SECOND SUNDAY IN LENT (March 17th) – CYCLE C

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?

  

  1. From what you learned, what personal application did you choose to apply to your life this week?

 

 

SECOND DAY         READ GENESIS 15:5-12, 17-18     FIRST READING 

          (“I am the Lord who brought you from Ur…”) 

  1. The Lord took Abram outside and said what to him?   Genesis 15:5

  

  1. In whom did Abram put his faith, and as what was it credited? Genesis 15:6

  

  1. The righteousness Paul possesses comes from what?   Philippians 3:9

  

  1. Read the following scriptures and tell how they apply to you.  Romans 4:3, 9, 22, Galatians 3:6, and James 2:23

  

  1. From where did Abram come? Genesis 15:7

  

  1. What question did Abram put to the Lord? Genesis 15:8

 

  1. What did the Lord tell Abram to do and what swooped down on the carcasses?   Genesis 15:9-11

  

  1. What did Abram do when the birds of prey came?   Genesis 15:11

 

  1. What happened to Abram as the sun was about to set?   Genesis 15:12

  

  1. What are similar ways symbolizing the presence of God in these scriptures? Exodus 19:17-19, Acts 2:3-4

  

  1. What did the Lord do with Abraham on that occasion?  Genesis 15:18

  

  1. In whom did the fulfillment of this covenant take place?  Joshua 1:1-9 

 

Personal – What is your relationship with God right now? How do you show that you believe the promises God has made in the Bible? What are some of the promises of God, and the covenants he has made with his people? Reflect on this and talk to God about it.

  

 

THIRD DAY           READ PHILIPPIANS 3:17-4:1      SECOND READING 

    (“…continue, my dear ones, to stand firm in the Lord.”) 

  1. Who are we to imitate, and who are we to take as a guide?  Philippians 1:1 and 3:17

  

  1. How do many conduct themselves and what will happen to them?   Philippians 3:18-19

  

  1. What is their god and their glory, and with what do they occupy their mind? Philippians 3:19

  

  1. Where do we have our citizenship, and for what do we wait?   Philippians 3:20

  

  1. What will the Lord do to our bodies? Philippians 3:21

  

  1. According to what does he remake our bodies, and for what reason? Philippians 3:21

  

  1. Who does Paul love? Philippians 4:1

  

  1. Who does Jesus say his brothers are? Matthew 12:46-50

  

  1. What does Paul tell his brothers?   Philippians 4:1

  

Personal – How much time do you spend taking care of your body? Are you looking forward to the Lord remaking this body? How can you “stand firm,” as Paul tells us to do?

 

 

FOURTH DAY              READ LUKE 9:28-36                GOSPEL

         (“This is my Son, my Chosen One. Listen to him.”) 

  1. What did Jesus say eight days before he took Peter, John and James up onto a mountain to pray? Luke 9:27

  

  1. On what other occasions were Peter, John and James with Jesus? Luke 8:51-52 and Mark 14:32-33

  

  1. What did they go up on the mountain to do? Luke 9:28

  

  1. What happened to Jesus’ face and clothes as he prayed?   Luke 9:29

  

  1. Who were suddenly conversing with Jesus? Luke 9:30

  

  1. How did they appear, and about what did they speak?   Luke 9:31

  

  1. Upon awakening, what happened to Peter and those with him?   Luke 9:32

  

Personal – How do you think you would react if while in prayer you fell asleep and awoke seeing Jesus, Moses and Elijah? Do you think this is possible?

  

  1. When the men were leaving, what did Peter say to Jesus?   Luke 9:33

  

  1. While Peter was speaking, what overshadowed them? What was the reaction of the disciples?   Luke 9:34

 

  1. What came from the cloud and what was said?   Luke 9:35

  

  1. Who was standing there when the voice fell silent, and did the disciples tell anyone about this at that time?  Luke 9:36

  

Personal – In what ways have you listened to Jesus this past week? Do you speak to him and then listen to what he has to say through his Word? What is it that God wants to do in you? Are you allowing God to transform you? As you do this you too will be transformed as it says in 2 Corinthians 3:18.

 

 

FIFTH DAY          READ PSALM 27:1, 7-9, 13-14 

              (“Wait for the Lord, take courage;”) 

Read and meditate on Psalm 27:1, 7-9, 13-14.

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 

                     GENESIS 15:5-12, 17-18

      Abram was not promised wealth or fame, he already had that, but God promised that Abram’s descendants would be too numerous to count. Abram was an old man with no heirs to his own fame and fortune and we see God promising to change all that. Abram believes with all his heart, mind and soul. Abram’s faith was a strong response to the living presence and power of God in his life and his faith had made him right with God.

      We too can have a right relationship with God by trusting him with our lives. Our outward actions, church attendance, prayer, good deeds, and even reading Sacred Scripture, by themselves, will not make us right with God. A right relationship is based on faith. We are confident that God is who he says he is, and does what he says he will do. Righteous actions will follow a strong faith naturally as a by-product.

      We have read of Abram’s mistakes and know that he was not perfect. Though human and sinful, Abram believed and trusted in God. It was faith and not perfection that made Abram righteous in God’s eyes. This same principle applies to us. Our first response must be to believe in God and to trust in him completely. God’s covenant with Abram was serious business. It represented an incredible promise from God and a huge responsibility from Abram. To confirm his promises to Abram, God gave him a sign, the smoking fire pot and the flaming torch. God confirmed his promise to you and to me when he gave us Jesus Christ, our personal Lord and Savior.

 

                      PHILIPPIANS 3:17-4:1

      Paul challenges the Philippians to use him as a role model in their attempt to live like Christ. He did not mean that they should just copy him as if he were perfect, but they should focus on their lives being like Christ’s life. There was no written Gospel yet, so Paul could not tell them to read the bible to see what Christ was like. Paul therefore urged the people to follow his example as a personal testimony to his character.

      We need to ask ourselves about what kind of follower would a new Christian become if he or she imitated us. There is an old saying that is pretty powerful, and it goes like this: “To some people, the only bible that they will ever read will be you.” Paul was very strong in his comment about the self-indulgent Christians. These are people who claim to be Christian, but do not live up to the model of being a servant of Christ. There is very little sacrifice in their attitude or actions. They satisfy their own desires before even thinking about the needs of others.

      Freedom in Christ does not mean freedom to be selfish, it means the opportunity to serve. We can only become true servants of the Lord when we die to ourselves. This means putting others first, and it means that we all are called to “walk the walk, as well as, talk the talk.” Paul was very clear in stating that the bodies we receive when we as Christians are raised from the dead will be like Christ’s resurrected body.

      Paul is encouraging his listeners to give thanks, and we might all give thanks today, because when Christ returns to take us into his eternal kingdom, we will be glorified and made completely perfect. Paul closes the reading by telling his listeners that he longs to see his brothers and sisters in the Lord. He longs to renew old friendships and he urges them to stay true to the Lord.

      Today that plea is extremely important and we are called to hold true to the Lord. The attack on us as Christians is enormous and only by being true to Jesus Christ and staying close in Christian fellowship through his Holy Word, church and sacraments can we be victorious with him.

 

                          LUKE 9:28-36

      Jesus took Peter, James and John to the top of the mountain to pray together to his heavenly father. He took them there to show them who he really was, not just a great prophet, but God’s only Begotten Son. He just recently told them that they would not die before they had seen the kingdom of God (Luke 9:27). He was referring to the transfiguration. Jesus’ listeners were not going to have to wait for another future Messiah. He was telling them the kingdom was among them and would soon come in power through the work of the Holy Spirit.

      Moses, representing the Law, and Elijah, representing the prophets, appeared with Jesus and God’s voice singled out Jesus as the long-awaited Messiah with divine authority. Jesus would fulfill both the law and the prophets because he was the summation of it all. The brightness of Jesus’ face was being seen for the first time by the apostles. They were really seeing him for whom he really was. Moses saw the dazzling brightness in the clouds on the mountaintop and in the burning bush on the desert floor, but while he was alive, he never saw the brightness that radiated from the face of Christ on that mountaintop. The transfiguration or change was in the apostles because they were seeing Jesus in a totally new way.

      Have you experienced the miracle of the transfiguration in your life? Have you asked Christ to come in and take up residence in your heart? He will gladly abide in you if you will abide in him (John 15:7). Jesus stands knocking on the door to our heart, and he will wait as long as it takes. Open that door of your heart today and look into the radiance and dazzling brightness of his face. He is waiting to share his transfiguration with you, and he wants you to witness to others the miracle of his love and forgiveness.

      The apostles did not want to leave that mountain because the change was fantastic, and they did not want to take a chance of losing the excitement of the moment. Jesus is the chosen one and in him is all power and glory. He wants the apostles to come off that mountain and go forth and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19-20). Jesus is giving all of us the same command, and that is to leave the safety of the mountaintop, and go down into the dark, cold valleys and lead our children to safety (Matthew 28:20). And remember, whatever you do to the least of my children, you do unto me (Matthew 25:31-46.)

 

Application

      The first reading shows faith is the response to the living presence and power of God in our life. The second reading challenges faith-filled Christians to be Christ-like role models. The Gospel reveals that conversion to Christ brings upon us a complete transfiguration.

      This week, let others see in you a transfiguration. Show that Christ resides within you by your actions. Make a commitment to serve joyfully those around you, and others will notice the radiance and dazzling brightness that comes from you. You will bring more people to Christ by the good fruit you bear. Gal.5:22-23

 

FIRST SUNDAY IN LENT (March 10th) – CYCLE C

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?

 

  1. From what you learned, what personal application did you choose to apply to your life this week?

 

 

SECOND DAY                                             READ DEUTERONOMY 26:4-10                                       FIRST READING

(“He brought us out of Egypt with his strong hand and outstretched arm.”)

  1. Who shall take the basket out of your hands, and what will he do with it?   Deuteronomy 26:4

 

  1. In verse 5 of Deuteronomy 26, who is speaking? Deuteronomy 1:1

 

  1. Who is the wandering Aramean, and where did he go? Genesis 46:6

 

  1. How did the wandering Aramean live, and what did he become? Deuteronomy 26:5

 

  1. How did the Egyptians treat the Israelites, and to whom did they cry out?   Deuteronomy 26:6-7

 

  1. What do the following verses say about oppression?

    Isaiah 53:8

Isaiah 58:9

 

Personal – In what way have you been maltreated and oppressed? How have you dealt with it?

