15TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME- (July 14) – 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)

Application 

The first reading shows that God will not let his work of restoration go unfinished.  The second reading tells us that our world, like Paul’s world, is full of enticements.  The Gospel reveals that there is no unemployment in Christian service.

Let us boast of nothing but the power of the cross of Christ and his Holy Name.  We can be instruments of tremendous deeds in his name.  We need to begin everything we do in prayer to our Heavenly Father through the power of the Holy Spirit in Jesus’ Name and go forth and make disciples of all the nations.  Let us begin with the members of our family.

 

 

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?

 

 

 

THE SECOND DAY READ DEUTERONOMY 30:10-14 FIRST READING

(“If only you heed the voice of the Lord, your God,”)

1. Who is speaking and to whom is he speaking?  Deuteronomy 29:1

 

            

2. If you heed the voice of the Lord and keep his statutes and commandments what will God do?  Deuteronomy 30:9-10

 

 

3. What is this book called?  Deuteronomy 30:10

 

 

4. In what way must you return to the Lord?  Deuteronomy 30:10, 6:5

 

 

5. What does Moses say this command is not?  Deuteronomy 30:11

 

 

6. What two places will you not find it, and what shall you say about it not being there?  Deuteronomy 30:12-13

 

 

7. What two places will you find this command?  Deuteronomy 30:14

 

 

8. What are you to do with the Lord’s command?  Deuteronomy 30:14

 

 

Personal – In what way has your mouth spoken about the love that you have in your heart for the Lord?  In what way have others in your family, friends, or work acquaintances seen and heard this love in you?  Is the way you see yourself confirmed by the way others see and hear you?

 

 

 

THE THIRD DAY READ COLOSSIANS 1:15-20 SECOND READING

(“Making peace through the blood of the cross.”)

1. Who is the firstborn of all creatures?  Colossians 1:15

 

 

2. In the image of whom did he come?  Colossians 1:15

 

 

3. In whom were heaven and earth created?  Colossians 1:16

 

 

4. What are some of the things that were created for Jesus? Colossians 1:16

 

           

5. Apart from him, what came into being?  John 1:3

 

 

6. He is before what, and how does everything continue its being?  Colossians 1:17

 

 

7. Of what is he the head, and for what reason?  Colossians 1:18

 

 

8. What pleased God?  Colossians 1:19

 

 

9. How are we reconciled to God, and how has peace been made?    Colossians 1:20

 

 

10. For what reason has he done this?  Ephesians 1:14

 

 

Personal – In what way have you personally been at peace with God through Jesus?  Write down when and how this happened.  In what way have you shared this with someone else?

 

 

 

THE FOURTH DAY READ LUKE 10:25-37 GOSPEL

(“Then go and do the same.”)

1. Who stood up to pose a problem, how did he address him, and what did he say to him?  Luke 10:25

 

        

2. When Jesus answered him, he answered with two questions.  What were they?  Luke 10:26

 

 

3. What was the lawyer’s reply in verse 27 of Luke 10?

 

 

4. What is the new command that Jesus gave us at his last supper?  John 13:34 and 15:12

 

 

5. How did Jesus say the lawyer had answered him and from where did he get his answer?  Luke 10:28, Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18

 

 

6. What did  Jesus say would happen to him if he followed that command?  See Luke 10:28, and also Leviticus 18:5 to see what happens to a man who obeys his command.

 

 

7. What did he say to Jesus and what was Jesus reply about the man going from Jerusalem to Jericho?  Luke 10:29-30

 

 

8. Who was going down the same road and what did he do, and then who came upon him and what did he do?  Luke 10:31-32

 

 

9. What did the Samaritan do when he saw the man?  Luke 10:34

 

 

10. What did the Samaritan do the next day?  Luke 10:35

 

 

11. What did Jesus ask the lawyer, what were the lawyers answer, and what did Jesus tell him to do? Luke 10:36-37

  

 

Personal – In what way has the Lord given you an opportunity to be compassionate to a family member, a friend, a work acquaintance, a stranger this past week?  How did you respond?

 

 

 

FIFTH DAY READ PSALM 69:14, 17, 30-31, 33-34, 36-37

(“In your great mercy, turn toward me.”)

Read and meditate on Psalm 69:14, 17, 30-31, 33-34, 36-37.

 

 

What is the Lord saying to you personally through the Psalm?

 

 

How can you apply this to your life?

 

 

THE SIXTH DAY READ ALL OF THE COMMENTARY

DEUTERONOMY 30:10-14

     This passage states that comfort, forgiveness, and restoration is not only possible for the Israelites but is desired by God. The nation of Israel must turn itself around and come back to the Lord.  Only then will God restore his mercy and restore Israel to her rightful place in the land.  Only through the covenant proposed by God to his people can the people regain happiness.

     We hear in today’s reading that the keeping of the command (Deut. 30:11-14) is not as far-fetched as many of the shallow minds of the ages suggested.  The author has stressed a powerfully spiritual message. The Law of God is not in some far-off courtroom or in some prestigious university. The Law of God is something very close to the heart of man. If this attitude prevailed toward the Mosaic Law, Jesus would not have had such conflict with the formalism of the lawyer. The Judeo-Christian positive law can be equated simply with God’s way of guiding the aspirations of the human heart toward him.

     St. Paul shows us how close God’s law really is in Romans 10:6-10. Paul tells us that we don’t need to search the heavens for Christ to bring him down to help us, and we don’t need to go among the dead to bring Christ back to life again! Salvation is trusting in Christ; it is as near as our own hearts and mouths.  For it is by believing in his heart that a man becomes right with God and with his mouth he tells others of his faith, confirming his salvation.

     People have always looked for God through dramatic experiences, hoping for some life-changing encounter.  Some people will travel far and wide to meet some famous spiritual leader, but God’s salvation is right in front of us.  He will come into us wherever we are.  All we need to do is yield and surrender to his gift of salvation.  We need to stop searching and start yielding to his love and mercy.

     We hear every day at our Catholic Mass the proclamation of God’s Word bringing us salvation, healing, and restoration.  Let us yield our ears to hear, our hearts to believe, and our tongues to speak and his gift of salvation will spread throughout the land.

                      

COLOSSIANS 1:15-20

     This passage has some of the most powerful theological statements about Christ in the New Testament.  Christ is praised as the Icon or image of the invisible God.  He manifests God’s presence in his person.  He is called the firstborn of all creation because everything else was created through his mediation.  He existed before all creation and is preeminent among all creation. Paul shows us the scope of creation.  He begins with heaven and earth, visible and invisible, power and might, thrones and dominions, principalities or power.  This was all created not only for him and through him but, also, in him.  Everything is subject to Christ, and through his creative power, creation itself continues on.  

Paul speaks of Christ as the beginning, the starting point of redemption.  He is the first to experience the resurrection of life and, therefore, is the first-born from among the dead.  By the frequently used word “all,” the cosmic dimension of Christ’s power and glory are emphasized.  The restoration which he brings about is the peace that was accomplished by the shedding of his blood on the cross.

     It is stated that Paul had never visited Colossae, evidently, the church had been founded by other converts from Paul’s missionary travels.  The church, however, had been infiltrated by religious relativism by some believers who attempted to combine elements of paganism and secular philosophy with Christian doctrine.  Paul attacks the heresy, confronts these false teachings and affirms the sufficiency of Christ.

     We can see in today’s passage what happens when the head coach is absent and the team begins to flounder.  Paul defends his teachings about Christ in a strong doctrinal discussion of the person and work of Christ.  Paul was battling against a group of leaders called “Gnostics.”  The Gnostics believed it took special knowledge to be accepted by God, even as they claimed to be Christian.  They believed that Christ alone was not the way of salvation.  Paul’s main argument was: it is not what one knows that makes him a Christian, but who he knows.  To know Christ is to know God.  The same danger exists today, and like Paul, we must accept Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior.  Jesus calls for our heart, mind, and soul and we need only surrender to him and say yes.

 

                          LUKE 10:25-37

     The lawyer asked Jesus a question that on the surface seemed simple: “What must I do to receive eternal life?”  Jesus, in his role as a Hebrew Teacher or Rabbi, answered him with two questions: “What was written in the Law, and how did he interpret the law?”  At that time, to an orthodox Jew, the definition of neighbor would have meant no one else but a Jew.  Jesus relates to them a story that draws from them a definition of who is a neighbor. 

      Jesus begins by telling the story of a man who was robbed and beaten and left in the roadway to die. The first person to come by the injured man was a priest, who was probably on his way to the temple to practice his sacred duties.  The priest did not even touch the fallen man because, as the scripture has it in Numbers 19:11, a priest would be banned from entering into the sacred temple for seven days after touching a dead person.  His duty to the temple and community came before helping this particular man.  The next person to come by was a Levite who was an assistant to the priests.  The priests made the atonement sacrifice and were in charge of the altars and sacred services.  The Levite, too, was caught up in his duties to his ministry, and his responsibility which was being an assistant to the priest in the temple and other religious duties.

     Finally, along came a Samaritan who not only stopped to see what was wrong but became involved in trying to help.  The man may have not been a Samaritan really, the name itself was used for people who didn’t exactly conform to existing standards.  Today we might call that kind of a person a “maverick”, someone who is willing to take a risk.  Jesus was called a Samaritan in John 8:48, obviously they thought he was not orthodox like them.  The question Jesus puts to the lawyer, “Who do you think was neighbor to the man?” is the same question that is being asked of you and me.  God’s love is so great that anyone who is in need is eligible for his help. 

     God wishes that no man perishes no matter his station in life.   We are called to love God with all our heart, soul and strength by loving our neighbor the same way.  Jesus even elevates this standard higher in John 15:12 when he calls us to love one another as he has loved us.  The Samaritan had the love of God in his heart and he spoke his love into action with his deeds.  We will be judged one day, not by our doctrine or creeds, but rather by how we loved our neighbor with all our heart, strength and soul.  It is how we love our neighbor that signifies to the world how we really love God.

 

Application 

The first reading tells us that repentance must come before mercy can be expected.  The second reading shows that Christ is praised as the image of the invisible God.  The Gospel reveals that we will be judged by how we love our neighbor.

