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 weeks 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 ACTS 1:1-11
(“He presented Himself alive to them….”)
- What was dealt with before Jesus was taken up to heaven? Acts 1:1
- How did Jesus instruct the Apostles He had chosen? Acts 1:2
- After Jesus had suffered what did He show His Apostles and how did He show them? Acts 1:3
Personal – How have you been convinced that Jesus is alive today?
- Why did Jesus tell His disciples not to leave Jerusalem? Acts 1:4
- What did John baptize with and what would happen in a few days? Acts 1:5
- What did the Apostles ask Jesus and what did He tell them? Acts 1:6-7
- What did Jesus tell them they would receive when the Holy Spirit came down on them and what would that make them? Acts 1:8
- As the Apostles were looking on what happened to Jesus and how did it happen? Acts 1:9
- As they were looking up who appeared to them and what did they say? Acts 1:10-11
- How will the Lord come down from heaven and what will happen to the living, the believers in Him? 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17
Personal – How are you preparing for Jesus’ return?
THIRD DAY READ EPHESIANS 1:17-23 SECOND READING
(“What is the surpassing greatness of His power for us who believe?”)
- What is Paul asking our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, to give you? Ephesians 1:17
- What three things does he want your innermost vision, the eyes of your hearts, to know? Ephesians 1:18-19
- What do your eyes represent, and if your eyes are good what will your body be? Matthew 6:22
- What is a lamp to our feet and a light for our path? Psalm 119:105
- What is it like, this immeasurable scope of His power in us who believe? Ephesians 1:19-20
- Where is Christ seated? Ephesians 1:20-21
- What has God put beneath Jesus’ feet and what has He made Him over the Church, His body? Ephesians 1:22
- Who is the head of every man; who is the head of the woman and who is head of Christ? 1 Corinthians 11:3
- There is one what? Ephesians 4:4
- How is the body of Christ built up? Ephesians 4:11-12
Personal – How have the eyes of your heart been enlightened to the surpassing greatness of His power in you?
FOURTH DAY READ LUKE 24:46-53 GOSPEL
(“…behold I am sending the promise of my Father upon you;)
- What did Jesus say to His disciples? Luke 24:46
- What would be preached in His name and where would it begin? Luke 24:47
- What does Psalm 32:5 say will happen if you acknowledge and confess your sins?
- What did Jesus tell His disciples they witnessed? Luke 24:48
- What was Jesus sending His disciples and why were they to wait in the city? Luke 24:49
- What did the Father promise and to whom was this promise made? Acts 2:38-39
- What are we to cloth ourselves with? Colossians 3:12
- Where did Jesus lead His disciples and what did He do? Luke 24:50
- While Jesus was blessing His disciples what happened to Him? Luke 24:51
- What did the disciples do? How did they return to Jerusalem and what did they continually stay at the temple doing? Luke 24:52-53
Personal – When did you receive the promise of the Father and what has He commissioned you to do? What things have you been a witness to and what have you been clothed with?
FIFTH DAY READ PSALM 47:2-3, 6-9
(“God mounts His throne amid shouts of joy;”)
Read and mediate on Psalm 47:2-3, 6-9.
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
This passage begins with Luke addressing the Roman official called Theophilus. Luke was implying that Jesus’ work continues in Acts through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Acts is called by many the fifth Gospel in that it tells about the lives and events of the new Church. Jesus showed the Apostles after His suffering and death His many wounds. He gave them many convincing proofs that He was alive. He told them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for the gift that His Father had promised them. He told them that they would then receive the Holy Spirit and they would receive power and become His witnesses to the ends of the earth. He then was taken up before their very eyes and a cloud hid Him from their sight.
Today, He is still alive in the Power that lives within His Church and within you as a member of the community of His disciples. You have become a Temple of that Power by your Baptism and Confirmation. The Power that split the Red Sea for Moses lives within you. The Power that impregnated Mary with Jesus lives within you. The Power that baptized Jesus in the Jordan River lives within you. The Power that raised Jesus from the dead lives within you. He is alive and He liv es in you waiting to be given freely to the hurt, the lost, the sick, the lonely, the captive throughout the ends of the earth.
In this passage St. Paul is praying and giving thanks for the gifts that have been given to the believers. We today are reminded to thank God for the gifts of wisdom and knowledge that are available to us today. We grow in wisdom and knowledge through prayer, scripture, sacraments and Catholic Church teaching. This follows an order of discipline and humility.
Our hope for the future is not an ambiguous feeling, on the contrary, it is a complete assurance of victory through the power of the Holy Spirit and in the name of Jesus Christ. We see many on all sides fearing nuclear disaster, computer meltdown and the collapse of morals. We must always remember we belong to the God of the Universe, who raised Jesus Christ from the dead. God’s great power is available to help us today through the Holy Spirit in the community of faith. Scripture tells us that with God nothing is impossible (Philippians 4:13). Paul tells us in scripture that we do not have to fear anything or anyone because nothing can separate us from God and His love (Romans 8:31-39).
When we talk about the fullness of the Catholic Church, we are talking about Christ filling the Church with gifts and blessings. The Church itself is the full expression of Christ who Himself is the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:19). The image of the body shows the Church’s unity. We should not attempt to work, serve or worship on our own. There are no Lone Rangers in the Body of Christ. Each one of us is involved with all the others as we go about doing God’s work on earth.
We celebrate on this special feast day of the Church the Ascension of the Lord. This is the time when Jesus was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God.
Over the centuries many believers overcome by the awareness of their own sins have found the words of today’s passage a strong ray of hope. Jesus opened up their minds to understand the scriptures. The Holy Spirit does this in our lives today when we study God’s Holy Word (written testimony) and Sacred Tradition (oral testimony), especially as presented in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The message of good news for the whole world today is that Jesus died to ransom the soul of every living person. He thirsts for you. He is waiting for you to confess, to repent, and to receive His mercy and forgiveness. To confess our sin is to agree with God that He is right to declare that what we have done is sinful and we are wrong. To abandon that sin is to repent or change, which is to turn away from sin and turn back to God, through the power of the Holy Spirit. Then we can trust in Him to forgive us and make us whole again. He told His disciples that they were already witnesses to His mercy and forgiveness. He promises to send them what His Father has promised, and that was the gift of the Holy Spirit. His promise was revealed to the disciples in the upper room (Acts 1:8) and that Holy Spirit is the same Spirit that resides in your Temple. Your body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19) and you are to witness to the ends of the earth with the same power as the disciples.
Jesus physical presence left the disciples when He lifted up His hands, blessed them and was taken up into Heaven (Acts 1:9). You receive this blessing each time you attend Mass. They fell down to do him reverence, then returned to Jerusalem filled with joy. There they were to be found in the temple constantly speaking the praises of God.
The first reading tells us as the Apostles were looking on, Jesus was lifted up and says, “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you”. In the second reading God seated Jesus at His right hand in the heavens and gave Him as head over all things to the Church, and in the Gospel, we are told that the Message of Good News is that Jesus died to ransom the souls of the whole world.
This week let us go to someone in our family, our community or our parish, to pray with them and to proclaim the Good News to them that Jesus is alive. Repent of any wrongdoing by stopping the sinful action and turning back to God. Receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation and Holy Eucharist frequently and this will give you the grace needed in order for you to live your life for Christ.