 

  1. What two senses did the Lord use in Deuteronomy 26:7?

 

  1. In what way did the Lord answer their cry? Deuteronomy 26:8

 

  1. What was the land like to which the Lord brought them to? Deuteronomy 26:9

 

  1. What did Moses do in response to what the Lord did for him? Deuteronomy 26:10

 

  1. What should we do in response to what he has done for us? List the two things in verse 10 of Deuteronomy 26.

 

Personal – What has God personally done for you in the past? From what you have earned or produced financially, in what way have you responded to what God has done for you? Have you bowed down in thanksgiving and reverence to the Lord for all he has done for you?

 

 

 

THIRD DAY                                                        READ ROMANS 10:8-13                                          SECOND READING

(“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”)

  1. What is near you, on your lips, and in your heart, and what does Paul say is preached? Romans 10:8

 

  1. What or who is the Word?   John 1:1, 14

 

  1. With what do you confess, and what do you confess? Romans 10:9

 

  1. Who gives you the ability to confess Jesus is Lord? 1 Corinthians 12:3

 

  1. With what do you believe and what will happen to you if you do this?   Romans 10:9

 

  1. What leads to justification, and what leads to salvation? Romans 10:10

 

  1. What does Scripture say in Romans 10:11, Romans 9:33, and Isaiah 28:16?

 

Personal – There are two requirements to being justified and saved. In what way have you fulfilled these requirements?

 

  1. To whom is God rich in mercy?   Romans 10:12
  2. What must you do to receive God’s mercy? Romans 10:12

 

  1. Who will be saved? Romans 10:13, Acts 2:21

 

Personal – To whom and in what way have you spoken to others of what Jesus has done for you? Take a few minutes now and reflect on Jesus, who he is, and what he has done.

 

 

FOURTH DAY                                                         READ LUKE 4:1-13                                                                    GOSPEL

(“You shall worship the Lord, your God, and him alone shall you serve.”)

  1. What was Jesus full of, and who conducted him into the desert? Luke 4:1

 

  1. What had previously taken place in the Jordan River? Luke 3:21

 

  1. How long was he in the desert, who tempted him, and what did he eat while there? Luke 4:2

 

  1. What did the devil say to him?   Luke 4:3

 

  1. What one word in verse 3 denotes the devil’s unbelief in him?

 

  1. What was Jesus’ response, and besides bread, what does Matthew 4:4 say man shall live on? Luke 4:4

 

  1. What did the devil show Jesus, and what did the devil say to him?   Luke 4:5-6

 

  1. Deuteronomy 26:10 tells us to bow down in the presence of the Lord for all he has done for us. What is the devil saying in Luke 4:7?

 

  1. What was Jesus’ reply to him?   Luke 4:8

 

  1. Then what did the devil do and say to Jesus, and what small word in verse 9 showed the devil’s unbelief?

 

  1. From what did the devil quote?   Psalm 91:11

 

  1. What did Jesus say to the devil, and when the devil had finished all the tempting, what did he do?   Luke 4:12 and Deuteronomy 6:16

Personal – In which of the following ways have you been tempted by Satan:   When you are hungry – When you feel inferior – When things are not going the way you would like them to go? In what practical way can you apply this lesson to your life this week? Share with someone.

 

 

FIFTH DAY                                                      READ PSALM 91:1-2, 10-15

(“My refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.”)

Read and meditate on Psalm 91:1-2, 10-15.

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

DEUTERONOMY 26:4-10

Today’s reading makes the purpose of tithing very clear: to put God first in our lives. We are called to give God the first and best of what we earn. This means that we give from the heart, and we are to give joyously. What we do with our money shows what we value most. Giving the first part of our paycheck to God, rather than what is left after taxes and bills, focuses our attention on him. A habit of regular tithing can keep God at the top of our priority list and give us a proper perspective on everything else we have.

The Bible and the Christian Church have always supported an organized system of caring for the poor. God told his people then, and he tells us today, to use our tithe for the helpless and poor. These regulations were designed to prevent the country from sinking under crushing poverty and oppression.

We see in today’s reading that it was everyone’s responsibility to care for the less fortunate and that responsibility still falls upon the body of believers in our church. In the Israelite tradition, each person was required to recite the history of God’s dealings with his people. We need to reflect on the history of God’s dealings with Christians throughout the ages.

What is the history of your relationship with God? Can you specifically recall what God has done for you? Take some time alone to reflect on the many gifts that God has given you. This will help you to see how all of your gifts and talents really come from God. That is why we can joyously tithe to God, because he has showered us with so much treasure. Remember, where your treasure is, your heart is.

 

ROMANS 10:8-13

A tremendously powerful statement is made when we say salvation that comes from trusting Christ is already within easy reach of us. In fact, it is as near as our own hearts and mouths. People all through the ages have looked for God through dramatic experiences. Some people have traveled all across the world to meet a spiritual leader.

Today’s Scripture reading tells us that God’s salvation is right in front of us. He will come to us wherever we are and whenever we call (John 6:37). All we need to do is to respond and accept his incredible gift of salvation. Today many people think that to become a Christian and be the recipient of the gift of salvation is a complicated process, but it is not. If we truly believe in our hearts and this belief is shown in the changes that take place in our lives and confess that Jesus is the Lord of our lives, then we too will be saved.

Paul is not saying that Christians will be free of all disappointments. There will be many times when people let us down and when circumstances take a turn for the worse. What Paul is really saying is that Jesus Christ will never let us down and that everyone who believes in him will be saved. Today there are some people who say they believe, but there is no fruit of the Holy Spirit visible in their lives. We validate what comes out of our mouths by the way we live our lives. When we really believe without hearts and confess that Jesus is really the Lord of our life, then others will see in us the fruits of love, peace, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).

 

LUKE 4:1-13

Temptations often come after a high point in our spiritual lives or ministries. Sometimes we feel that if the Holy Spirit leads us, it will always be “beside the still waters” (Psalm 23:2). But that is not necessarily true. He led Jesus into the desert and allowed him to experience a long and difficult time of testing.

The Holy Spirit can and does lead us into difficult situations in the desert experiences of our own lives. When facing these trials, first make sure you have not brought them on yourself through sin or foolish choices. If you find no sin to confess or behavior to change, then ask God to strengthen you for your test. Like Jesus did, you are also to follow faithfully where the Holy Spirit leads. We must always remember that Satan is a real being and his temptation of Eve in the Garden and of Jesus in the wilderness is not to be dismissed as just a symbol or an idea. We need to be on our guard in times of victory, just as in times of discouragement. Satan constantly fights against God and those who follow and obey him. We can be assured that knowing and obeying God’s Word is a very effective weapon against temptation.

Scripture clearly points out that God’s Holy Word is a very powerful offensive weapon that is provided in the Christian’s armor (Ephesians 6:17). Knowing Scripture is not enough to defeat Satan because he also knows Scripture. We must have faith in God’s promise that he loves us so much that he sent his only begotten Son into the world to die just for us. Jesus tells us that he is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6), and Satan cannot stand up to that power.

 

Application

The first reading shows that where your treasure is, your heart is. In the second reading, faith is belief in the giver more than in the gift. In the Gospel, God’s love is far more powerful than Satan’s fear.

This week show your family the power that comes from God when you set him in first place in your life. Let your family see that you joyously tithe and encourage them to give back to God some of the fruits that they enjoy. The simple act of your joyful caring for the helpless with your tithe will be a tremendous witness to your children and your children’s children.

 

EIGHTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME (March 3rd) – CYCLE C

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?

 

  1. From what you learned, what personal application did you choose to apply to your life this week?

 

 

SECOND DAY                                                       READ SIRACH 27:4-7                                                 FIRST READING

(“…a man’s speech discloses the bent of his mind.”)

  1. What happens when you shake a sieve, and when does a man’s faults appear?   Sirach 27:4

 

  1. From what do we pray to be cleansed, and with what do we ask the Lord to find favor? Psalm 19:13, 15

 

  1. As the test of what the potter molds is in the furnace, where is the test of the man?   Sirach 27:5

 

  1. Who has the king for his friend?   Proverbs 22:11

 

  1. What does the fruit of the tree show, and what does a man’s speech disclose?   Sirach 27:6

 

  1. What is the fruit of the Holy Spirit? Galatians 5:22-23

 

  1. How is a tree known, what does the mouth speak from, and what will happen on the day of judgment? Matthew 12:33-37

 

  1. What should you not do before a man speaks, and for what reason? Sirach 27:7

 

  1. What defiles a person?   Matthew 15:11
  2. How are you to set an example for those who believe? 1 Timothy 4:12

 

Personal – Look at yesterday and evaluate your speech. What effect did your speech have on those around you? How can you improve your speech?

 

 

THIRD DAY                                               READ 1 CORINTHIANS 15:54-58                                 SECOND READING

(“The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.”)

  1. With what will this which is corruptible, and mortal clothe itself? 1 Corinthians 15:54

 

  1. In what do the children share, and what did Jesus’ death destroy? Hebrews 2:14-15

 

  1. What words of scripture have come true? 1 Cor. 15:54-55

 

  1. What is the sting of death and what is the power of sin? 1 Corinthians 15:56

 

  1. What does the law produce and where there is no law what happens?  Romans 4:15

 

  1. How did you come to know sin, and how did you know what it means to covet?   Romans 7:7

 

  1. For what are we to be thankful to God? 1 Corinthians 15:57

 

  1. Where does God always lead us, and what does he manifest through us? 2 Corinthians 2:14

 

  1. How should we be in our work for the Lord, and what are we to know? 1 Corinthians 15:58

 

  1. What will not happen to those blessed by the Lord? Isaiah 65:23

 

Personal – How have you experienced death and victory in your life? What does the phrase “to work for the Lord” mean to you?

 

 

FOURTH DAY                                                        READ LUKE 6:39-45                                                                   GOSPEL

(“…for from the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks.”)

  1. What did Jesus tell the people, what did he say about a blind person, and to whom is a disciple not superior? Luke 6:39-40

 

  1. Who will a disciple be like when fully trained? Luke 6:40

 

  1. What did Jesus say after he washed the feet of his disciples? John 13:15-16

 

  1. What do you notice in your brother’s eye, and what do you not notice in your eye? What can you not say to your brother? Luke 6:41-42

 

  1. What did Jesus call them, and what did he tell them to do? Luke 6:42

 

  1. What do the hypocrites do with their lips, and where are their hearts? Matthew 15:7-8

 

Personal – In what areas have you been correcting or trying to help others? Examine yourself in that same area and see whether you need to remove the plank from your eye.

 

  1. What does a good tree not bear, and what does a rotten tree bear?   Luke 6:43

 

  1. How is every tree known and what do people not do? Luke 6:44

 

  1. What does a good person produce, and from where does it come? What does an evil person produce, and from where does it come? Luke 6:45

 

  1. From what does the mouth speak?   Luke 6:45

 

  1. What are you to guard and for what reason? What are you to put away?   Proverbs 4:23-24

 

Personal – Memorize Psalm 141:3. Use this psalm on a daily basis to see whether you have some great changes come from within your heart.