We can love, like the Samaritan, when we yield to God’s love and allow ourselves to love everyone and anyone just as Jesus loves us. This is a love that is willing to pay any price that is required. Let your family be the first to experience this kind of love from you. You can begin by dying to your own needs, become more aware of the needs of others, and respond to those needs.

14TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME- (July 7) – 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 ISAIAH 66:10-14 FIRST READING

        (The Lord’s power shall be known to his servants.)

1. Who will rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad because of her?  Isaiah 66:10

 

2. What are those to do who were mourning over Jerusalem?  Isaiah 66:10

 

3. What does the milk of Jerusalem bring? Isaiah 66:11

 

4. For what does 1 Peter 2:2 say to be eager, and for what reason? 

 

5. What will the  Lord spread over Jerusalem and how?  Isaiah 66:12

 

6. As nurslings, how shall you be carried and fondled?Isaiah 66:12 

 

7. Fill in  the following blanks: “As a mother __________ her son, so will I you.”  Isaiah 66:13

 

8. Where will you find comfort?  Isaiah 66:13

 

9. When this happens, what will your heart and body do?  Isaiah 66:14

 

10. What shall be known to the Lord’s servants and what will be known to his enemies?  Isaiah 66:14

 

Personal – In what way do you find comfort when feeling depressed?  To whom do you go to?  Write out your thoughts and then meditate on 2 Corinthians 1:3-4.

 

 

THIRD DAY READ GALATIANS 6:14-18 SECOND READING

(Paul boasts of nothing but the cross of Jesus Christ.)

1. Who is speaking in Galatians 6:14? Galatians 1:1

 

2. Paul says he must boast of nothing but what?  Galatians 6:14

 

3. Through the cross of Jesus Christ, what does Paul say about the world and about himself?  Galatians 6:14

           

4. What does not matter?  Galatians 6:15

 

5. What is all that matters?  Galatians 6:15

 

6. In whose image are we created, and of what is this justice and holiness born? Ephesians 4:24

 

7. What two things are on all who follow this rule of life?     Galatians 6:16

 

8. What does Paul bear in his body?  Galatians 6:17

 

9. How does Paul end this letter?  Galatians 6:18

 

Personal – In what way have you been created anew?  How do others see you dying to yourself and boasting in the cross of Jesus Christ?  What is the rule of life you follow?

 

 

FOURTH DAY READ LUKE 10:1-12, 17-20 GOSPEL

(I have given you the power to tread on all the forces of the enemy.)

1. How many did the Lord appoint, and how, when, and where did he send them?  Luke 10:1

 

2. What did Jesus say about the harvest and the workers, and for what did he say to ask?  Luke 10:2

 

3. How did Jesus say he is sending his laborers?  Luke 10:3

 

4. How did he tell them to travel?  Luke 10:4

 

5. When entering a house what did he tell them to say?  Luke 10:5            

   

6. If there is a peaceable man, what will your peace do, and if he is not, what will happen to your peace?  Luke 10:6

 

7. Where were they to stay and what did he say about wages?   Luke 10:7

 

8. Where they were welcomed, what were they to do with the food, the sick, and what were they to say to them?  Luke 10:8-9

 

9. What were they to say to people that did not welcome them and where were they to go to say it? Luke 10:10-11

 

10. What will happen to such a town?  Luke 10:12

 

11. How did the seventy-two return, and what did they say was subject to them and in whose name?  Luke 10:17

 

12. Who did Jesus say fell from the sky like lightning?  Luke 10:18

 

13. What had he given them and what shall not happen to them? Luke 10:19

 

14. In what should you not so much rejoice, and in what should you rejoice?  Luke 10:20

 

Personal – In what way have you used this power that God has given you in the name of Jesus to get  rid of the enemy in your family, or with those you meet each day?  Reread verse 19 of Luke 10 and claim the promise given to you.

 

 

FIFTH DAY READ PSALM 66:1-7, 16, 20

             (Sing praise to the glory of his Name.)

Read and meditate on Psalm 66:1-7, 16, 20.

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 66:10-14 

God will not let his work of restoration go unfinished.  In this image of a child nursing at his mother’s breast, God shows that he will accomplish what he promised.

This promise of eternal peace and mercy is as unstoppable as the birth of a baby.  When all the pain is over, the joy begins.  Jerusalem is being presented as the new City of God.  The new Jerusalem is a place where safety, peace and plenty will be available to all.  All the nations are coming to nurse at the breasts of the “New Jerusalem” and they too, along with the remnant of the old, will find new life in Jesus Christ.

This is a tremendous verse about how God, in his incredible mercy, has left the door open for those who believe and obey him.  The faithful remnant asked God for two favors:  show them compassion (Isaiah 63:15-19) and punish their enemies (Isaiah 66:6).  God today still keeps that promise.  He will always preserve a faithful remnant of his people no matter how bad the world.  There are always a few who remain loyal to him.  This verse shows us how the goodness of God will be seen by the world and yet many will still go on rejecting him.  The verse closes with a firm warning that his wrath will come upon his enemies (Isaiah 66:14).  The earth, as we know it, will not last forever.  God promised Isaiah that he would create a new and eternal earth (Isaiah 65:17, 66:22).  We don’t really know how it will look or where it will be, but Jesus of Nazareth and his followers will be united to live there forever.

 

          GALATIANS 6:14-18

This passage of Paul to the Galatians boldly declares not only his freedom in  Christ but, also, it declares the freedom of all Christians in Jesus Christ.  In the days of Paul, there were many who wanted to grow in the Christian life but were being distracted by those who insisted that they had to keep certain Jewish laws.  

Some of the “Judaizers,” (Jews who insisted that you had to be circumcised before you could become a Christian), emphasized circumcision as proof of their holiness, but ignored other Jewish laws.  People often choose a particular principle and make it the measuring rod of faith.  Some despise promiscuity but tolerate prejudice.  God’s word has to be followed in its entirety.  

Our world is just like Paul’s world, it is full of enticements.  We are being barraged daily with both subtle and overt cultural pressures and propaganda by the media.  We hear Paul saying that he no longer is bothered by them any more because he is dead to the influence of worldly things.

The only way for us to escape these destructive influences is to ask God to help us die to them just as Paul did.  We need to ask ourselves, how much do the interests of this world matter to us?  We need also to remember that it is very easy to get caught up in the externals.  We need to caution against emphasizing things we should or should not do, with no concern for the inward condition of the heart.  We do not do good things to become good, we do good things because of the goodness that is within us, and that is the Holy Spirit (John 14:16).  Living a good life without inward change leads to a spiritual walk that is shallow, empty and very frustrating.

Paul is telling us that it really does not matter what the world thinks about him or his accomplishments.  What does matter to him is the peace that came to him when he died to himself for Jesus Christ.  What matters to God is that we be completely changed from the inside out.  Paul was to the world a prisoner, but in reality he was completely free in Christ.  We have been set free by Jesus Christ.  We do not need to be set back by some form of bondage again.  We are all called to use our freedom to live for Christ and serve him as he desires.

 

          LUKE 10:1-12, 17-20

Only Luke tells of this second mission of the disciples.  More than just the twelve apostles had been following Jesus. He chose a group of about seventy disciples to prepare a number of towns that he would visit.  These disciples were just ordinary men, chosen for a not-so-ordinary assignment.  The disciples were not trained in any special categories, nor did they have any unique qualifications.  What made them different was their awareness of Jesus’ power and their vision to reach all the people through him.  We see that having personally experienced his power was much more important than dedicating their skills to God’s kingdom. Today, we need to focus on what he wants us to do in the world.

Jesus was sending out teams of two to reach the people.  They were not to try to do the job themselves without help; rather they were to pray to God for more workers.  In doing the work of evangelizing, we may want to jump out and begin working to save others and bring immediate results.  Jesus tells us to first begin by praying for more workers, and before praying for the unsaved people, pray that other concerned people will join you in reaching out to them.

There is no unemployment in Christian service.  The Lord Jesus has work enough for everyone.  Don’t just sit back and watch, look for ways to reap the harvest.

Jesus leaves little room for illusion.  He tells the disciples they will be like lambs among wolves.  They would have to be careful, for they will meet all kinds of opposition.  We, too, are sent into the world as lambs among wolves.  So we need to watch out and remember that we need to face our enemies, not with timidity,  but with power, not with aggression, but with love and courage.   

The disciples were told to accept hospitality graciously because they were entitled to it.  We need to see today that our ministers are supported emotionally and receive plenty of encouragement.  The disciples were disciplined to eat what was put in front of them and to go among the sick and heal in the name of Jesus.  They were to shake off the dust of any town that refused them and move on with the Good News.

The disciples had seen tremendous results as they ministered in Jesus’ name and came back overjoyed.  Jesus warned them not to get puffed up with their exploits but to remember their most important victory was that their names were registered among the citizens of heaven.  Jesus reminds us, today in our ministry of discipleship, that the victory is being won in Jesus’ name.  The prize is not human glory through feats of evangelistic power, but of heavenly glory through following Jesus to Calvary.

     

          Application 

The first reading shows that God will not let his work of restoration go unfinished.  The second reading tells us that our world, like Paul’s world, is full of enticements.  The Gospel reveals that there is no unemployment in Christian service.

Let us boast of nothing but the power of the cross of Christ and his Holy Name.  We can be instruments of tremendous deeds in his name.  We need to begin everything we do in prayer to our Heavenly Father through the power of the Holy Spirit in Jesus’ Name and go forth and make disciples of all the nations.  Let us begin with the members of our family.

13TH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME – (June 30) – 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)

Application 12th Sunday of ORD
The first reading tells us we need to listen, even when it is not pleasant. The second reading tells us that we are to grow up in our faith. The gospel challenges us to ask who Jesus Christ is to us personally.
This week, show those around you that you have been growing in your faith and that you have the strength now to listen to God and to others. Your example of humility and service will help others to see who Jesus really is in their lives. In you they will see Jesus and that is really growing up in your faith.

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 KINGS 19:16, 19-21 FIRST READING

(Elisha gave up all that he had to follow the Lord’s call.)

1. In 1 Kings 19:16, 19-21 who is speaking and to whom is he speaking? 1 Kings 19:12-15

 

2. Who was Elijah to name king of Israel? 1 Kings 19:16

 

3. What was Elijah called and who was to succeed him?1 Kings 19:16

 

4. Which of the following show how this was to be done?

 

Personal – What does to anoint mean to you personally?

