Who will not lose his reward? Mark 9:41
6. What does Jesus say about someone who may cause one of his little ones who have faith to sin? Mark 9:42
7. What is better for us if a hand, foot, or an eye causes us to sin? Mark 9:43
8. What could happen to us if we do not get rid of the part that makes us sin? Mark 9:45-48
9. What happens in Gehenna (hell)? Mark 9:48
10. What will happen to the men who rebel against God? Isaiah 66:24
Personal – Is there a part of you or someone that is causing you to sin? In light of this scripture, how are you going to get rid of the problem?
FIFTH DAY READ PSALM 19:8, 10, 12-14
(“The decree of the Lord is trustworthy, giving wisdom to the simple.”)
Read and meditate on Psalm 19:8, 10, 12-14.
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
When it comes to serving God, everyone has plenty of room. Joshua protested the unofficial giving of the spirit to two elders who remained in the camp. Moses had gathered seventy elders from the camp and had them placed around the tabernacle. Moses told Joshua that God’s power is not limited to a set time, place, or ceremony. Moses was recognized as Israel’s leader; yet when others in the community showed leadership ability, he was overjoyed. Joshua was so protective of Moses’ leadership that he forgot the objective – creating a nation of faithful people. As a result, Joshua tried to restrict God’s work in order to keep Moses in the limelight.
If we focus on individuals and their abilities, we may lose sight of our overall objective. This caused Joshua to have limited vision, and it will happen to us if we follow Joshua’s example. We need to remember that God’s mysterious plans will not always coincide with our plans. Today the Holy Spirit is waiting to be released in so many people, and in many situations the reason is that too much emphasis is put upon the leadership of the people and not on the Holy Spirit.
Moses knew that the power of God is available to all who do the will of the Father. We need to be open to the Holy Spirit working, not only within us, but also working within people who we do not think might be qualified. Like Moses, we must be open to God’s gift of grace and be available to see the power of the Holy Spirit being used among all of his people.
Today’s reading brings home the proper value of people and the improper value of things. Today’s money will be worthless when Christ returns, so we should be spending our time accumulating treasure that will be worthwhile in God’s eternal kingdom. Money itself is not the problem, Christian leaders need money to live and support their families and missionaries need money to help them spread the Gospel. The church needs money to do its work effectively. It is the love of money that leads to evil (1 Timothy 6:10). This is a strong reminder to us that all Christians who are tempted to adopt worldly standards rather than God’s standards will be conformed to the present age (Romans 12:1-2).
Jesus tells us in scripture not to store up treasures on earth because they can erode away or may be stolen. He goes on to say, store treasure in heaven where they will never lose their value and are safe from thieves (Matt. 6:19-20). We are then told by Jesus that if our profits are in heaven, our heart will be there too. You need to ask yourself: Where do you spend most of your time, what do you spend your money on most? Finally, what do you think about most of the time? Pray and reflect on these questions because this is where your treasure is now, and when you die, will you be in heaven with Jesus Christ?
MARK 9:38-43, 45, 47-48
Jesus emphasizes through various sayings the basic laws of discipleship. His own disciples did not understand, and their lack of comprehension of what is involved in being a disciple is clearly shown in their arrogant rejection of an exorcist who uses Jesus’ name. We see the disciples being very jealous of a man who healed in Jesus’ name. They were more concerned about their own group position than in helping free those troubled by demons. Many of us today do the same when we refuse to participate in worthy causes because they are not affiliated with our denomination.
We are often very reluctant to be around people who make us feel uncomfortable. Our lack of comprehension of discipleship is displayed when we reject those who do not do things the way we do. The most blatant of all rejections occurs when we think that our efforts will not receive enough recognition for what we do. Correct theology is important, but it should never be an excuse to avoid helping those in need.
Jesus tell us in scripture that anyone who is not helping him is hurting him (Matt. 12:30). He definitely is not saying that being indifferent to others who are serving in his name is as good as being committed. Jesus tells us that many people from all walks of life have responded by following him and do work in his name. He has shown all throughout his teachings that his hope is that we all will be one in the Father. We might well remember that those who share a common faith in Christ should be able to cooperate with one another. As Christians our thoughts and actions must be motivated by love, and we must be careful about judging others (Matt 7:1-5). By the same token, we must never be afraid to confront flagrant sin within the church (1 Cor. 5:12-13).
The first reading reveals that there is plenty of room for everyone to serve God. The second reading calls us to adopt God’s standards, not the world’s standards. The Gospel shows us that painful discipline is required of his true followers.
This week, let the call to discipleship really take hold on you. Cut the sin out of your life by giving up a relationship, job or habit, or anything else, that is against God’s will. Look very hard, this week, at the way you talk, at the way you dress, and at the way you treat others. If you cannot do it, cannot wear it, or cannot say it in front of Christ, then don’t!