 

 

FIFTH DAY                                                READ PSALM 92:2-3, 13-14, 15-16

(“The just man shall flourish like the palm tree.”)

Read and meditate on Psalm 92:2-3, 13-14, 15-16.

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

SIRACH 27:4-7

In today’s reading we can see both the negative and positive power of the spoken word. Many times, Scripture has shown us how irresponsible words of speech have affected the spiritual lives of many. It is very important for us to always remember that what we say and what we do not say can have enormous power in many situations.

Proper speech is not only saying the right words at the right time but controlling our desire to say what is not needed to be said and something we should not have said at all. Unfortunately, examples of wrongly using the tongue are several, such as gossiping, putting others down, bragging, manipulating, false teachings, exaggerating, complaining, flattering, and lying. Before we speak, we need to ask ourselves: is it true, is it necessary, and is it kind?

We show others what we are really made of and what is in our hearts by the way we speak. Scripture tells us that the damage the tongue can do to the human being is like comparing the tongue to a raging forest fire. The tongue’s wickedness has its source in hell itself. Satan uses a person’s speech to divide people and pit them against one another. A conversation that deals with joy and truth will be a conversation between joyful and truly free people. A person does not want to be flattered and does not need to be praised for his deeds either. A person wants to be respected and to be a product of a loving God, family and society. He can only be this when he asks what God wants of him, rather than what does God have for him.

Remember, a few words spoken in anger can destroy a relationship that took years to build. Remember, we are fighting in our own power and strength. The Holy Spirit will give us increasing power to monitor and control what we say. As Christians, we are not perfect; but we should never stop growing, and this means letting our speech disclose the love of God that overflows our hearts.

 

 

1 CORINTHIANS 15:54-58

In today’s passage, Paul is developing the idea that a man always needs to be changed to enter into a higher level of life. He insists that before we can enter the kingdom of God we must be changed. To believe in Christ is to not fear any change, including the one that haunts most men – death. Most people fear death because it is unknown to them. But to man, it comes to many, many more from the sense of sin. The sense of sin comes from being under the law, and that is exactly why Jesus came.

Jesus came to tell us that God is not law, but love, and that the center of God’s being is not legalism, but grace. When we die, we go out, not to a judge, but to a father who awaits his children coming home. Because of that, Jesus gave us the victory over death, and its fear is driven out in the wonder of God’s love. True love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment (1 John 4:18). Death is no longer a source of fear, because Christ overcame it, and one day we will overcome it too.

Paul tells us that because of the resurrection we are to be ready and alert and see that nothing we do is wasted. Sometimes we hesitate to step out and do something beautiful for God because we do not think it is important enough or because we probably will not see any results of our efforts. We need to remember that everything we do for God is important, and the effect will last into eternal life. Do the good that you have the opportunity to do, knowing that your work will have long-term results.

Paul has told us very strongly something that we all need to hear very much today. God has won his victory over death and sin because they were defeated by Christ. By his resurrection, Christ has shown us that death and sin are not the last word, but only lead to life. He reminded the Corinthians then, and he reminds us today, that our “labor is not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:58).

 

LUKE 6:39-45

Today’s Gospel speaks to us about criticizing others. All through the ages, no matter what type of situation may have been present, almost everyone would agree that if you are critical, rather than compassionate, you will also receive criticism. If you treat others generously, gracefully, and compassionately, these qualities will come back to you in full measure.

We are called to love others, not to judge them. Jesus is telling the people to make sure that they are following the right teachers and leaders. He tells them, and us, to look for leaders who will show us what faith is as well as teach us what faith is. Jesus strongly states that we should not be so intent on watching what the other person is doing wrong and overlook our own spiritual walk with God. He encourages us to look for guidance from those who love in accordance with his Holy Word and teachings of his church. Jesus does not mean we should ignore wrong doings, but we are not to become so critical of others that we begin to become one of God’s frozen people instead of one of his chosen people.

We often rationalize our own sins by pointing out the same mistakes in others. We need to be able to address the term “hypocrite” and realize that the “hypocrite” is exactly the ones for whom Christ came and died. Many people do not go to church because that is where the hypocrites go on Sunday. Well, if that is where the hypocrites are, then you will certainly find Jesus there too. He came for the sick, and all sinners are sick. Jesus would be the first one to tell you that he wants his church to be a hospital for sinners and not just a haven for saints. Remember, it is not hypocrisy to be weak in faith, but it is hypocrisy to think that we are spiritually closer to God than someone else. What is in our hearts will come out in our speech and behavior.

 

Application

The first reading shows us that when our speech is motivated by God, it is full of mercy. The second reading reveals that God is not the law, but God is love. The Gospel tells us the church is a hospital for sinners, not just a haven for saints.

This week let your heart be revealed to your family and friends by what you speak and how you act. A loving word by you can affirm, build up, strengthen and open a broken spirit in almost everyone. It is very important for you to listen to the people around you and ask the Lord to discern what you need to do to correct your decision. Let your family and friends really get what they see in you, and their vision be all that is of the Lord.

SEVENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME (Feb. 24th) – CYCLE C

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 1 SAMUEL 26:2, 7-9, 12-13, 22-23                                FIRST READING

(“The Lord will award each man for his justice and faithfulness.”)

1.             Why did Saul go to the desert of Ziph, and with whom did he go?  1 Samuel 26:2

 

2.             When and where did David and Abishai go, who did they find sleeping, and how did they find him?  1 Samuel 26:7

 

3.             Who surrounds you?  Psalm 125:2

 

4.             What did Abishai say to David?  1 Samuel 26:8

 

5.             What came over Saul, and what did Saul do to David?  1 Samuel 18:10-11

 

6.             What did David say to Abishai about the Lord’s anointed?  1 Samuel 26:9

 

7.             What does his anointing do for you?  1 John 2:27

 

8.             What did David do, what did the Lord do to those sleeping, and where did David go?   1 Samuel 26:12-13

 

9.             What did David say about the king’s spear, and for what did he say the Lord will reward them? 1 Samuel 6:22-23

 

10.          What does the Lord love, and what are the works of his hands?   Psalm 33:5 and Psalm 111:7

 

Personal – How has the anointing that you received in baptism helped you in your times of temptation?

 

 

THIRD DAY                                                READ 1 CORINTHIANS 15:45-49                                  SECOND READING

(“…we shall also bear the image of the heavenly one.”)

1.             What is written about the first Adam and the last Adam?  1 Corinthians 15:45

 

2.             How did the first Adam become a living being, and who gives life to whomever he wishes?  Genesis 2:7 and John 5:21

 

3.             What was not first?  1 Corinthians 15:46

 

4.             How is our body sown and raised?  1 Corinthians 15:44

 

5.             From where was the first man, and from where was the second?  1 Corinthians 15:47

 

6.             Who is the One who came down from heaven?  John 3:13

 

7.             Who are the earthly and who are the heavenly?  1 Cor. 15:48

 

8.             What does the Lord Jesus do to our body?  Philippians 3:19-21

 

9.             Just as we have borne the image of the earthly one, whose image shall we also bear?  1 Corinthians 15:49, Romans 8:29

 

10.          How do you bear the image of the heavenly one?  Ephesians 5:1-2

 

Personal – In what way do you see yourself changed from an earthly being to a spiritual being?  What characteristic changes took place in you?

 

 

FOURTH DAY                                                        READ LUKE 6:27-38                                                                   GOSPEL

(“Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”)

1.             Who did Jesus say to love, and to whom did he say to be good?  Luke 6:27

 

2.             For whom does Jesus say to bless and pray?   Luke 6:28

 

3.             What was said before, and what is Jesus saying now?  Matthew 5:43-44

 

4.             What are you to do when someone strikes you on the right cheek, takes your cloak, and asks for something?  Luke 6:29-30

 

Personal – When someone has hurt you, what is your response?

 

5.             What are we to do to others, who do even sinners love, and do good to?   Luke 6:31-33

 

6.             What were you called to inherit?  1 Peter 3:9

 

7.             How should you lend money, what will be your reward, and what will you be called?  Luke 6:34-35

 

8.             Who is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked, and why should you be merciful?   Luke 6:35-36

 

Personal – List how many things you gave away this past week for which you knew you would not be repaid?

 

9.             What will happen if you stop judging and condemning, and if you forgive?   Luke 6:37

 

10.          What virtue triumphs over judgment?   James 2:13

 

11.          If you give, what will be given you, and what will be measured out to you?   Luke 6:38

 

Personal – What are some of the gifts you have received for giving something away? In what way have you made judgments on others, and what do you need to do to repair the damage?

 

 

FIFTH DAY                                                READ PSALM 103:1-4, 8, 10, 12-13

(“He pardons all your iniquities, he heals all your ills.”)

Read and meditate on Psalm 103:1-4, 8, 10, 12-13.

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

1 SAMUEL 26:2, 7-9, 12-13, 22-23

Today’s reading reveals the conscience of David. David knew that Saul was hunting him so that he could kill him. He caught King Saul by surprise and, even though David was a professional warrior, he knew that Saul was chosen by God, and David had no right to kill him.

David wrote Psalm 51, and in this psalm, it gives us an insight into the depths of his character. He knew that God wants a contrite heart, and he knew that he would suffer miserable guilt if he killed Saul. David and his aide showed great courage and David displayed the discipline of self-control that prevented his aide from killing King Saul. David’s aide respected David’s loyalty to authority and became one of David’s most loyal and powerful warriors in his army. David was determined to follow God, and this carried over into his decision not to murder God’s anointed king.

Today there is a drastic loss of respect for authority in our lands because there is a loss of reverence and fear of God himself.  We see even today that the strongest moral decisions we make are the ones we make before temptation strikes. Who would you have been like in such a situation?  Would you have been like David or David’s men?  When you decide to follow God, you must realize that you cannot do wrongful things in order to execute justice. Even when your closest friends might encourage you to take a certain action that seems to be right, you must always remember to put God’s commands first. David did not kill Saul because God had placed Saul in power, and David did not want to run ahead of God’s timing. David left Saul’s destiny in God’s hands.

 

1 CORINTHIANS 15:45-49

In today’s reading, Paul is talking not about verifiable matters of fact, but about matters of faith. Today we have believers who still ask, what kind of a body do people have when they rise again?  Paul tells us that a seed is put into the ground, dies, and in due time rises again with a different kind of body. It is still the same seed, but it has gone through stages of development.  In life there is development.