 

5. As Elijah set out, who did he come upon and what was he doing? 1 Kings 19:19

 

6. What did Elijah do to him? 1 Kings 19:19

 

7. What did Elisha do with the oxen, who did he run after and what did he say to him? 1 Kings 19:20

 

8. What did Elijah say to him? 1 Kings 19:20

 

9. When Elisha left him, what did he do to the yoke of oxen and the plowing equipment? 1 Kings 19:21

 

10. What did he do with the flesh? 1 Kings 19:21

 

11. After he did all this what did he do and how did he follow Elijah? 1 Kings 19:21

 

Personal – To what extent have you been called to give up some earthly possessions to follow the Lord’s call?

 

 

THIRD DAY READ GALATIANS 5:1, 13-18 SECOND READING

(We are called to live in freedom.)

1. Who is writing this epistle? Galatians 1:1

 

2. Why did Christ free us? Galatians 5:1

 

3. How must you stand and what must you not do? Galatians 5:1

 

4. How were you freed the first time? Revelations 1:5

 

5. How have we been called to live and to what does this not give full reign? Galatians 5:13

 

6. How are we to place ourselves at one another’s service? Galatians 5:13

 

7. How has the law found its fulfillment? Galatians 5:14

 

8. What will happen to you if you go on biting and tearing at one

another? Galatians 5:15

 

9. How should you live and what will not happen to you?
Galatians 5:16

 

10. What does the flesh and the spirit do to one another and why do you not do what your will intends? Gal. 5:17

 

11. If you are guided by the spirit, what are you not under?
Galatians 5:18

 

Personal – In what way are you living in accordance with the Spirit, in your home, work, or at play? In what way are you yielding to the cravings of the flesh? How can you take this situation and live according to the spirit?

 

 

FOURTH DAY READ LUKE 9:51-62 GOSPEL

(“Come away and proclaim the kingdom of God.”)

1. As the time approached for Jesus to be taken from this world, where did he resolve to go and who did he send ahead of him? Luke 9:51

 

2. What kind of town did those he sent ahead come to and why were they there? Luke 9:52

 

Personal – In what way have you prepared the way for the Lord’s coming for yourself and for your family?

 

3. What was the Samaritan’s reaction to his coming and what was the reason they acted this way? Luke 9:53

 

4. What did Jesus’ disciples, James and John, say when they saw the Samaritans would not welcome him? Luke 9:54

 

5. How did Jesus respond to this and where did he turn?
Luke 9:55

 

6. Where did they go? Luke 9:56

 

Personal – When you find opposition in walking with the Lord, what is your reaction especially in your family? Do you continue walking with him or do you persist on getting through to them?

 

7. As they were making their way along, what did someone say to Jesus? Luke 9:57

 

8. What did Jesus say to him? Luke 9:58

 

9. What did he say to another? Luke 9:59

 

10. What did Jesus say to him? Luke 9:60

 

11. Why did Jesus want him to come with him? Luke 9:60

 

12. What was the stipulation another gave him before he could be his follower? Luke 9:61

 

13. What did Jesus say about a person who keeps looking back? Luke 9:62

 

Personal – What blockages or excuses have you had for not following Jesus? He is saying to you “Come after me.” In what way have you been going before him instead of after him as a follower?

 

 

FIFTH DAY READ PSALM 16:1-2, 5, 7-11

(“You will show me the path of life”)

Read and meditate on Psalm 16:1-2, 5, 7-11.

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

1 KINGS 19:16, 19-21
One of the most important aspects of this passage, from the Old Testament, deals with the price of discipleship. To follow the call of God means that we surrender our will to God so that we may fulfill the divine will. We “tie” ourselves to the holy will of God. This demands sacrifice, an important characteristic of religion.
Sacrifice means “to make holy.” Religion means to bind oneself to almighty God and to promote the kingdom of God in this life.
We share in the mysteries of Christ; we all have the vocation to live out the mysteries of Christ. And in the Old Testament we see the first manifestations of this truth since all mankind is founded on the mystery of the Incarnation (Colossians 1:15-20; Ephesians 1:4-14).
All of the above may be applied to the Jewish prophet, Elisha. Elisha paid the price of discipleship. Indeed, he gave up his worldly possessions to follow God’s call, made manifest through Elijah. He was to succeed Elijah to the office of prophecy.
The Old Testament tells us that repeatedly the Jewish nation had fallen into spiritual adultery by following the gods of pagan nations. The Book of Hosea is replete with this sad phenomenon. To recall the Jews to the worship of the true God, God raised up men totally dedicated to this task of restoration.
This was no easy task; paganism offered an “easy” religion, a religion that made few demands on fallen human nature where the gods were made in the image of man and not man to the image of the true God.
The prophets, as we see in the case of Elisha, his predecessor, Elijah, Jeremiah and the other prophets, faced their gigantic task with fortitude – one of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. They were men of God, worthy of imitation.

GALATIANS 5:1, 13-18
Above, I mentioned that we should be “tied” and here we have Paul speaking of liberty. Nonetheless, there is no contradiction. To “tie” ourselves, is to bind ourselves, as the word religion suggests (from the Latin religare, to bind) therefore we are bound to the infinite God; there is no constraint whatsoever.
On the other hand, sin can become slavery; temptations are constant demands for self-satisfaction; fallen human nature has the tendency to seek not the kingdom of God but rather the kingdom of instant gratification. To master ourselves calls for the grace of God; to master ourselves is to possess the liberty of Christ as Paul puts it so well: “It was for liberty that Christ freed us. Do not take on yourselves the yoke of slavery a second time!”
In the spirit of true liberty, we are able to give of ourselves to God who is not only within us but within our neighbor as well. In that same liberty, we give ourselves to the service of our neighbor, to the sick neighbor, to the sick in spirit, and to see in all of these the Christ Jesus. (Matthew 25:31-46)
When all this comes about, know that the kingdom of God is near at hand, despite appearances.

LUKE 9:51-62
Today’s gospel passage deals with the last stages of Christ’s public ministry: “As the time approached when Jesus was to be taken from this world.”
Jesus and his disciples were to return to Jerusalem by way of Samaria. At that time bad feelings existed between the Jews and the Samaritans. The Samaritans were a mixed race, descendants of Israelitic-Assyrian colonists, and much hated by the Jews at the time of Christ. For a Jew to go through Samaritan territory was rather a risky thing just as it was risky for a Samaritan to go through Jewish territory.
With this background, we can understand the Samaritan’s reluctance to allow Jesus and his followers to pass through their territory. Unlike James and John, Jesus accepted the situation. These two disciples were all for the destruction of the Samaritans: “Lord, would you not have us call down fire from heaven and destroy them?” But this was not the doctrine of Christ. Instead, Jesus had taught: “…love your enemies…If you love those who love you, what merit is there in that?” (Matthew 5:44-46). A true disciple “…must be made perfect as (our) heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48)
We come now to the subject of vocations. To follow Christ was never an easy task, and it will always be so. Christ made that clear in today’s Gospel. “The foxes have lairs, the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”
A second example is given: “To another he said, “Come after me.” The man replied, “Let me bury my father first.” Jesus’ answer seems strange. “Let the dead bury their dead.” Obviously, Christ did not mean that the dead can perform burials. As commentators (e.g., Stuhlmueller in The Jerusalem Commentary, p.143,#97) point out: “A play on words: Let the spiritually dead bury the physically dead, mine is a message of life.” Jesus did not intend to be taken literally, but rather he wanted to stir thought.
Today’s gospel gives us a third example concerning the vocation to follow him. Vocation entails a “totality.” By this I mean that once we set out to follow Christ we do so wholeheartedly, no half-way measures. We cannot chase after other pursuits; we should not be distracted so as other pursuits gradually become more and more important at the expense of the vocation to follow Christ. In brief, an avocation should never become a vocation; a vocation should never become an avocation.
In following Christ, it is of the greatest importance to pay heed to his words: “Whoever puts his hand to the plow but keeps looking back is unfit for the reign of God.” This is a very real admonition. Throughout the course of Church history, “looking back” has sometimes led to disastrous consequences, especially among priests and religious. Witness the spectacle of the worldly priest, the worldly religious and the worldly Christian. Surely, if there were a better way to follow Christ; to help bring about the kingdom of God more effectively, the merciful Christ would have pointed out the way. So we believe that doing the will of God, and not our will, is the only true criterion for putting today’s readings into practice.

Application
The first reading shows us that the cost of discipleship is very high. The second reading teaches that mastering ourselves is to possess the liberty of Christ, and the Gospel explains that a true disciple must be made perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect.
This week, let the power of the Holy Spirit come upon you and root out the bigotry that is within you. Examine your speech, thoughts and actions and see if these areas need to be improved. Following Jesus calls for obedience, and obedience is the core of being a disciple. To really be free is to be obedient to the law of Christ, and that is to love one another as he has loved us, without regard for race, creed or color.

BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST (June 23) – 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 14:18-20  FIRST READING

 (“Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.”)

  1. What two things was Melchizedek, what did he bring out, and who did he bless?    Genesis 14:18

 

  1. What does the name “King of Salem” mean? Hebrews 7:2 

 

  1. Where is God’s abode, and what is another name for this place?   Psalm 76:3 

 

  1. Who is Abram, and what did God make him? Genesis 17:5

 

  1. By whom is Abram blessed? Genesis 14:19 

 

  1. Why do you praise the name of the Lord? Psalm 148:5

 

  1. Who is blessed by the Lord? Psalm 112:2

 

  1. What did God Most High do? Genesis 14:20

 

  1. What did Abram give, and from what did he give it? Genesis 14:20

 

  1. What is the vow Jacob made to the Lord, and what did he faithfully return to the Lord?   Genesis 28:20-22

 

Personal – In what way have you been blessed by the Lord, and what have you returned to the Lord?

 

 

THIRD DAY          READ 1 CORINTHIANS 11:23-26       SECOND READING

(“For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you.”)