The first man was made from the dust of the earth (Genesis 2:7), but Jesus is the incarnation of the very Spirit of God. We share under the old way of life the sin of Adam, dying like him, and having a body like him. However, we share in the new life under Christ — his life and his being. We now have a physical body, but one day we shall have a spiritual body. Our present body is corruptible, and our future body will be incorruptible. Our present body is a natural body, and our future body will be a spiritual body. In the future the Holy Spirit will be able to fill us completely, and then we will be able to worship and love Almighty God completely, which for now can only be a vision and a dream enveloped in the mystery of faith.

When Christ rose from the dead, he entered into a new form of existence. Christ’s new glorified human body suits his new glorified life. We see this as Adam’s human body was suitable to his natural life. When we, who are believers of Jesus Christ, die, God will give us a new and glorified body suited to eternal life.

 

LUKE 6:27-38

Jesus makes known, very strongly in this reading, that love is a decision and not some sentimental sloppy emotion. He tells us that anyone can love someone who is easy to love or who in turn loves us back. He goes on to say that even pagans love their families and friends. He even states that anyone can love under those kinds of situations.  Jesus ask for something more than a sentimental yes, he calls for a decision, a decision to love.

Jesus was well aware of the oppression of the Jewish people by the Romans. But he told the people to love their enemies. This kind of talk and teachings turned many people away from him. He was not talking about feelings, but about the use of our will. Jesus’ teachings are about an act of love which is really an act of the will.  We make a choice to love someone with our mind. We also make a choice to forgive someone with our mind.

The Greeks distinguished between three different types of love in the world at the time of Christ, and this still is true today. They are: 1, Eros – a natural love of man for a woman; 2, Philo – a love for relative or friend; and 3, Agape – a love that only builds up the other person with no expectation for any kind of response. This Agape-type of love is what Jesus was calling for as the type of love that he has extended to us.

Jesus died for all of us knowing quite well that many people could have cared less about him. He died for us knowing that many were sinning while he was dying for us and would be sinners long after he died.  He knew first-hand what it meant to love those who hate, persecute, and even put you to death. He asks us to do nothing that he has not done, and he tells us that he will give us the power to love like this through his Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8).  His message today is for all the world just as it was then, and that message is to “Love one another as I have loved you.” (John 13:34).

 

Application

The first reading tells us that the destiny of all people is in God’s protective hands. The second reading explains how our present body is a natural body, and our future body will be a spiritual body.  The Gospel reveals that love is a decision, not a feeling.

This week take inventory of yourself and see who is NOT getting your love.  Look at members of your family, then your relatives, and then your work or school associates. Make a decision to love and make a decision to forgive.  You might begin this inventory and decision making by first getting down on your knees and confessing to God your own sins. Then listen to him as he discerns your inventory and puts it in proper order. Ask the Holy Spirit to clear all of the “stinking thinking” out of your head as you get ready to decide to love all, even your enemies.

 

SIXTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME (Feb. 17th) – CYCLE C

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?

 

 

  1. From what you learned, what personal application did you choose to apply to your life this week?

 

 

SECOND DAY                                                    READ JEREMIAH 17:5-8                                              FIRST READING

(“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord.”)

  1. What does the Lord say about the man who trusts in human beings? Where does he seek his strength, and from whom does he turn his heart away? Jeremiah 17:5

 

  1. Why do you not put your trust in man? Psalm 146:3

 

  1. What is worthless? Psalm 108:13

 

  1. Who else do we not trust? 2 Corinthians 1:9

 

  1. What happens to the man who turns his heart away from the Lord? Jeremiah 17:5-6

 

  1. What is the person who trusts in the Lord, whose hope is in the Lord? Jeremiah 17:7

 

  1. What is Jeremiah telling Ebed-melech, the Cushite, will happen to him because he trusted the Lord? Jeremiah 39:18

 

  1. What does he that trusts the Lord not fear, and what does he bear? Jeremiah 17:7-8

 

  1. What makes you fruitful? Ezekiel 19:10

 

  1. What will happen to those who believe and trust in Jesus? John 7:38-39

 

Personal – In whom do you put your trust for your shelter, food clothing, protection, guidance, etc.?   How much control does your spouse, banker, or insurance agent have on your well-being or mood for the day?

 

 

THIRD DAY                                             READ 1 CORINTHIANS 15:12, 16-20                              SECOND READING

(“But now Christ has been raised from the dead,”)

  1. As what was Christ being preached, and what were some saying? 1 Corinthians 15:12

 

  1. What was Paul preaching to the brothers? 1 Corinthians 15:3-4

 

  1. If the dead are not raised, what is that saying about Christ? What happens to your faith, and what are you still in?   1 Corinthians 15:16-17

 

  1. Why was Jesus raised from the dead? Romans 4:23-25

 

  1. If you do not believe Christ was raised, what happens to those who have fallen asleep in Christ? 1 Corinthians 15:18

 

  1. Who are the most unfortunate or pitiable people of all? 1 Corinthians 15:19

 

  1. Who is in you, and for what is this hope? Colossians 1:27

 

  1. What has Christ done, and what is he to those who have fallen asleep? 1 Corinthians 15:20

 

  1. Who is the One who raised Jesus from the dead, where is he now, and what will he give you?  Romans 8:11

 

  1. Of what is Jesus the head, the beginning, and the first born of the dead? What does this make him? Colossians 1:18

 

Personal – What are you hoping for when you pass from this life to the next in Christ?

 

 

FOURTH DAY                                                    READ LUKE 6:17, 20-26                                                                GOSPEL

(“Rejoice and leap for joy on that day!”)

  1. When Jesus came and stood on level ground, who came to hear Him? Luke 6:17-18

 

  1. Toward whom did Jesus raise his eyes, and to who did he say the kingdom of God belonged? Luke 6:20

 

  1. Who became poor for our sake? 2 Corinthians 8:9

 

  1. Who will be satisfied and laughing? Luke 6:21

 

  1. If we come to the Lord, what will he do? Isaiah 55:1-2

 

  1. When people hate you, exclude and insult you, and denounce your name as evil because of Whom, what will you be? Luke 6:22

 

  1. What did Jesus tell his disciples, and what will those who kill you think they are doing? John 16:1-2

 

  1. What are you to do, where is your reward, and what did your ancestors do? Luke 6:23

 

  1. Who has received his consolation, and what will happen to those who are full and happy now? Luke 6:24-25

 

  1. About whom did your ancestors speak well? Luke 6:26

 

Personal – What has been your reaction to your own poverty and mistreatment here and now?  Give an example of your rejoicing and leaping for joy on account of your love of Jesus and for being persecuted for that love.

 

 

FIFTH DAY                                                            READ PSALM 1:1-4, 6

(“For the Lord watches over the way of the just,”)

Read and meditate on Psalm 1:1-4, 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

JEREMIAH 17:5-8

Jeremiah is describing two kinds of people in today’s reading: the wicked and the righteous.  The wicked trust false gods and military alliances instead of God and thus are barren and unfruitful.  The people of Judah sought advice from everyone but God.

When we are driven by fear, we seem to look everywhere for advice and comfort, hoping to find an easy way out of our troubled situation. Instead, we should have gone to God first for direction. He will give us the help we need, but he prefers to be our source of everything throughout our lives. We can do this by reading his Word and actively seeking to do his will. We can maintain contact that gives us strength no matter what the problem.

In today’s reading, God was not happy with his people because they sought power and protection from other nations. He warned that these alliances may seem inviting, but in the long run, they will turn out to be harmful.

We are not to turn for direction from those who are of the world and not of God. Ask God to help you choose what the best and wisest action you should take is. Trusting in the Lord is the first step of obedience in following the Lord. We always make another marvelous discovery of the depth of God’s goodness and kindness when we step out and trust him.

Many people have grown up with a misunderstanding of God and right living. To live a lifestyle that is pleasing to God is found only by demonstrating a reverence for God and experiencing how good he actually is.  You show reverence to God by showing deep respect and honor to one another.  Jesus shows us how to reverence him when he tells us to love one another as he has loved us (John 15:12).

 

 

1 CORINTHIANS 15:12, 16-20

For Paul, the death and resurrection of Christ is the core of all Christian teaching.  Paul states this very dramatically when he tells the Corinthian converts, “If Christ is not risen, our faith is in vain.” The church at Corinth was in the heart of Greek culture and most Greeks did not believe that people’s bodies would be resurrected after death. They saw life after death as something that happened only to the soul. At that time Greek philosophy states that only the soul was the real person, and it was imprisoned in a physical body. At death, there was no immortality for the body, but the soul entered an eternal state. In contrast, Scripture stated that the body and soul will be united after resurrection. Paul did not want the Christian converts to fall back into pagan ideas about what really happens to a believer after death.

Today there are false teachers proclaiming that the resurrection of Christ was not really physical, but spiritual. We know that by his resurrection is revealed as “the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.” Paul is telling the people that if Christianity has no eternal value, then what was the reason for going through the persecution and, in many cases, death?

The resurrection is the center of our Christian faith. Because Christ rose from the dead, we know that what he said was true — he is God. Because he rose, his death for our sins was validated, and we can be forgiven. Because he rose, he lives and makes intercession for us. Because he rose and defeated death, we who believe in him will rise also. Without the bodily resurrection of Christ, perseverance in faith, including the sacrifices involved in suffering and persecutions, is pointless and at best foolish.

 

LUKE 6:17, 20-26

In today’s reading we see Luke giving an account on the beatitudes similar to Matthew’s sermon (Matt. 5:1-12).  Beatitude comes from a Latin word which means “blessing.”  The beatitudes describe what it means to be a real follower of Christ. They are also a standard of conduct, and a way in which we can live our lives in accordance with the teachings of Christ.  They are referred by many as the Christian attitudes of being well, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

There is tremendous conflict between the values of God’s kingdom and the values of the world. The beatitudes show what Christians can expect from the world, and what God will give them. Like a very sharp knife, the beatitudes cut away false piety from true humility. They also very clearly show how the Old Testament expectations will be fulfilled in God’s kingdom.

Jesus startled his listeners because each beatitude or blessing is in fact a challenge. The beatitudes are like flashes of lightning followed by a thunder of surprise and amazement. They take the accepted standards of the world and turn them upside down. The people whom Jesus called happy or blessed would be called wretches, misfits, or losers in today’s world. Jesus reaches into the core of what he is teaching when he stated that if we set our heart and bend our energies to obtain things which the world values, we will get them, but that is all we will get.

Jesus puts the challenge to us very clearly. Will we take the easy way which yields immediate pleasure and profit, or will we take the hard way which yields immediate toil and sometimes much suffering?  Will we concentrate on the world’s rewards which are temporary or on God’s blessings which will bring us eternal life?

 

Application

The first reading shows God, not man, as the source of all real power.  The second reading says that because Christ rose from the dead, as a believer of him, so will we. In the Gospel we see that God’s reward is forever, and the world’s reward is temporary.

This week let your attitude be an action of love, gentleness, and strength.  Show your humility by putting family needs before your own needs. You can only demonstrate this kind of power if you are strong in your private time alone in prayer with the Lord. Read Scripture daily, and he will give you direction in your daily actions.  Show the people at school or work that because you are loved, you are capable of loving others. Remember, blessed are they who love, for they are of God.

 

FIFTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME (Feb. 10th) – CYCLE C

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?

  

  1. From what you learned, what personal application did you choose to apply to your life this week?

 

 

SECOND DAY              READ ISAIAH 6:1-8          FIRST READING

            (“All the earth is filled with his glory.”) 

  1. In the year King Uzziah died, what was seen? Isaiah 6:1

  

  1. What was seen stationed above the Lord, what did each of them have, and for what were they used?   Isaiah 6:2

  

  1. What did the Seraphim cry to one another?   Isaiah 6:3

  

  1. What is said about the Lord, of what is he worthy, and what did he create?   Revelation 4:8, 11

  

  1. How have we seen God’s glory?   John 1:14 and John 2:11

  

  1. At the sound of the cry of the Seraphim, what happened to the door and the house?   Isaiah 6:4

 

  1. What did the man of unclean lips say?   Isaiah 6:5

 

  1. What did the Lord tell Moses when he asked to see his glory? Exodus 33:18-23

 

  1. What did the Seraphim do, what did he do with the ember, and what did it remove?   Isaiah 6:6-7

  

  1. How do we get cleansed from sin?   1 John 1:7-10

  

  1. What did the voice of the Lord say, and what was the reply?     Isaiah 6:8

  

Personal – Have you seen the glory of the Lord, and how has he shown himself to you?   If you cannot say you have seen his glory, try to identify where the blockage might be. Ask him to reveal this to you.

 

 

THIRD DAY          READ 1 CORINTHIANS 15:1-11     SECOND READING

             (“But by the grace of God, I am what I am and his grace to me has not been ineffective.”)  

  1. Of what was Paul reminding the brothers? 1 Corinthians 15:1

  

  1. What is happening to you if you hold fast to the Word preached?   1 Corinthians 15:2, also Romans 1:16

  

  1. What did Paul pass on that he had also received?     1 Corinthians 15:3-4

  

  1. How did the gospel come to him?   Galatians 1:11-12

  

  1. To whom did Jesus appear, who was the least of them, and why was he the least of them?   1 Corinthians 15:5-9

 

  1. How did Paul come to know Jesus personally? Acts 9:3-7

  

  1. How did Paul become who he is, and how did he respond?   1 Corinthians 15:10

  

  1. What does Christ Jesus come to give as an example for those who would come to believe in him? 1 Timothy 1:16

  

  1. What is done and what will you do?   1 Corinthians 15:11

  

  1. What are we being charged to do? 2 Timothy 4:1-2

  

Personal – What has the grace of God empowered you to do? How have those around you been affected by you?

 

 

FOURTH DAY              READ LUKE 5:1-11                 GOSPEL 

              (“Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.”) 

  1. What was the crowd doing, and where was Jesus standing?     Luke 5:1

  

  1. What did Jesus see, where did he go, and what did he sit down and do?   Luke 5:2-3

  

  1. After Jesus got through speaking, what did he tell Simon to do, and what was Peter’s reply?   Luke 5:4-5

  

  1. What is Jesus’ command to you?   John 15:12

  

Personal   – Are you as quick as Simon was to God’s command to you?   How is that seen by those close to you?

     

  1. What happened when Simon did what Jesus commanded? And after signaling to their partners in the other boat to come help, what happened to the boats?   Luke 5:6-7

  

  1. What did Simon Peter do and say?   Luke 5:8

  

  1. How did Abraham see himself?   Genesis 18:27

  

  1. What was the reaction of Simon Peter and the others at the catch of fish?   Luke 5:9

  

  1. What did Jesus tell Simon not to be, and what did he tell him that he would be catching from now on?   Luke 5:10

  

  1. When the fishermen brought their boats to shore, what did they do? Luke 5:11

  

  1. How are you made fishers of men? Matthew 4:19

  

Personal – Who are you following, and what has been the result?

 

 

FIFTH DAY              READ PSALM 138:1-8

               (“Great is the glory of the Lord.”)

Read and meditate on Psalm 138:1-8.

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 6:1-8

      In this reading we see Isaiah responding to a vision from God. Isaiah was called to be God’s messenger to his people, and his message was going to be very unwelcome. He had to tell people who believed that they were the chosen nation and very much blessed, that God was going to destroy them because of their on-going disobedience. We see as Isaiah experienced the vision, a sense of God’s greatness, mystery, and power.

      Isaiah recognizes that he is sinful and confesses his sins before God. His picture of forgiveness reminds us that we, too, are forgiven, and we have the sacrament of reconciliation to bring us back into a right relationship with God. Today we can look back and see how many nations chose to be disobedient toward God and were destroyed as a consequence. When we recognize how great God really is, how sinful we are, and the extent of his forgiving nature, we will fall on our knees and praise him for his wonderful mercy.

      Isaiah knew that there was no hope of measuring up to God’s standard of holiness and yet God, through the burning coal, cleansed him. Isaiah responded by submitting himself entirely to God’s service. He knew that the life he was being called to was very dangerous and difficult, and yet, he cries out, “Here I am Lord; I will go, send me.”

      Isaiah had to go through the painful process of cleansing before he could be ready to serve the Lord. You may be going through a time of painful cleansing right now. Like Isaiah, let the power and love of God completely engulf you, and let yourself be cleansed. Let the blood of Jesus Christ wash you free, and you will be able to say, “Here I am Lord, I will go Lord, I will hold your people in my heart,” just like Isaiah did.

 

 

                     1 CORINTHIANS 15:1-11

      In today’s passage Paul reminds the people about the instruction that they have already received on the resurrection of Christ. Paul is saying that the Good News has not changed because the message is the truth. Paul was talking to unbelievers.

      Today we still have churches where the people are moving in the direction of belief, and others filled with pretending impostors. Paul tells the people then and the people now that the Good News is that Jesus Christ died for our sins, he rose from the dead and sits in glory at the right hand of his heavenly Father.   And when we believe and accept Christ, we too will die with him and rise with him and spend eternity with him. The real good news of this message was and is, that salvation is available to everyone because Christ’s dying on the cross paid for our sins and makes us clean and acceptable to God. So, whatever your background has been, wherever a loved one of yours might be now, just fall on your knees and plead that the blood of Christ will wash you and your loved ones clean.

      There will always be people who say Jesus did not rise from the dead. Paul faced this opposition even after pointing out that over 500 people saw Jesus after the resurrection. Jesus himself cooked and ate with the disciples on the shore of Lake Galilee after his resurrection (John 21:12). Today there are many doubters who have resorted to fiction, plays, books, and even movies to discredit the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ, but we do not need to be discouraged by doubters who really have not believed in the Good News, because to really believe in Christ calls for a commitment of our life, and in Jesus’ name, we have made that commitment.

 

                          LUKE 5:1-11

      Luke tells us that Jesus provides more than just a miraculous catch of fish. Imagine if you will, a group of tired fishermen who have been tending their nets unsuccessfully all night and into the dampness of early morning. As the fishermen were mending their nets, Jesus tells Simon, a professional fisherman, where to fish, and even where to drop their nets. Out of sheer curiosity and a little tinge of respect, Peter tells him that area did not look too good, but he would try it once more. Peter and the rest of the fishermen were awestruck at this miracle. Peter immediately recognized his own insignificance in comparison to Jesus’ greatness. Peter knew about Jesus’ healing power, but he was amazed that Jesus cared about his day-to-day routine and understood his needs.

      God is interested, not only in saving us, but also in helping us in our daily lives. When we decide to follow God, two major preconditions appear. We must first recognize that our human nature is good but has been wounded by sin. Then we must recognize the futility of human effort by itself to overcome sin, just as these men had fished all night without success, but at the powerful command of Jesus, filled their nets. Jesus had established authority in the synagogue first by healing the sick and casting out demons. Now he established authority in their lives and on their level and helped them in their work. They then left their nets and followed him and became fishers of men (Luke 5:10-11).

     For us to follow Jesus is more than acknowledging him as Savior. It means renouncing our sinful past completely and, in obedience and humility, devoting our lives and future to him.

 

 

Application

      The first reading tells us that each one of us is called to say, “Here I am Lord, use me.” The second reading reminds us that the central message of our faith is that Jesus’ death and resurrection gave us salvation. In the Gospel we see Jesus make the fishermen real fishers-of-men.

      This week, let the call to serve Christ be reflected in your daily routine of living. Take time to see where you can be a prophet in your family, school, or work area. Show your care and concern on the level of the person with whom you are attending or working. Remember, Jesus won them over with his personal care of their everyday needs. Isaiah said, “Here I am Lord, use me.” Try saying this to a family member or someone with whom you have difficulty. Jesus will take you at your word, and the miracle will start with you.

 

FOURTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME (Feb. 3rd) – CYCLE C

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?

 

  1. From what you learned, what personal application did you choose to apply to your life this week?

 

 

SECOND DAY         READ JEREMIAH 1:4-5, 17-19     FIRST READING

  (“…for I am with you to deliver you, says the Lord.”)

  1. To whom did the Word of the Lord come? Jeremiah 1:1, 2, 4

 

  1. When did the Lord say he formed him, what did he do before he was born, and what did he appoint him? Jeremiah 1:5

 

  1. Who are others that were called from their mother’s womb?

Isaiah 1:1, 49:1;             Luke 1:13-15;

Galatians 1:1, 15;             Psalm 139: 13, 16

 

 Personal – When do you think God called you to be his servant?

 

  1. What was Jeremiah to stand up and tell the people, what was he not to be, and for what reason? Jeremiah 1:17

 

  1. What does the Lord say he will never do, and what can we say with confidence?   Hebrews 13:5-6

 

  1. What has the Lord made Jeremiah, and who is it against?     Jeremiah 1:18

 

  1. Where do we draw our strength, and what are we to put on to become fortified? Ephesians 6:10-11

 

  1. What will Judah’s kings, princes, priests and people do, and what will happen?   Jeremiah 1:19

 

  1. What are we not to say, and what are we to do?     Proverbs 20:22

 

  1. What did Jesus tell Paul, and for what reason?     Acts 26:17-18

 

Personal – For what reason has the Lord delivered you from the darkness of your sinful way to the light of Christ?