  1. From whom did Paul receive what he handed on to you, and how did he receive it?  1 Corinthians 11:23,      Galatians 1:11-12

 

  1. What was handed on to us? 1 Corinthians 11:23-25 

 

  1. What did Jesus do with the bread on the night he was handed over, and who did he say it was for?  1 Corinthians 11:23-24 

 

  1. Of what is Jesus mediator? Hebrews 8:6 

 

  1. What did Jesus say the cup of wine was? 1 Corinthians 11:25

 

  1. What is the cup of blessing that is blessed and the bread that we break?  1 Corinthians 10:16-17

 

  1. For whom was his blood shed? Luke 22:20 

 

  1. What do we proclaim each time we eat the bread and drink the cup?   1 Corinthians 11:26 

 

  1. For what are we to wait? 1 Corinthians 1:7 

 

  1. In what way are we to speak to one another?1 Corinthians 14:6

 

Personal –  Each time you receive communion, what do you hand on or pass on to others?

 

FOURTH DAY              READ LUKE 9:11-17           GOSPEL

               (“Give them some food yourselves.”)

  1. What did the crowds do when Jesus went to Bethsaida, and what did Jesus do when he saw them?    Luke 9:11

 

  1. As the day was nearing an end, who approached Jesus? For what reason did they ask him to dismiss the crowd? Luke 9:12

 

  1. What did Jesus tell the apostles to give the people?Luke 9:13

 

  1. What did Jesus say was true food and true drink?John 6:55

 

  1. What did Jesus say his food was? John 4:34

 

  1. What did the apostles tell Jesus was all they had?Luke 9:13

 

  1. How many men were there, what did Jesus tell his disciples, and what did the people do?    Luke 9:14-15

 

  1. What did Jesus do with the five loaves and two fish?Luke 9:16

 

  1. What happened to the people when they ate, and how much was left over?  Luke 9:17

 

  1. What does the Lord give, and who does he satisfy?Psalm 145:15-16

 

Personal – How does the food you eat satisfy you?  In what way are you satisfied when you receive communion?

 

 

FIFTH DAY               READ PSALM 110:1-4

              (“Rule in the midst of your enemies.”)

Read and meditate on Psalm 110:1-4.

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 14:18-20

     In today’s passage we see the powerful bond of family ties which inspired Abram to rescue his nephew Lot from being kidnapped by a powerful and ruthless king of a northern tribe. When Abram learned that his nephew was a prisoner, he immediately tried to help him.  Sometime, we must get inv     olved in a very painful situation in order to help others. We should be willing to act right away when others need help (Proverbs 24:11).

     Melchizedek was a holy man whose name means “King of Justice” (Heb. 7:2). He was a priest of “the God of Highest Heaven.” He recognized that God was the creator of heaven and earth. Abram knew who he was and was paying respect to him. Abram gave Melchizedek one-tenth of the booty. We see that even in the land of pagan gods, tithing was a customary and acceptable action towards the “gods.” Abram followed and accepted ancient tradition, but he refused the “booty” won from the war. Abram chose to give his share away because he did not want others to think that he went into battle for greedy reasons.

     Abram wanted others to see that his actions were very just and that his life was centered around his God. Abram wanted people to say, “Look what his God has done for him.”  Abram did not want the attention of his “victory” to be centered on him. He wanted everyone to know that God had won him the victory. When people look at you, they need to see what God has accomplished in you, and what he is doing with you right now.

 

                      1 CORINTHIANS 11:23-26

     The Lord’s supper is a visible representation of the gospel, the death of Christ for our sins. It focuses on the remembrance of Christ’s death and the glorious hope of his return. In the Catholic Church we believe in the real presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist. This worship service is called “The Mass,” and it is a celebration of Word and Sacrament. It is also an act of fellowship among all Catholic believers. Our faith is strengthened through fellowship with Christ and with all other believers.

     What does the Lord’s Supper mean?  The early church told that Jesus taught us about the Lord’s supper on the night of the Passover (Luke 22:13-20). The Passover celebrated deliverance from slavery in Egypt, and the Lord’s supper celebrates deliverance from sin by Christ’s death on the cross. All Catholic Christians believe that when the words “This is my body,” and “Take this cup and drink” are spoken, the real presence of Christ appears in the bread and wine to become the body and blood of Christ. When we receive Christ in the Eucharist (which means thanksgiving) at a Catholic Mass, we respond by saying “Amen.” This means, “I believe it, yes, I am part of the body of Christ.”

     Through this new covenant that Christ has given us, we can now personally approach God and communicate with him. The old covenant was made on Mount Sinai between God and the Israelites (Exodus 19,20) and was designed to point to the day when Jesus would come. The new covenant completes, rather than replaces, the old covenant. We are recommitting ourselves to this new covenant every time we proclaim his Holy Word and partake of his body and blood at the Catholic Mass.

 

                           LUKE 9:11-17

     Jesus had tried to slip quietly away from the huge crowds and head for the town of Bethsaida, but they found out where he was going and followed him. He knew the people were hurting and had many needs, so instead of showing impatience at this interruption, he welcomed them and ministered to them. When people interrupt your schedule, do you see this as a nuisance or as a reason for your life and ministry?

     Jesus taught mainly about the kingdom of God, and he stressed that the kingdom was here and now, not some place and time in the future. There are many people today who do not believe that the kingdom of God is real and present in the hearts of those who believe in Jesus. It is as present with us today, as it was with the Judeans two thousand years ago.

     The disciples displayed a typical, logical, human reaction when told to feed the crowd. They took on the responsibility of having to perform the impossible. They felt that what they had to offer was far too little to get the job done. They were right, and Jesus knew that, but he was not depending on what the people brought. Jesus was giving, simply, because he knew their needs and he wanted to meet them. He does that today with all of us.

     Whatever we have, if we bring it to Jesus, he will give thanks, he will bless it, break it, and share it with others. That is the purpose of our life here on earth. Jesus did not have to feed those people. He could have said a prayer and then sent them away. But Jesus does not ignore needs. He is concerned with every part of our lives, physical, emotional and spiritual. Today we are called to continue the miracle of feeding others through him.

 

Application

     The first reading shows Abram’s victory was not the battle, but God himself.  The second reading explains that “Amen” means “Yes, I believe I am part of the body of Christ.”  We see in the Gospel Jesus’ solution is the same today as it was yesterday – “Feed them.”

     This week, let the presence of Christ saturate your total being, and take the risk to feed your family and friends the food of eternal life.  Witness to them about what Christ is doing in your life.

     That is how you feed other people. You pray daily for them, and you encourage them to read and study his Holy Word. Then you show them the Word in action; you minister to their needs.  Begin feeding your own family; then feed others. You will be amazed when you discover you cannot run out of spiritual food. Let the “Amen” in you be heard throughout your family and friends.

TRINITY SUNDAY (June 16) – 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 PROVERBS 8:22-31        FIRST READING

         (“…and I found delight in the sons of men.”)

  1. What is the firstborn of the Lord’s way, and what is the oldest of his words?   Proverbs 8:1, 22

 

  1. Where does wisdom cry aloud and raise her voice? Proverbs 1:20

 

  1. When was wisdom poured forth, and what was not settled into place?   Proverbs 8:23-26

 

  1. What came with wisdom? Sirach 1:4

 

  1. Where does all wisdom come from? Sirach 1:1

 

  1. When will wisdom not cease? Sirach 24:9

 

  1. How did God establish man?   Wisdom 9:1-2

 

  1. When was wisdom beside God?   Proverbs 8:27-30

 

  1. How was wisdom beside God, and what was she doing? Proverbs 8:30-31

 

  1. In what did wisdom find delight? Proverbs 8:31

 

  1. Who is the wisdom of God? 1 Corinthians 1:22-24

 

Personal – In what way can you take delight in those around you and show the wisdom of God? How can you recognize the wisdom of God, and what do you need to do to see it clearly playing on the surface of the earth?

 

 

THIRD DAY               READ ROMANS 5:1-5          SECOND READING

    (“…the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given us.”)

  1. How have we been justified, and what do we have with God through our Lord Jesus Christ?   Romans 5:1

 

  1. How have we been justified?   Romans 4:24-25

 

  1. How is the manifold wisdom of God made known and where and how do we get boldness and confidence to approach God?

     Ephesians 3:10-12

 

  1. To what have we gained access, and in what do we boast? Romans 5:2

 

  1. Of what else do we boast, and what does it produce? Romans 5:3

 

  1. What does Christ do in our afflictions and what does this enable us to do?   2 Corinthians 1:3-4

 

  1. For what do we need endurance? Hebrews 10:36

 

  1. What does endurance produce?   Romans 5:4

 

  1. Who will never mature in character? Sirach 23:15

 

  1. What does hope NOT do, what has been poured out in our hearts, and how has it been done?   Romans 5:5

 

  1. What was Paul’s hope? Philippians 1:20

 

  1. How did God save us, and how did he pour it out on us? Titus 3:4-6

 

Personal – In what way has affliction produced endurance in your life? What has kept you going on, and how has the peace of God been evident in you during affliction?

 

 

FOURTH DAY             READ JOHN 16:12-15                GOSPEL

              (“He will guide you to all truth.”)

  1. What was the reason Jesus did not tell his disciples any more? John 16:12

 

  1. How did Jesus speak the parables to his disciples? Mark 4:33

 

  1. Whom did Jesus say will guide us to all truth and what will he speak and declare to us? John 16:13

 

  1. In what does Jesus ask you to be consecrated, and what is truth? John 17:17

 

  1. Who will teach you and remind you of everything Jesus did? John 14:26

 

  1. Who testifies to Jesus, and what are you also to do? John 15:26-27

 

  1. What did Jesus say you would do if you love him, and for what would he ask the Father? John 14:15-17

 

  1. What will the Spirit of truth do, and what will he give or tell you? John 16:14

 

  1. What belongs to Jesus, and what is he giving you? John 16:15

 

  1. What did the father say to the son who was with him? Luke 15:31

 

Personal – How has God’s Spirit guided you and taught you about Jesus and how to apply what he taught you to your life? Give a specific example.

 

 

FIFTH DAY               READ PSALM 8:4-9

    (“You have given him rule over the works of your hands.”)

Read and meditate on Psalm 8:4-9.

What is the Lord saying to you personally through the Psalm?

 

How can you apply this to your life?

 

 

SIXTH DAY          READ ALL OF THE COMMENTARY

                        PROVERBS 8:22-31

     The Book of Proverbs gives us a person’s poetic demonstration of God’s wisdom. Christian believers have always read this passage as a prophetic allusion to Jesus Christ, the second person of the Blessed Trinity. This reading was about the word that would be made flesh in Jesus. Nothing is more immediate than the awesome spectacle of life, and nothing is more real than the wonder of creation.

     Today’s reading shows us how to discern God’s hand at work in the world, and how to see the Father’s life-giving energy behind every created beauty. The mystic in us “knows God” as we are struck with a sense of the sacred while gazing at a sunset. God is telling us that wisdom is the foundation on which all life is built. Today’s reading shows wisdom as being the special attribute of God. Wisdom was present at the creation and works even today with the Creator as in the beauty of the sunset. Wisdom affects every aspect of our entire lives, from beginning to end.

     You need to be sure that God’s wisdom flows through you and opens all corners of your life to God’s direction and guidance. Wisdom will be our main attribute when we put God first in our lives (Matthew 6:33). Look at your values and priorities. What is most important to you? Where is God on that list? Keep him first in everything you do. He will crown your efforts with his wisdom and his understanding. You will see others with spiritual vision instead of plain human vision. Remember, the difference between wisdom and common sense is that common sense is the ability God gives to all people to think and make choices; he only gives wisdom to those who follow him.

 

                          ROMANS 5:1-5

     In this reading, St. Paul states that the core of our belief in the Trinity, is that we come to the Father through Jesus in the love which is the Holy Spirit. Paul was writing to ordinary Christians, like us, about the experience of God’s love flooding the human heart. Nothing is more tangible than an intensely felt love or even our longing for it, and Paul boldly connects that experience with the Holy Spirit.

     Paul is speaking about a peace that means being reconciled with God, knowing that he loves you not for what you do but simply because of who you are. Jesus paid the price for this special kind of relationship with his death on the cross. Because of Jesus, we have entry into the presence of the King of Kings and entry into the haven of God’s grace.

     Our relationship with God has begun in faith which reveals to us that we are delivered from our past by Christ’s death. Hope grows as we learn all that God has in store for us, and God’s love supplies all our needs and enables us to reach out to others. In the future we will become, but now we must overcome. Scripture tells us that “eye has not seen, ear has not heard, nor can man even comprehend what God has in mind for those who believe in him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9).

     We can put all of our trust in God because he is in control of our future. We can look at our times of difficulties and know, even if we do not understand how, that we will grow emotionally as well as spiritually. Problems we run into will develop our patience, which in turn will strengthen our character and deepen our trust in God. Thank God for these opportunities to grow, and deal with them in his strength.

 

                         JOHN 16:12-15

     Jesus teaches the apostles about the availability of the Holy Spirit. He told them that the Holy Spirit would teach them about the nature of their ministry. He also told them that they would face very difficult opposition and that the outcome of their opposition would be revealed by the Holy Spirit. They did not understand any of this until after Jesus’ death and resurrection. The Holy Spirit then revealed truths to them, and they in turn formed the writing of the New Testament. It is very important for you to remember that the truth into which the Holy Spirit guides you is the truth about Christ. The name for his followers bringing the revealed truth about Christ to all men through generation after generation is Christian “Tradition.”

     Understanding of this revelation is bound to be an ongoing process, because Jesus knew that the disciples were not capable of understanding at that point in time. He knew that his Spirit that followed him would enlighten, empower, and sanctify his followers. He knew that they would need time to fully understand their role in bringing Christianity to the waiting world.

     He knows of our limitations today, and he has left the same Holy Spirit for us to receive and to empower us. The development of the apostles’ faith and the faith of the early church demonstrate to the whole world that the Holy Spirit is revealing the truth of Christ to all peoples. All truth is God’s truth, and the revelation of all truth is the work of the Holy Spirit. When you say “Yes, Lord,” the power of the Holy Spirit reveals to you that you are at last really set free; Jesus is the truth, and only through him can you really be free (John 8:32).

 

                       Application

     In the first reading the Word was made flesh and he dwelt in their midst (John 1:14). The second reading shows the core of the Holy Trinity as we come to the Father through Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit. We see in the Gospel that behind all truth is the presence of God.

     This week, let us celebrate the Blessed Trinity by being open to the power that the Holy Spirit has given us. We have seen that the real power is the power of truth. This week, speak to your family only in the Spirit of truth. Truth means being humble, gentle and obedient to God’s Holy Word. Your words of truth, matched by your actions of service, will show those around you that the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit are alive within you and the name of Jesus will set you, as well as others, free.

PENTECOST (June 9th) – 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 ACTS 2:1-11          FIRST READING 

           (“All were filled with the Holy Spirit”) 

  1. What day had come and where were the disciples gathered? Acts 2:1

  

  1. What day was Pentecost celebrated after the Passover, what are other names for it? Leviticus 23:15-16, Deuteronomy 9:10, Exodus 23:16 and Numbers 28:26.

  

  1. What suddenly happened from up in the sky, and where was it heard? Acts 2:2

  

  1. Read the following scripture, and tell what the Spirit gives to a person? Ezekiel 37:9, 14

  

  1. What appeared, and what did it do? Acts 2:3

  

  1. What was Jesus’ promise just before he ascended to heaven?      Acts 1:5, 8

  

  1. With what were all filled, and how did they express themselves? Acts 2:4

  

  1. What did the Spirit prompt them to do? Acts 2:4, Acts 4:31

  

  1. Who was staying in Jerusalem at the time, and what did they hear? Acts 2:5-6

  

  1. About what were they confused? Acts 2:6

  

  1. What was their reaction? What did they ask, and about what were they so amazed? Acts 2:7-11

  

Personal – How can your family or friends identify the Spirit of God’s presence in you? What comes forth from your mouth, and what do you need to do so people will be astonished by your words?

 

 

THIRD DAY       READ 1 CORINTHIANS 12:3-7, 12-13     SECOND READING 

(“No one can say “Jesus is Lord,” except in the Holy Spirit.”) 

  1. What is Paul telling the brothers that you cannot do in the Spirit of God, and what can be said only in the     Holy Spirit? 1 Corinthians 12:3

  

  1. What is there different, but with the same Spirit?      1 Corinthians 12:4

  

  1. There are different ministries and works but the same God who accomplishes what? 1 Corinthians 12:5-6

  

  1. To each person the manifestation of the Spirit is given for what reason? 1 Corinthians 12:7

 

  1. In what gifts should you try to be rich?      1 Corinthians 14:12.

  

  1. Fill in the following blanks: The body is____ and has ______members, but all the members________ though they      are, are___________ body; and so it is with Christ.      1 Corinthians 12:12

  

  1. In the one Spirit, who were baptized into the one body? 1 Corinthians 12:13

  

  1. What have all of us been given to drink?      1 Corinthians 12:13

  

  1. Into whom have we been baptized? Galatians 3:27

  

  1. When were you chosen and sealed with the Holy Spirit?     Ephesians 1:13

  

Personal – From the above scriptures, how can you identify the manifestation of the Spirit in your life, and in those you come in contact with?   Reread 1 Corinthians 12:3, and take note of what comes forth from your mouth this week.

 

 

FOURTH DAY             READ JOHN 20:19-23                GOSPEL 

                 (“Receive the Holy Spirit.”) 

  1. Why did the disciples lock the doors of the place where they were?   John 20:19

  

  1. Who came and stood before them, and what did he say to them? John 20:19

  

  1. When he had said this, what did he show them? John 20:20

  

  1. What did the disciples do at the sight of the Lord?      John 20:20

  

Personal – In what way has our Lord appeared to you when you have been gathered with others praying, and what has been your response?

  

  1. What did Jesus say again and what is his gift to you?     John 20:21, John 14:27

  

  1. Whom has the Father sent, and who sends you? John 20:21

  

  1. What did Jesus do to the disciples, and what did they receive? John 20:22

  

  1. How did the Lord God form man, and how did he give him life? Genesis 2:7

  

  1. If you forgive men’s sin, what happens to them, and if you hold them bound, what happens? John 20:23

  

  1. What did Jesus say on the cross to the Father, and whom should we imitate? Luke 23:34, 1 John 2:1, 6

  

Personal – How do others see, spiritually and physically, the breath of his life in you? How do others see you living out your sign of baptism through repentance, which means change? How do others see you as you practice forgiveness of others, and ask others to forgive you? How often do you feel the need for the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and why?


 

FIFTH DAY        READ PSALM 104:1, 24, 29-31, 34 

     (“When you send forth your spirit, they are created.”) 

Read and meditate on Psalm 104:1, 24, 29-31, 34. 

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 

                         ACTS 2:1-11 

     In today’s readings we celebrate the Feast of “Pentecost,” which means fifty (50). This was a feast that was celebrated about fifty days after Passover and was a feast of thanksgiving for the harvest. The first fruits of the crop were offered to God that day. All Jewish men were expected to come to the temple for the feast. The city was usually filled to overflowing, and it was fitting that this day was chosen as the day the Holy Spirit descended on the Apostles. 

     Today is, in reality, the birthday of the church, and the Christian religion was to be a church for the whole world. The old law was given by God to Moses for the Jews only. The new law, given by Christ and confirmed by the power of the Holy Spirit, was for all peoples. That means you, and that means today, right where you are. The very fact that you are reading this Bible Study is proof that the power of the Holy Spirit is drawing you near to him. 

     Let today be the day that you fall upon your knees and invite Jesus Christ to come into your heart and become the Lord of your life. Take a few moments and confess to the Lord all that is twisted with you, and then ask him to let his Holy Spirit fill you with the power and peace that surpasses all understanding. The celebration of Pentecost is for you as well as it was for the Jews in today’s passage. Let the power of the Holy Spirit flow through you, and you will enjoy that same gift that the Apostles had, the gift of speaking in tongues. 

     The signs and wonders of that incredible day brought huge crowds of Jews in huge crowds to the place where the Apostles were staying. This was the day chosen for the Apostles to go forward and make disciples of all nations. We are called also to go forward and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19). Let us remember, the Jews celebrated the feast of the harvest on Pentecost. Jesus’ Holy Spirit breathed life on the universal church on the Feast of Pentecost, or the Feast of Harvest. 