 

 

THIRD DAY        READ 1 CORINTHIANS 12:31-13:13   SECOND READING

(“Love is patient, love is kind.”)

  1. For what are we to strive and what is to be shown?     1 Corinthians 12:31

 

  1. If we speak in human and angelic tongues, but do not have love, what are we? 1 Corinthians 13:1

 

  1. What can we have and gain without love, and what does that make us? 1 Corinthians 13:2-3

 

  1. What two things does it say love is, what does it say it is not, and in what does love rejoice?   1 Corinthians 13:4-6

 

  1. What does the one who loves fulfill?   Romans 13:8

 

  1. What does love cover?   1 Peter 4:8

 

  1. What three things does love do? 1 Corinthians 13:7

 

  1. What does love never do, what will end? 1 Cor. 13:8-10

 

  1. What happened when you were a child and became a man?     At present how do we see and know things, and how will it be then?   1 Corinthians 13:11-12

 

  1. What remains, and what is the greatest? 1 Cor. 13:13

 

Personal – Within your family or those to whom you are closest during the day, how often do you show kindness and patience to them? If you brood over injuries and are prone to anger, you need to come into repentance. Spend more time alone with the Lord, so he can heal the hurts within you so you can be loving.

 

 

FOURTH DAY              READ LUKE 4:21-30                GOSPEL

(“Amen I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own native place.”)

  1. What did Jesus say after he read in the synagogue the passage from Isaiah?   Luke 4:21

 

  1. How did all speak of Jesus, and what did some ask?    Luke 4:22

 

  1. What did Jesus say, and where is no prophet accepted?     Luke 4:23-24

 

  1. How was Jesus accepted by his own relatives? Mark 3:21

 

  1. What did Jesus say about the widows in Israel, the one widow in Zarephath in the land of Sidon, the lepers in     Israel, and Naaman the Syrian?   Luke 4:25-27

 

  1. With what were the people filled who heard Jesus in the synagogue?   Luke 4:28

 

  1. To whom are we not to be a companion? Proverbs 22:24

 

  1. What does a fool do? Proverbs 29:11

 

  1. What did the people in the synagogue do to Jesus, and what did Jesus do?   Luke 4:29-30

 

  1. What did the people try to do to Jesus and what prevented this from happening?   John 8:59

 

Personal – In what way have you not been accepted in your family, church or native place for your belief and for speaking about Jesus? In what way have you not accepted someone in your family, church or native place for their belief? What do you need to do to become one with other believers?

 

 

FIFTH DAY           READ PSALM 71:1-6, 15-17

(“…from my mother’s womb you are my strength.”)

Read and meditate on Psalm 71:1-6, 15-17.

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 COMMENTAR

JEREMIAH 1:4-5, 17-19

In today’s reading we hear Jeremiah tell us that God knew us, long before we were born, or even conceived. He knew you, thought about you, and then planned for you. When you feel that your contribution in life is not worth very much, remember that God has always thought of you as being one of his most valuable creations and has had a specific purpose in mind for you. We need to always remember that there is no other like ourself, not now, not before or in the future. You are special because you are an original.

Each Christian has a specific purpose in life. Some are anointed by God or appointed by God for a special kind of work. Whatever work we are called to do should be done for the glory of God. If God has given you a special kind of job, accept it cheerfully and do it with excellence. If God has given you a job that is not very special in the eyes of the world, seek to fulfill the mission of all believers, which is to love, obey and serve God in all that you do or say.

Today many people struggle with new challenges because they lack self confidence. They feel they do not have the proper ability, training or experience. Jeremiah thought he was too young and inexperienced to be God’s spokesman to the world. But God promised to be with him and God has made that same promise to you. He loved you so much he gave his only begotten Son to die on the cross for you. When Jesus left this world he told us that he would never leave us orphans. He told us that he would leave us his Spirit. Remember, if God gives you a job to do, he will provide all you need to do it.

 

1 CORINTHIANS 12:31-13:13

Paul describes, in this reading, the power that overcomes all obstacles — love. We are in an age when phony feelings and attitudes masquerade as love, but we need to measure our love by the standards that we have received in today’s passage. What the world needs now is love, and Paul explains to the people of his time what real love is and the message is timeless.

We are told that love is more important than all the spiritual gifts exercised in the church today. There is no action of man that is good unless it is rooted in love. Great faith and miracle-working power produce very little without love. Love makes what we do and what we give have value. Many people may have different gifts, but the gift of love is available to everyone and is needed by everyone. Today’s society has a tendency to confuse love with lust. Love is giving and lust is taking. God’s love is directed outwardly toward others. Lust is directed inwardly and is utterly selfish. To be patient and kind is not natural, rather it is an integral part of the human struggle. It is only possible if God helps us supernaturally and we set aside our own desires and instincts, so we can give love while expecting nothing in return.

The closer we come to Jesus, the more love we will show others. We have been given these spiritual gifts by God to strengthen our fellow Christians who make up the body of Christ. One day we will be complete when we see Christ face to face, and we will no longer need the spiritual gifts. Someday we will be able to love God fully for all eternity and the best way to prepare for that kind of love is to love one another now, as he loves us.

 

LUKE 4:21-30

In experiencing the rejection and anger of his friends and neighbors, Jesus faced the cross at the beginning of his short public ministry. They were insulted and furious and they wanted to push him over a cliff and silence him completely.

The remarks by Jesus stung the people of Nazareth because Jesus was saying that non-believers were more interested in God’s good news than they were. Jesus told them that they needed to enter into a deep state of repentance and even accused them of being as unbelieving as the people of the northern kingdom.

Today there are many so-called believers who become very angry and hostile when they are challenged about the way they are practicing their faith. In almost every country we see a breakdown in the family and traditional values. We hear from many religious leaders in different nations calling for a spiritual renewal. Before we can call for any kind of renewal, we have to call all believers into repentance. There can be no renewal unless there is first repentance. Jesus told them that in him everything is complete, and they did not believe him. In rising above their expectations, he began to reveal the mystery of the resurrection.

To know Christ is to know the truth, and knowledge of this truth is what this world desperately needs today. People all over the world are confused and lost. If we expect people to turn to God, we will have to let them see this truth in us. People that are confused need to see in us the love of Jesus. This is a love that reaches outwardly to the unloved, the unwashed, and the unwanted.

 

Application

The first reading shows that putting our trust in God will give us the strength to overcome our fears. The second reading revealed that the power of love overcomes all obstacles. The Gospel tells us this is the love that must be proclaimed outwardly even when it is not accepted.

This week, look at each member of your family with God’s eyes and see their beauty and particular special gifts. With each family member or with a friend, take time to say, “What I like most about you is ….” Then watch the power of love as that person becomes radiant in the glow of God’s love through your love.

 

THIRD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME (Jan. 27th) – CYCLE C

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?

 

  1. From what you learned, what personal application did you choose to apply to your life this week?

 

 

SECOND DAY          READ NEHEMIAH 8:2-6, 8-10      FIRST READING

    (“Ezra read plainly from the book of the law of God…”)

  1. What did Ezra, the priest, bring before the assembly,  and who composed the assembly?   Nehemiah 8:2

 

  1. What did Ezra do? When did he do it, and what did the people do?   Nehemiah 8:3

 

  1. As Mary sat at the feet of Jesus listening to his words, what did Jesus tell her sister Martha? Luke      10:39, 41-42

 

Personal – How much time do you take to listen to God speaking to you through his Word?

 

  1. On what did Ezra stand? What did he do with the scroll,and what did the people do?   Nehemiah 8:4-5

 

  1. Whom did Ezra bless and what did all the people say and  do?      Nehemiah 8:6

 

  1. What was Paul’s wish in his letter to Timothy?      1 Timothy 2:8

 

  1. How did Ezra read from the book, and in what was he well versed? Nehemiah 8:8 and also see Ezra 7:6

 

Personal – When the readings are read from the Bible at mass on Sunday, who is speaking to you and how attentive are you?

 

  1. Why do we want to be instructed in the statutes of the Lord? Psalm 119:33-34

 

  1. Who was instructing the people, what did they say to them, and what were the people doing?  Nehemiah 8:9

 

  1. What were the people told to do, what did they say the day was to the Lord, and what must be their strength?     Nehemiah 8:10

 

Personal – In what way have you found strength by rejoicing in what the Lord has done for you?

 

 

THIRD DAY        READ 1 CORINTHIANS 12:12-14, 27   SECOND READING

(“Now you are Christ’s body and, individually, members of it.”)

  1. Though it has many parts, what is a body? What do these parts make? 1 Corinthians 12:12

 

  1. In whom are we one body?   Romans 12:5

 

  1. How were we baptized into one body, and of what were we given to drink?   1 Corinthians 12:13

 

  1. Between what is there no difference? What are we in Christ Jesus?   Galatians 3:28

 

  1. How have we come near to God in one body?     Ephesians 2:13, 16, 18

 

  1. Where is Christ, and what have the people done?     Colossians 3:10-11

 

  1. What is the body, and what is it not? 1 Corinthians 12:14

 

  1. Who is the body of Christ?   1 Corinthians 12:27

 

  1. Even though we have many parts in one body, how do the parts differ? Being one body in Christ, of whom are we members individually? Romans 12:4-5

 

  1. How does the body grow, and in what does it build itself up?      Ephesians 4:15-16

 

Personal – What is your function at home or church?   How does it unite you into the one body of Christ?

 

  

FOURTH DAY          READ LUKE 1:1-4, 4:14-21             GOSPEL

               (“Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.”)

  1. What have many undertaken to do, some being eyewitnesses from the beginning? Of what were they ministers? Luke 1:1-2

 

  1. How were the instructions given to the apostles?    Acts 1:2-3

 

  1. What did Luke decide to do, and for what reason? Luke 1:3-4

 

  1. Why were these things written down? John 20:31

 

  1. How did Jesus return to Galilee? Where did news of him spread? What did he do in their synagogues?    Luke 4:14-15

 

  1. What did Jesus do in Nazareth according to his custom?     When handed the scroll to read, from what prophet did he read? Luke 4:16-17

 

  1. Who did he say was upon him? What has he done for him, and for what reason?   Luke 4:18-19

 

  1. What does the One whom God sent speak? What has the Father given over to him? What will the one who believes in him have? John 3:34-36

 

  1. After Jesus sat down, what were all those in the synagogue doing? What did Jesus say to them?   Luke 4:20-21

 

  1. How can one fulfill the scriptures or the law?     Romans 13:8, 10

 

Personal – What has been spoken to you personally through the scriptures, and how have you fulfilled what was said?   How attentive are you to hearing and obeying God’s Holy Word?   Is there room for improvement?   What can you do to improve your listening skills?

 

 

FIFTH DAY            READ PSALM 19:8-10, 15

             (“The ordinances of the Lord are true,  all of them just;…”)

Read and meditate on Psalm 19:8-10, 15.

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

                      NEHEMIAH 8:2-6, 8-10

     Today’s passage is about the reforming of God’s people. We see Ezra as a strong religious leader and Nehemiah as a layman in a high government position, both working to restore more than just broken walls in Jerusalem. Nehemiah gathers the people to hear Ezra read God’s law.

     Ezra rolled out the scroll of Moses’ law, stood on a wooden stage, and read from early morning until noon. He had selected people going among the crowd and explained the meaning of the passages that were being read. The people paid close attention and many were brought to tears and repented right there on the spot. They stood in the hot sun and continued to lift up their hands in praise.

     Today, because the Bible is constantly available for many, it is often taken for granted. Many times we can become dulled to its words and immune to its teachings. Instead, we need to listen to God’s Holy Word very carefully. Then we need to study the Word and ask the Holy Spirit to help us answer the question, “How does this apply to my life?”

     Ezra told the people they should be filled with joy because they had the opportunity to listen and understand God’s Word. He told them to celebrate and to give gifts to those in need. Today, when we celebrate and give to others, we are strengthened spiritually and filled with joy, and joy is the infallible sign of the presence of God.

 

 

                   1 CORINTHIANS 12:12-14, 27

     In today’s passage we see that it is not surprising that the Christian church at Corinth, to whom God gave a variety of gifts by his Holy Spirit, needed to be reminded that those seeking experiences for themselves were not in the best interest for the spiritual growth of the church. Christian unity does not imply uniformity.

     The gifts come from a single source and are given for the good of the whole church. Every individual has a very important part to play in the life of the one body. This should prevent a universal scramble for the same gifts. The most important thing is not which gifts are most impressive, but which best serve to build up the church.

     Paul makes an astounding statement when he says that by the one spirit we have all been baptized in such a way as to become one body, whether we be Jew or Gentile. He states that we have all been watered by the one Spirit. He is saying “you,” yes, “you are the body of Christ.” Christ is no longer physically in this world in the body; so if he wants something done within the world, he has to find a person to do it. We are called to be his hands to do his work, his feet to run his errands, and a voice to speak for him. The supreme glory of Christians is that they are part of the body of Christ on earth and that person is you.

 

                    LUKE 1:1-4, and 4:14-21

     Luke was very much aware that there was a lot of interest in Jesus, and many people had written personal accounts of experiences with him. Luke set out to put these accounts into an historical, thorough, and complete form using all the available resources. Because it was important to Luke to know what was true, he relied heavily on eyewitness accounts.

     Jesus arrived in Nazareth where he went into the synagogue and preached before an amazed audience. The synagogue was the real center of religious life in Palestine. There was only one temple and that was in Jerusalem. Wherever there were at least ten Jewish families, there must be a synagogue.

     In every town and village it was in the synagogue that the people met to worship. There were three parts of a synagogue service. They were: (1) the worship part, (2) the reading of the scriptures, and (3) the teaching part.

     Jesus’ example makes most excuses for not attending church sound weak and self-serving. We all need to make regular worship a part of our lives. Even Jesus was not accepted as a prophet in his hometown. We have a similar attitude – an expert is anyone who carries a briefcase and comes from more than two hundred miles from home. Do not be surprised when your Christian life and faith are not easily understood or accepted by those who know you well, because Jesus was not accepted either.

 

Application

     This week’s first reading tells us that God’s Word was proclaimed clearly and explained completely. The second reading shows that we are the body and Christ is our head. The Gospel reveals that a prophet is not recognized or accepted in his home town.

     This week, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal your gifts. Then share them with your family, friends, and community. Remember, the Spirit of the Lord is upon you, and he has anointed you to teach your family about him. You can feed your family, friends, and community God’s Holy Word.

     Let the gift of healing be released in you by reaching out to someone who is hurting, sick or lonely. Do not be afraid to use your gifts. Just remember that you have been anointed by the Holy

Spirit.

SECOND SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME (Jan. 20th) – CYCLE C

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?

 

  1. From what you learned, what personal application did you choose to apply to your life this week?

 

 

SECOND DAY             READ ISAIAH 62:1-5         FIRST READING

            (“But you shall be called `My Delight,'”)

  1. For whose sake will there be no silence until what happens?  Isaiah 62:1

 

  1. Whom shall the Lord rescue, where will the remnant be, and who dwells there? Joel 3:5 and Joel 4:21

 

  1. What will nations see, by what shall you be called, and who will pronounce it?   Isaiah 62:2

 

  1. What does the Spirit say to the churches?      Revelation 2:17 and 3:12

 

  1. What shall you be in the hand of the Lord? Isaiah 62:3

 

  1. If you fall, what sustains you? Psalm 37:24

 

  1. What will men no longer call you or your land? Isaiah 62:4

 

  1. Where has the Lord written your name? Isaiah 49:14-16

 

  1. What shall you and your land be called, and what does the  Lord do for you and your land?   Isaiah 62:4

 

  1. Who is your husband, and what is he called? Isaiah 54:5

 

  1. Who shall marry you, and who shall rejoice in you?     Isaiah 62:5

 

Personal – What has been your response to being “His Delight” or being so precious to the Lord?   Spend some time alone and meditate on these five verses of Isaiah 62.

 

 

THIRD DAY          READ 1 CORINTHIANS 12:4-11     SECOND READING

      (“To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit.”)

  1. Of what is there a variety, but the same Spirit?    1 Corinthians 12:4

 

  1. Our gifts differ because of what? Romans 12:6

 

  1. In what are there differences, but the same God Who produces all of them?   1 Corinthians 12:5-6

 

  1. What have some in the church been designated to be?     1 Corinthians 12:28

 

  1. Who gives us the desire to work, and for what purpose?     Philippians 2:13

 

  1. What is given to an individual for some benefit?     1 Corinthians 12:7

 

  1. What are the gifts given by the Spirit? 1 Cor. 12:8-10

 

  1. What shall we seek, and for what reason? 1 Cor. 14:12

 

  1. Who produces all the gifts, and how does he distribute them? 1 Corinthians 12:11

 

  1. How is grace given to us, and what is said about Jesus?     Ephesians 4:7-8

 

Personal – What gifts has the Lord given you, and how has the church been built up because of your gift? Seek after gifts that will build up the church.

 

 

FOURTH DAY              READ JOHN 2:1-12                 GOSPEL

                 (“Do whatever he tells you.”)

  1. What was happening in Cana of Galilee, and who was there?     John 2:1-2

 

  1. When the wine ran short, what did the mother of Jesus say to Him? How did he address her, and what did he say to    her? John 2:3-4

 

  1. What did Jesus’ mother say to the servants?   John 2:5

 

 

Personal – How have you followed Mary’s instructions to the servants today?

 

  1. How many stone water jars were there, how much did they hold, and what did Jesus tell them to do? John 2:6-7

 

  1. What did Jesus tell them to draw and where were they to take it?   John 2:8

 

  1. What did the headwaiter taste, who knew where it came from, and whom did he call?   John 2:9

 

  1. What did the headwaiter say to the bridegroom? John 2:10

 

  1. Of what was this the beginning, what did it reveal, and who began to believe in him?   John 2:11

 

  1. Where did Jesus perform his second sign, and what did he say to the people? John 4:46, 48, and 54.

 

  1. What signs accompany those who believe? Mark 16:17-18

 

  1. After the changing of the water to wine, where did Jesus and the others go?   John 2:12

 

Personal – What signs can you see in your everyday life that reveals the presence of God’s Spirit?

 

 

FIFTH DAY            READ PSALM 96:1-3, 7-10

              (“Sing to the Lord; bless his name; announce his salvation,”)

Read and meditate on Psalm 96:1-3, 7-10.

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 62:1-5

     In today’s reading we see Isaiah in earnest prayer for not only Jerusalem, but for all of God’s people.   He prays for the time of future deliverance, when all people will live with God in perfect peace. God offers us not only hope in the future, but help in our present needs. Isaiah’s zeal for his country and his desire to see the works of salvation completed caused him to pray without ceasing, hoping that Israel would be saved.

     Isaiah prays that the name of Jerusalem will bring upon itself the full protection of God and will be called a city in which God takes delight. He prays that never again shall his people have to go through such suffering.

     We would do well today to have some of Isaiah’s zeal to see God’s will done. We are told in scripture not to worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God your needs and do not forget to thank him for his answers (Philippians 4:6). Isaiah has shown us that when we put our trust in God through prayer, he listens and answers.

     St. Paul tells us to turn our hopes and even our worries into prayers. Do you want to worry less and to be at peace? Then pray more. Whenever you start to worry, stop and pray. Isaiah found God’s peace, not in positive thinking, but in knowing that God was in control and that prayers of praise would be heard very clearly by God. We can pray just like Isaiah, and find peace, too.

 

                     1 CORINTHIANS 12:4-11

     Spiritual gifts are special abilities given to each person by the Holy Spirit. These gifts may bring diversity, but they constantly orient us to unity. They enable us to minister to the needs of the believers. There are many spiritual gifts and one gift is not superior to another. All of the spiritual gifts come from the Holy Spirit and their purpose is to build up Christ’s body, the church.

     Paul was concerned about the friction going on in the Corinthian church because, instead of building and unifying the church, spiritual gifts were splitting it. The spiritual gift is given for the benefit of the community and not for the individual. All Christians have faith; some, however, have the spiritual gift of faith which is an unusual measure of trust in the Holy Spirit’s power. Paul encourages us to remember that whatever spiritual gift we have been given, it is to be used to uplift the community. The power of the Holy Spirit is upon all of us, and we all have been given a spiritual gift.

     The gifts are manifested in our life as we daily receive the grace from God through our prayer life, reading of scripture, sacraments, and fellowship with other believers. St. Peter tells us everyone has some abilities; find yours and use them. All of our abilities should be dedicated to others. None are for our own exclusive enjoyment.

 

                          JOHN 2:1-12

     Today’s Gospel shows us that whatever Jesus touched was changed. He changed the water into wine, and he changed sinners into saints. The weddings in Jesus’ day were celebrations that lasted for a full seven days. Banquets were prepared for many guests, and the week was spent celebrating the new life of the married couple. Many times the whole village was invited, and because it was an insult to refuse an invitation, most people came. To run out of wine was an embarrassment and broke the strong unwritten laws of hospitality of the area.