     We are called today to harvest the crop of souls for the Lord. The Lord needs some good laborers to work in the vineyard. Are you ready to join the workers?  

 

                   1 CORINTHIANS 12:3-7, 12-13 

     In this passage, we see that the gifts of the Holy Spirit were given for the good of the whole community to help build up the body of Christ. We should not refuse to use the gifts of the Holy Spirit nor claim them as our own. Paul clearly warns against listening to false teachers and shows us how to check out their credentials. We are to find out what they teach about Christ. 

     We see people today who mock Jesus Christ, not only with their words, but in the way they live. We see people using their gifts to split communities apart, and then trying to tell us that they are only doing God’s will. Anyone can claim to speak for God, and we need only to look at some of the leaders in some countries, and we see a lot of false messiahs running around. God has given us many different gifts, but we must remember they all come from the same Spirit, and they are to be used to help the community or church. They will know we are Christians by the way we love and help one another. 

     Paul compares the body of Christ to a human body. Every part is an individual, and has a specific job to do. In their differences, all of the parts must work together for the good of the whole body. Jesus Christ is the head, and the rest of us make up the body of Christ. It is very important that we are not too proud of our abilities, and we must not compare ourselves with one another. We are called to use our different gifts together, to spread the “Good News” to a world that is filled with “bad news.” The church, which is the people who believe that “Jesus is Lord,” must be united in its belief in Christ. It must not let its leaders or members use any gifts to cause divisions or strife. 

     Faith in Christ is the core of Christian unity. We are one body, with one spirit that is united in Christ with the Father through the power of the Holy Spirit. When we were baptized into the Christian Faith, the Holy Spirit took up residence in us and we became the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:16). You, by your baptism, have been born into God’s family, and our common goal is faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

 

 

                        JOHN 20:19-23 

     Today’s Gospel passage reveals to us the incredible gift of the Holy Spirit being given publicly to the disciples of Jesus by Jesus himself. This is a tremendous feast day in the church. We look back, and we see that Advent was a time to prepare for the Incarnation of God (God becoming man). Christmas was the happening of this great Incarnation act. We then moved into Lent and began to prepare ourselves for the sufferings endured by Christ on our behalf during his holy week. We celebrated victory in Jesus’ triumph over death which guaranteed our union with him in heaven.  

     Today, we celebrate in Pentecost the Holy Spirit coming to abide within his church. This means abiding in you, in me, and all believers of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit gives the power to preserve, teach, explain, and spread the gospel of “Good News,” which is a message of hope and love for everyone in the world. 

     The Holy Spirit that came upon the disciples and all of the people in the upper room is the same Spirit that wants to abide in us. We can let him come into our heart, right now, by getting down on our knees and confessing our sins to the Lord. Invite him to come and take up residence in your heart, his temple, and let him take control of your life. His power will flow through you, and your life will never be the same again. His peace will be your peace, it will be a peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7). 

     The power from the Holy Spirit helps all of us live a life of holiness and wholeness. We need to always remember that God’s plan for each one of us is to live a life that is abundant and full (John 10:10). The Holy Spirit gives us the power in the name of Jesus to bind Satan and his cohorts, and in his Name, to loosen the Spirit of Life which is the Lord Jesus himself… to heal, to restore and, to forgive. We can release others from the bondage of sin by our compassion and forgiveness.  

     We are more than conquerors; we are children of the Living God, we are called to set the captives free and give sight to the blind. We do that by forgiving them, and loving them through the power of the Holy Spirit, and in the mighty name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Pentecost – the harvest is now, the Kingdom of God is at hand, come and be fishers of men. I pray that the Holy Spirit today will fill you with his love and power, and fill all of us with gratitude for all that God has done for us.

 

Application 

     The first reading tells us that we celebrate the birthday of the church when we celebrate “Pentecost.” The second reading reveals that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are to be used to uplift the community. The Gospel reveals to us that the Holy Spirit gives us power in the name of Jesus. This power is a healing power. 

     Let us take a long look at our gifts, and then share them with others this week. You might visit someone who is sick, or visit someone in jail. You might write a letter to someone who is lonely, or cook someone a special meal. Do something beautiful for God this week, and keep on giving your gift away. God will never let you be without a gift – try it, you’ll like it.

7th SUNDAY IN EASTER (June 2nd) – 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 ACTS 7:55-60         FIRST READING

(“Lord, do not hold this sin against them.”)

  1. Who was filled with the Holy Spirit, and when he looked up to heaven, what did he see?  Acts 6:8, Acts 7:55

 

  1. With what did Ananias tell Paul (Saul) to be filled, and who did he say sent him? Acts 9:17

 

  1. With what were the disciples filled? Acts 13:52

 

  1. What are you not to do, and with what are you to be filled? Ephesians 5:18

 

Personal – How have you experienced the in-filling of the Holy Spirit?

 

  1. What did Stephen say when he looked up and saw the heavens open?  Acts 7:56

 

  1. What happened to Jesus after John baptized him and the heavens opened?   Matthew 3:16-17

 

  1. How did the people react to Stephen, and what did they do to him?   Acts 7:57-58

 

  1. At whose feet did the witnesses lay their cloaks down and what did Stephen call out as they were stoning him?Acts 7:58-59

 

  1. What did Jesus say as they were crucifying him, and what were his last words?   Luke 23:34, 46

 

  1. What did Stephen say to the Lord just before he died? Acts 7:60

 

  1. How are we to treat our enemies? Matthew 5:44

 

Personal – Are you holding anything against a family member, friend, or neighbor over a past hurt?   Pray about it and do what the Lord is telling you to do?

 

 

THIRD DAY     READ REVELATION 22:12-14, 16-17, 20  SECOND READING

(“Let the one who thirsts come forward, and the one who wants it receive the gift of life-giving water.”)

  1. When the Lord comes, what will he bring? Revelation 22:12

 

  1. What did Jesus tell his disciples, with whom will he come, and how will he repay us?   Matthew 16:24-28

 

  1. Who did the Lord say he was?  Revelation 1:8, 22:13

 

  1. Of what is there only one? Isaiah 44:6

 

  1. Who are blessed, what have they done, and to what do they have a right?   Revelation 22:14

 

  1. Where is the tree of life, and to whom does the Spirit speak?    Revelation 2:7, Genesis 2:9

 

  1. Who does Jesus say he is, and whom did he send to give this testimony to the churches?    Revelation 22:16

 

  1. What does the Spirit and the bride say, who is to come forward, and who is to receive the gift of life-giving water?    Revelation 22:17

 

  1. Who gives life-giving water? John 4:10

 

  1. What does the one who gives this testimony say? Revelation 22:20

 

Personal – Do you thirst for the life-giving water that only Jesus can give you, or do you see someone, whom you know, who is thirsty?  How can you answer the invitation to “come,” or how can you be an instrument in satisfying someone else’s thirst?

 

 

FOURTH DAY              READ JOHN 17:20-26           GOSPEL

(“…because you loved me before the foundation of the world.”)

  1. For whom did Jesus say he was praying? John 17:6-9, 20

 

  1. Why does Jesus pray for them, and what does he say about the Father?   John 17:21, also see John 10:30 & 14:10

 

  1. What did Jesus give to those who kept his Father’s word? John 17:22

 

  1. How are we brought to perfection, and whom does the Father love?   John 17:23 and also John 16:27

 

  1. Why did God send his Son into the world? John 3:16-17

 

  1. When did the Father love Jesus, and what are we to Jesus from the Father?    John 17:24

 

  1. What has Jesus prepared for us, and how will we get there? John 14:2-3

 

  1. Whom does the Father love and honor? John 12:23, 26

 

  1. Whom does Jesus and his disciples know and who does not know him?  What does Jesus call his Father?  John 17:25

 

  1. Whom does the world love, and what will they do to you on account of Jesus?   John 15:19-21

 

  1. What did Jesus make known, what is he making known, and for what reason?    John 17:26

 

  1. What was kept by those to whom Jesus revealed the Father? John 17:6

 

Personal – What priority have keeping God’s Word and speaking God’s Word had in your life?   Evaluate last week and see what you spent most of your time doing and saying.  How do others see the love of Jesus in you?

 

 

FIFTH DAY           READ PSALM 97:1-2, 6-7, 9

(“The heavens proclaim his justice, and all people see his glory.”)

Read and meditate on Psalm 97:1-2, 6-7, 9.

What is the Lord saying to you personally through the Psalm?

 

How can you apply this to your life?

 

 

SIXTH DAY           READ ALL OF THE COMMENTARY

ACTS 7:55-60

The Jewish leaders were enraged by Stephen’s accusation that they were murderers of the prophets and destroyers of God’s laws. He accused them of even murdering the Messiah.  Stephen’s words of seeing Jesus standing at God’s right hand supported Jesus’ claim and angered the Jewish leaders.  In their guilt and rage, they would not tolerate Stephen’s words, so they mobbed him and killed him.

Today people may not kill us for witnessing about Christ, but they will let us know they do not want to hear the truth and will often try to silence us.   In many lands, those who try to protect the rights of the unborn children against abortion are ridiculed, beaten, and sent to jail.  These Christians are responding by not standing by and doing nothing while innocents are being slaughtered (Proverbs 24:11).  Keep honoring God in your words, your worship and in your actions. You may experience the rejection of many people to your message, but some will turn to Christ and your effort will be noticed more than you realize.

Paul is introduced into today’s reading (verse 58) as a murderer and then later we see him as a changed, repentant apostle of the Lord. This tells us that the power of God’s love can change anyone who is open to his call. Paul was tremendously qualified to preach to the Jews because he too had once opposed Jesus Christ and his Christian followers. He understood the opposition and was, therefore, able to be compassionate and forgiving, as well as encouraging them to become free in Christ. Paul never forgot that day when he watched in silence and let the evil actions of those men destroy the life of a very holy man. He knew that he could never be silent again, and he spent the rest of his life preaching the good news of Jesus Christ, Lord and Savior of the whole world. We need to speak out in Jesus’ name and let people see in us the holiness of St. Stephen.

 

REVELATION 22:12-14, 16-17, 20

The Risen Christ is coming, and he makes two powerful claims, that there will be a final judgment and this will not be confined to non-believers. The eternal destiny of a true Christian believer is secure, but Jesus will look at how they handled gifts, opportunities, and responsibilities in their lifetime. He then tells us that he is complete. There is no beginning or end to his existence. Christ is telling us that he is the source and he needs nothing else. He is the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end.  The Jews said that since God was the beginning, he received his power from no one; since he was the middle, he shared his power with no one; and since he was the end, he never handed his power over to anyone.

Those who washed their robes in the blood of Christ were purified and have the right of entry into the “City of God” or the “New Jerusalem.”  Jesus, through his cross, has provided that grace by which man can be forgiven; but man has to hunger and thirst for that grace, and then he has to make use of that grace. Those who enter into the “Holy City” or heaven are the ones who have accepted Jesus as Lord. In the new and eternal life, people will eat from the tree of life because their sins have been removed by Christ’s death and resurrection and they will live forever.

If we have confessed our sins, repented, and accepted Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior, we will have the right to eat from this tree.  The church has been the faithful guardian that has protected us, taught us about Jesus Christ, and has presented him to us in sacrament and word.  The church, in the name of Jesus, through the power of the Holy Spirit brings glory to God the Father by extending the invitation to the whole world to come to Jesus.

 

JOHN 17:20-26

Jesus completes his prayer to the Father. He began by asking his Father to glorify him so that he may glorify the Father. He told his Father that he did everything that was asked of him, and now the hour of glory had come. His glory would be the cross; it was not his will but he obeyed his Father’s will even unto death on a cross (Phil. 2:2-11). Then he prayed for his disciples and asked God to keep them strong in their faith.

In today’s passage Jesus is praying for us. In this prayer, we see his confidence both in his Father and for those who are going to be Christ-followers. He knew that in a very short time he was going to be betrayed, arrested and killed, and he still was confident that his disciples would carry on his name. He was praying for the new church to come. He prayed for a unity of heart, not administration, not a unity of ecclesiastical organization. He prayed for a unity of personal relationships.

We have seen the unity between Jesus and his Father was love and obedience. Jesus prayed for a unity based on the relationships of heart to heart, not denomination to denomination. Jesus prayed that a unity would exist in which people loved each other because they loved him.  Christian unity overcomes all differences because it joins people together in love. It is more natural for people to be divided then united.  It is more natural for people to fly apart then to come together. But real unity between all Christians would require a “supernatural” solution, and that solution is loving one another as Jesus has loved us.

 

Application

In the first reading we see that evil can only succeed when good men do nothing. In the second reading we see Jesus is the beginning, middle and the end. The Gospel shows unity does not have to mean uniformity.

This week, bring unity into your own heart by praying that God will change your attitude toward others who do not believe and practice their faith in God like you. Then look around you and see who is not of the same faith as you, and then let them experience your respect, your kindness, and your generosity.  Then love them just as Jesus loves you. You will be amazed at the power and result of your witness of Christ.

ASCENSION OF THE LORD (May 30 and June 2) – 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 weeks 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 ACTS 1:1-11 

(“He presented Himself alive to them….”)

  1. What was dealt with before Jesus was taken up to heaven? Acts 1:1

 

  1. How did Jesus instruct the Apostles He had chosen? Acts 1:2

 

  1. After Jesus had suffered what did He show His Apostles and how did He show them? Acts 1:3

 

Personal – How have you been convinced that Jesus is alive today?

 

  1. Why did Jesus tell His disciples not to leave Jerusalem? Acts 1:4

 

  1. What did John baptize with and what would happen in a few days? Acts 1:5

 

  1. What did the Apostles ask Jesus and what did He tell them? Acts 1:6-7

 

  1. What did Jesus tell them they would receive when the Holy Spirit came down on them and what would that make them? Acts 1:8

 

  1. As the Apostles were looking on what happened to Jesus and how did it happen? Acts 1:9

 

  1. As they were looking up who appeared to them and what did they say? Acts 1:10-11

 

  1. How will the Lord come down from heaven and what will happen to the living, the believers in Him? 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17

 

Personal – How are you preparing for Jesus’ return?

 

 

THIRD DAY                                   READ EPHESIANS 1:17-23                      SECOND READING 

(“What is the surpassing greatness of His power for us who believe?”)

  1. What is Paul asking our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, to give you? Ephesians 1:17

 

  1. What three things does he want your innermost vision, the eyes of your hearts, to know?    Ephesians 1:18-19

 

  1. What do your eyes represent, and if your eyes are good what will your body be? Matthew 6:22

 

  1. What is a lamp to our feet and a light for our path? Psalm 119:105

 

  1. What is it like, this immeasurable scope of His power in us who believe? Ephesians 1:19-20

 

  1. Where is Christ seated? Ephesians 1:20-21

 

  1. What has God put beneath Jesus’ feet and what has He made Him over the Church, His body? Ephesians 1:22

 

  1. Who is the head of every man; who is the head of the woman and who is head of Christ? 1 Corinthians 11:3

 

  1. There is one what? Ephesians 4:4

 

  1. How is the body of Christ built up? Ephesians 4:11-12

 

Personal – How have the eyes of your heart been enlightened to the surpassing greatness of His power in you?

 

 

FOURTH DAY                                    READ LUKE 24:46-53                                             GOSPEL

(“…behold I am sending the promise of my Father upon you;)

  1. What did Jesus say to His disciples? Luke 24:46

 

  1. What would be preached in His name and where would it begin? Luke 24:47

 

  1. What does Psalm 32:5 say will happen if you acknowledge and confess your sins?

 

  1. What did Jesus tell His disciples they witnessed? Luke 24:48

 

  1. What was Jesus sending His disciples and why were they to wait in the city? Luke 24:49

 

  1. What did the Father promise and to whom was this promise made? Acts 2:38-39

 

  1. What are we to cloth ourselves with? Colossians 3:12

 

  1. Where did Jesus lead His disciples and what did He do? Luke 24:50

 

  1. While Jesus was blessing His disciples what happened to Him? Luke 24:51

 

  1. What did the disciples do? How did they return to Jerusalem and what did they continually stay at the temple doing? Luke 24:52-53

 

Personal – When did you receive the promise of the Father and what has He commissioned you to do? What things have you been a witness to and what have you been clothed with?

 

 

FIFTH DAY                                     READ PSALM 47:2-3, 6-9

(“God mounts His throne amid shouts of joy;”)

Read and mediate on Psalm 47:2-3, 6-9.

What is the Lord saying to you personally through the Psalm?

 

How can you apply this to your life?

 

 

SIXTH DAY                          READ ALL OF THE COMMENTARY

ACTS 1:1-11

This passage begins with Luke addressing the Roman official called Theophilus. Luke was implying that Jesus’ work continues in Acts through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Acts is called by many the fifth Gospel in that it tells about the lives and events of the new Church. Jesus showed the Apostles after His suffering and death His many wounds. He gave them many convincing proofs that He was alive. He told them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for the gift that His Father had promised them. He told them that they would then receive the Holy Spirit and they would receive power and become His witnesses to the ends of the earth. He then was taken up before their very eyes and a cloud hid Him from their sight.

Today, He is still alive in the Power that lives within His Church and within you as a member of the community of His disciples. You have become a Temple of that Power by your Baptism and Confirmation. The Power that split the Red Sea for Moses lives within you. The Power that impregnated Mary with Jesus lives within you. The Power that baptized Jesus in the Jordan River lives within you. The Power that raised Jesus from the dead lives within you. He is alive and He liv es in you waiting to be given freely to the hurt, the lost, the sick, the lonely, the captive throughout the ends of the earth.

 

EPHESIANS 1:17-23

In this passage St. Paul is praying and giving thanks for the gifts that have been given to the believers. We today are reminded to thank God for the gifts of wisdom and knowledge that are available to us today.   We grow in wisdom and knowledge through prayer, scripture, sacraments and Catholic Church teaching. This follows an order of discipline and humility.

Our hope for the future is not an ambiguous feeling, on the contrary, it is a complete assurance of victory through the power of the Holy Spirit and in the name of Jesus Christ. We see many on all sides fearing nuclear disaster, computer meltdown and the collapse of morals. We must always remember we belong to the God of the Universe, who raised Jesus Christ from the dead. God’s great power is available to help us today through the Holy Spirit in the community of faith. Scripture tells us that with God nothing is impossible (Philippians 4:13). Paul tells us in scripture that we do not have to fear anything or anyone because nothing can separate us from God and His love (Romans 8:31-39).

When we talk about the fullness of the Catholic Church, we are talking about Christ filling the Church with gifts and blessings. The Church itself is the full expression of Christ who Himself is the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:19). The image of the body shows the Church’s unity. We should not attempt to work, serve or worship on our own. There are no Lone Rangers in the Body of Christ. Each one of us is involved with all the others as we go about doing God’s work on earth.

 

 

LUKE 24:46-53

We celebrate on this special feast day of the Church the Ascension of the Lord. This is the time when Jesus was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God.

Over the centuries many believers overcome by the awareness of their own sins have found the words of today’s passage a strong ray of hope. Jesus opened up their minds to understand the scriptures. The Holy Spirit does this in our lives today when we study God’s Holy Word (written testimony) and Sacred Tradition (oral testimony), especially as presented in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The message of good news for the whole world today is that Jesus died to ransom the soul of every living person. He thirsts for you. He is waiting for you to confess, to repent, and to receive His mercy and forgiveness. To confess our sin is to agree with God that He is right to declare that what we have done is sinful and we are wrong. To abandon that sin is to repent or change, which is to turn away from sin and turn back to God, through the power of the Holy Spirit. Then we can trust in Him to forgive us and make us whole again. He told His disciples that they were already witnesses to His mercy and forgiveness. He promises to send them what His Father has promised, and that was the gift of the Holy Spirit. His promise was revealed to the disciples in the upper room (Acts 1:8) and that Holy Spirit is the same Spirit that resides in your Temple. Your body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19) and you are to witness to the ends of the earth with the same power as the disciples.

Jesus physical presence left the disciples when He lifted up His hands, blessed them and was taken up into Heaven (Acts 1:9). You receive this blessing each time you attend Mass. They fell down to do him reverence, then returned to Jerusalem filled with joy. There they were to be found in the temple constantly speaking the praises of God.