     Jesus was called upon by his mother to protect the honor of a good local family. Jesus was on a mission to save the world, and yet he took time to attend a wedding and take part in its festivities. Jesus knew that being part of people’s lives was very much a part of his mission to Calvary. He valued these wedding festivities because they involved people, and he came to be with the people. Mary did not understand Jesus’ reply, but she trusted in him completely and knew he would do what was needed.

     Our call to ministry or our mission to bring God’s word to others can often be accomplished in joyous times of celebration with others. We need to bring balance into our lives and we do that by bringing Jesus into times of pleasure as well as times of work. Today we who believe in Jesus, but run into situations we cannot understand, must continue to trust that he will work in the best way.

 

Application

     This week’s first reading tells us that God gives us, not only a new name, but also a new life. The second reading explains how each individual gift of the Holy Spirit is for the benefit of the community. The Gospel shows what Jesus touches, he changes…be it water or hearts.

     This week, let your gifts of the Holy Spirit be manifested in the community. Pray with your family, school or work associates. Let your gifts uplift those around you. A gift of healing can be a simple hug or making someone a meal. A gift of teaching or preaching may be reading scripture to someone who can not read or it may be teaching a scripture class to the community. The gift of hospitality might be driving someone to church or to the store. The gifts are many, but they come from the one Spirit. The Holy Spirit resides in your temple (1 Corinthians 6:19).

 

BAPTISM OF THE LORD (Jan. 13th) – CYCLE C

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?

 

  1. From what you learned, what personal application did you choose to apply to your life this week?

 

 

SECOND DAY           READ ISAIAH 42:1-4, 6-7       FIRST READING

              (“Here is my servant whom I uphold.”)

  1. Fill in the blanks in the following scripture:

        “Here is my      whom I uphold, my  ______with whom I am    pleased, upon whom I have put my ___________;he shall bring     forth _____________ to the nations” Isaiah 42:1

 

  1. To whom do the following scriptures refer? Luke 1:38,48

          John 12:26 ________Acts3:13           _______      ____     Acts 4:29-30 _______________.

 

Personal – Do you see yourself as a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ in your home or at work? Share how you are a servant of Christ.

 

  1. Who are the chosen ones? Read the following scriptures:

     1 Chronicles 16:13________, Tobit 13:11 __________,

     Psalm 89:3-4_______________, Psalm 106:23 _______________,

     Ephesians 1:3-5 __________________.

 

Personal – Do you feel you are among the chosen ones of God?

 

  1. In the following scriptures, who are receiving the Spirit or have the Spirit of God working through them?

     2 Samuel 23:1-2 ____________,Matthew 3:16 ______________,

     John 20:19-22 ______________,Acts 8:14-19_______________.

 

Personal – Do you have the power of the Holy Spirit working in your life?  If not, read Matthew 7:7-8 and see what you must do to receive this power.

 

  1. In the following scriptures, who brings forth justice to the nations?   Deuteronomy 10:17-18 _________________ Psalm 9:8-9 ____________,Acts 17:31 ___________________.

 

  1. In what way was this prophecy in Isaiah 42:1-4 fulfilled?     Matthew 12:16-21

 

  1. Whom has God grasped by the hand, formed, and set as a covenant of the people?  Isaiah 42:6

 

  1. Whom has he made a light to the nations, and what are we to do?  Isaiah 42:6-7

 

Personal – Are you a light to others? Do those in your family, your work and your environment see the love of Christ shining out of you?  If you are yielding to the Spirit of God dwelling in you others will see the light.

 

 

THIRD DAY              READ ACTS 10:34-38        SECOND READING

(“I begin to see how true it is that God shows no partiality.”)

  1. Who was addressing the people, and what did he say?  Acts 10:34

 

  1. In the following scriptures, what does God’s Word say about showing partiality?

     Leviticus 19:15 _________________________________________,

     2 Chronicles 19:7 _______________________________________,

     Wisdom 6:7 ______________________________________________.

 

  1. What must we do to become acceptable to God? Acts 10:35

 

  1. What does it mean to fear God? Daniel 6:27, Isaiah 8:13 and Malachi 2:5

 

  1. Through whom is the good news proclaimed, and who is the Lord of all?    Acts 10:36

 

  1. What was reported all over Judea about Jesus, and where did it begin?   Acts 10:37-38

 

  1. What was the baptism John preached? Matthew 3:11,  Acts 19:4

 

  1. Who anointed Jesus, and with what? Acts 10:38

 

  1. Did God intend for us to be anointed with the Holy Spirit?     John 14:14-17

 

  1. What is one of the functions of the Holy Spirit?     John 14:25-26

 

  1. What did Jesus go about doing, and who was with him?     Acts 10:38

 

 

Personal – When you receive the Holy Spirit, do you also receive the power to go about doing good works and healing as Jesus did? Is this evident in your life?

 

 

FOURTH DAY          READ LUKE 3:15-16, 21-22             GOSPEL

    (“…He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”)      

  1. With what were the people filled, and what were they asking?      Luke 3:15

 

  1. What did John tell the people? Acts 13:25

 

  1. With what did John say he was baptizing? With what two things did John say the One mightier than he would baptize?   Luke 3:16

 

  1. What happened to the disciples on the day of Pentecost?   Acts 2:3-4

 

  1. What does fire do? 1 Corinthians 3:13-16

 

Personal  –  How have you been baptized by fire?

 

  1. Who were baptized, and what were they doing? Luke 3:21

 

  1. What opened up, Who descended upon Jesus, and how was it done?   Luke 3:21-22

 

  1. What did Jesus say we will receive when the Holy Spirit comes upon us?   Acts 1:8

 

Personal – What is the evidence of the Holy Spirit in your life?

 

  1. What did the voice from heaven say when the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus?   Luke 3:22

 

  1. How is God pleased with us? Hebrews 13:16

 

Personal – What have you done that has pleased the Father this week?

 

 

FIFTH DAY            READ PSALM 29:1-4, 9-11

              (“The voice of the Lord is power;”)

Read and meditate on Psalm 29:1-4, 9-11.

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 42:1-4, 6-7

     This week’s reading from Isaiah comes from a section sometimes called Second Isaiah (Chapters 40-55) and is generally considered to have been written by an unknown poet who prophesied near the end of the Babylonian exile.  In 520 B.C. the city of Jerusalem fell, the walls and palaces were destroyed and the sacred temple burned. King Zedikiah and the rest of the population were marched to Babylon in chains.

     From these chapters come the great messianic oracles known as the Song of the Servant. In each song a different viewpoint of the mysterious “servant” is given. The destiny of suffering and glorification is fulfilled in the passion and glorification of Jesus Christ.

     Isaiah is calling upon a figure, who represents Israel, and yet still addressed as “her.”  The “servant” is both a single individual and a nation as a collective individual. He talks about the qualities of the past, and he makes his “servant” very much a key figure of the future.

     Isaiah points out that the servant’s role is not limited to Israel, but would become universal. He saw his people in chains and exiled to Babylonia, which was one thousand miles away from Judah. The need for a messiah was of great importance, and the hope of being restored to their lost homeland was in great danger of being completely demolished. The “servant” is being described as different from other leaders, not relying on military might or upon treaties with other nations. He will not be a victorious warrior or king, nor like other prophets shouting out their warnings. What the servant is will speak much louder than his words. The servant will be empowered by the same “Spirit” that rushed upon David when he was anointed king by Samuel (1 Samuel 16:13). Isaiah exhorts the people to look to the servant as God’s chosen one.

 

                         ACTS 10:34-38

     In this passage, Peter is preaching to the crowd that God shows absolutely no partiality.   We see this truth being reaffirmed constantly in the Old Testament.  The Lord shows no partiality, nor does he fear the famous or powerful (Lev. 19:15 and Wis. 6:7).  God will have no part of activity like that.  Peter challenges his listeners to fear the Lord and act upright, which means to be in reverence and awe of the Lord and to follow his commandments.  We are told that fear of the Lord is to hate evil (Proverb 8:13).

     Peter tells the crowd that God has sent to all the people of Israel a Messiah, in Whom he baptizes people in the power of the Holy Spirit.  He preached that Jesus is Lord of all,  a message that still is being presented today to a waiting,  hungry world. The Good News began when John baptized people in the name of repentance.  Jesus was baptized by God in the power of the Holy Spirit.

     We have been anointed with the same power and Spirit as Jesus.  Jesus went forth doing good works and healing the sick. Peter’s message is very much alive today as we see in our newspapers and television how bribes, fear of the powerful, and partiality to favored people can be very destructive to our society. We are called to go forth in the power of the same Spirit and do good works and heal the sick in the name of Jesus (Acts 1:8). Jesus wants us to carry on through word and sacrament (Baptism and Confirmation), and to be witnesses to the world that he is alive here and now.

 

                      LUKE 3:15-16, 21-22

     In today’s Gospel we see a prophet bursting upon the scene, and the people becoming highly agitated.  It was well known that there had not been a prophet in Israel for many years, and it was widely believed that when the Messiah would come, prophecy would reappear (Joel 3:1-2).

     John looked and spoke like the prophets of old. His message was direct and hard. He told the people to share what they had with those who needed it, and whatever your job is, do it the best way you can.  John had no time to comfort those who lived careless or selfish lives. He was calling the people to right living. He told them to turn from their sins to avoid punishment and then turn to God for his blessing. This is a message for all times and all places. John spoke with urgency because he was preparing the people for the coming Messiah.

     John’s baptism with water symbolized the washing away of sins. Jesus’ baptism by fire (Holy Spirit) includes the power needed to do God’s will. The church received baptism of fire on Pentecost when the Holy Spirit in the form of tongues of fire came upon the believers.  They were then empowered to proclaim Jesus’ resurrection in many languages. The baptism of fire also symbolizes the power of the Holy Spirit in bringing God’s judgment on those who refuse to repent.

     Jesus in the true sense of humility chose not to be baptized in a big service in Jerusalem. He chose to be with simple people who were repenting. As Jesus prayed, God spoke to him and confirmed his decision to go forth in his ministry. God was breaking into human history through Jesus Christ. Jesus’ mission on earth was to identify with our humanity and sin. He began his journey to Calvary for us on that very special day.

 

Application

     The first reading reveals to us that the Messiah is to be a “servant.”  The second reading reveals that God has no favorites. In the Gospel, God speaks to us, even today, with his voice from heaven, “This is my beloved Son, listen to him.”

     This week be a servant to your family, a friend, or to someone in the community who is sick.  Be available, be specific, be consistent, and be ready to see the joy of Christ in their eyes as you live what you believe. Let the joy of the Father be reflected in the way you love others.  “You are his beloved child, and he is well pleased with you.”