 

Application

The first reading tells us as the Apostles were looking on, Jesus was lifted up and says, “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you”. In the second reading God seated Jesus at His right hand in the heavens and gave Him as head over all things to the Church, and in the Gospel, we are told that the Message of Good News is that Jesus died to ransom the souls of the whole world.

This week let us go to someone in our family, our community or our parish, to pray with them and to proclaim the Good News to them that Jesus is alive. Repent of any wrongdoing by stopping the sinful action and turning back to God. Receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation and Holy Eucharist frequently and this will give you the grace needed in order for you to live your life for Christ.

SIXTH SUNDAY OF EASTER (May 26) – 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 ACTS 15:1-2, 22-29       FIRST READING 

 (“It is the decision of the Holy Spirit and of us not to place on you any burden beyond these necessities,”) 

  1. What did some men from Judea begin to teach the brothers in Antioch? Acts 15:1

       

  1. Where did circumcision originate among the Jews?      Genesis 17:1-14

       

  1. Among whom did this teaching cause dissension? Acts 15:2 

 

  1. What did Paul, Barnabas, and some of the brothers decide to do about this dissension and where did they go? Acts 15:2-3 

 

  1. What caused the controversy between them? Acts 15:5, 11 

 

  1. What was resolved by the apostles and the presbyters, with whom were they in agreement with, and what were they to deliver? Acts 15:22-23 

 

  1. After they sent their greetings, what was it they said they had heard? Acts 15:24

  

  1. What did they unanimously resolve to do? Acts 15:25

  

  1. To whom had they dedicated their cause and, how were they to convey this message? Acts 15:26-27

  

  1. Whose decision was it not to lay on them any burden beyond that which is strictly necessary? Acts 15:28

  

  1. What four things were they advised to avoid? Acts 15:29

  

Personal – In what way have church members, not under the authority of the church, put a burden on you? How could you resolve this?

  

THIRD DAY        READ REVELATIONS 21:10-14,22-23  SECOND READING

  (“I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb.”)

  1. Who was carried away and how was he carried away? Rev. 1:1, Rev. 21:10

  

  1. Where was he taken, what was he shown, and what did the city look like? Rev 21:10-11

  

  1. Who is the designer and maker of this city? Hebrews 11:10 

 

  1. Describe the following from Revelation 21:12: 

Its walls________________________________________________

How many gates on the walls?_____________________________

Who were stationed at the gates?

What was written on the gates?

Whose names were written there?___________________________

  

  1. Who were the twelve tribes of Israel and where were the gates located? Ezekiel 48:30-35, Revelation 21:13 

 

  1. The wall of the city had twelve courses of stones as its      foundation. Whose names were on them?      Revelation 21:14

  

  1. Who were the twelve apostles of the Lamb and who is the Lamb? Matthew 10:2-4, John 1:29, Acts 1:20-26 

 

  1. What did John not see, and what did he see as a temple? Revelation 21:22

  

  1. Of what did the city have no need of and what gave it light? Revelation 21:23

  

  1. Who is our lamp and who is the light for our path? Rev 1:23, Psalm 119:105, and John 1:1,14

  

Personal – Picture what heaven will look like from what you have just read and studied. How do you think you will respond when you enter its gates? In what way have you been enlightened here and now? How do your family, friends, work acquaintances, or people you come in contact with during the day see the light of Christ in you as his walking, living temple?

 

 

FOURTH DAY             READ JOHN 14:23-29                GOSPEL 

       (“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.”)                                    

  1. If you love Jesus, to what will you be true, who will love him, and who will come to him? John 14:23

  

  1. Notice in verse 23, it says “we will come to him.” To whom is this verse referring, when it says we?     John 14:11, 17, 26

  

  1. Where will the Spirit make his dwelling place?     John 14:17,23

  

  1. Who is it that does not love Jesus, and where does the Word you hear come from? John 14:24

  

  1. While Jesus was with them, what did he tell them?     John 14:26

  

Personal – As you began this study did you read or pray John 14:26. Of what has he reminded you?

  

  1. What is Jesus farewell to you and his gift to you, and what does he tell you not to be? John 14:27

 

  1. What does Jesus say in verse 28 of John 14?

  

  1. If you love Jesus, what would you do when he goes to the Father? John 14:28

    

  1. Who is greater than Jesus? John 14:28, John 10:29

  

  1. Why was he telling them before this took place?      John 14:29

  

Personal – In what specific way have you obeyed the command to “love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12), in your family, with your friends, at work or school? In what way have you shown your love for the Father?

 

 

FIFTH DAY           READ PSALM 67:2-3, 5-6, 8 

             (“For you govern the peoples justly,”)            

Read and meditate on Psalm 67:2-3, 5-6, 8.

What is the Lord saying to you personally through the Psalm?

 

How can you apply this to your life?

 

                      

SIXTH DAY          READ ALL OF THE COMMENTARY 

                           ACTS 15:1-2, 22-29 

     Christianity would have become nothing other than a sect of Jews if the condition that new Christians had to be circumcised first was upheld. There were certain Jews who could never forget their positions as the chosen people. They were willing to accept Gentiles into the church provided they were circumcised first. Paul and Barnabas argued strongly against this attitude and a violent collision seemed inevitable.  

     An appeal was made to Jerusalem, the headquarters of the church, for a ruling. The principle at stake was quite simple. Was the gift of God for the chosen few or for the entire world? Was the gift of God a privilege or a responsibility? Certain Pharisees who had become Christian insisted that all converts must be circumcised and keep the Mosaic law.  

     The Mosaic law of Moses stated that on the eighth day the flesh of a male child’s foreskin shall be circumcised (Leviticus 12:3). This was submitting of one’s flesh to the covenant that originated between God and Abraham (Gen. 17:14). Peter stood up to the apostles and elders and told them that the new covenant is fulfilled by believing the word of the Gospel.  

     God who knows the heart bore witness to them giving the Gentiles the Holy Spirit, just as he also did to us. This was a circumcision of faith, a cutting off of one’s pride and submitting to the will of the Lord. Peter told them that they were saved through the Grace of the Lord Jesus and so also were the Gentiles saved the same way.    

     The church leaders stated that the men who disturbed the brothers were not given instruction, or authority, to do what they did. The church leaders, inspired by the Holy Spirit, decided to send authorized representatives with Paul and Barnabas. They did not want to lay upon them a greater burden than the essentials which are: they shall abstain from things sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals, and from illicit sexual union.

   Today we still can look to the essentials for guidance for our daily living. We are not to sacrifice ourselves to idols such as jobs, power, sex, or money. We are called to stop eating and drinking ourselves into gluttony and sickness. We are called to be chaste in our actions as well as in our thoughts. We must turn away from illicit sexual union such as homosexuality, fornication, pornography, adultery, pre-marital sex, etc.  

     The controversy about keeping the law is still with us today. There still exists divisions between believers and church authorities. The authoritative teachings of the church are meant to protect the people as well as to preserve the true deposit of faith.

 

                   REVELATION 21:10-14, 22-23 

     John draws much of his imagery from Isaiah Chapter 65:17-24. In this chapter a new heaven is created, things of the past are not remembered, and there is rejoicing and no sadness or pain. John is not concerned about interspace travel or geophysics. Heaven exists because of the moral relationship between God and man.  

     God has taken the initiative and is the cause of the new order or as we call it the “New Jerusalem” or Heaven. God began by walking with man in the garden of paradise. He sought to dwell near man in the ark and the temple. He made man the holy of holies through his Incarnation. But these former things all passed away when he begins to dwell with them in the immediate personal intimacy of the “New Jerusalem.” John has, with much phraseology and repetition, attempted to convey the incomparable beauty of heaven through the use of earthly descriptions.  

     The radiance of Christ in his eternal home is so dazzling that the lights of the galaxy are not needed. The holy of holies was a cube twenty cubits high, wide, and deep. The cities of Babylon and Nineveh were square. Can you imagine a city as high as it is wide and long. One side would extend from Boston to Chicago (1500 miles). A fence 216′ high would hardly seem proportional around this gigantic cube of the heavenly city. We can see that earthly details pale when matched against the concept of spiritual symbolism. The author’s main intent is to convey that it is the Divine Presence, radiant and enlivening, that transforms the holy Jerusalem into purest splendor. God began with Paradise. John ends his portrayal of the celestial city with details borrowed from the paradise story. We might all picture ourselves as believers.

 

                         JOHN 14:23-29  

     Before his passion and death, Jesus spoke words of comfort, love and obedience to his disciples. These words brought a sense of serenity and helped them to not be afraid. Jesus promised to provide for them by leaving with them “the Counselor,” “The Holy Spirit.” Jesus told them that the Father would send them the Holy Spirit in his name. He told them that the Holy Spirit would teach them all things and help them to remember all that he taught them (John 14:26). We have been made by faith, through Gods action in the sacrament of Baptism, temples of the Holy Spirit.  

     Today, living a life conforming to the prompting of the Holy Spirit is not easy. We have so many distractions in our every day living, that only the Holy Spirit could empower us to remember with clarity the obedience that’s needed to walk the Christian walk. We need only to look around us and we can see very easily that unless we control our selfish desires and concerns by submitting them to the word of the Lord, they run wild, quickly overcoming any desire to know and experience God’s love.  

     We can’t split our desires evenly between God and the world; we must first seek the kingdom of God (Mt 6:33). We need to ask the Holy Spirit to teach us more about the healing, saving love of Jesus and the Kingdom of God. Pray that you will be open to receive the prompting of the Holy Spirit and to follow and experience the incredible love of Jesus.                

 

Application 

   The first reading tells us that the gift of God was not for a chosen few, but for the entire world. The second reading reveals that Heaven exists because of the moral relationship between God and man. The Gospel shows us that the power to walk the Christian walk can only come from the Holy Spirit. 

   This week, show those around you at work, at home or in school that God’s gift to you has brought you freedom of choice. Choose to love your neighbors, family and friends as yourself. With the power of the Holy Spirit, you can also choose to love your enemies. We can only do this when we seek his kingship first and then everything else is added (Mt 6:33). Remember, the Holy Spirit will teach you in all things (John 14:26).

 

FIFTH SUNDAY OF EASTER (May 19th) – 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 ACTS 14:21-27         FIRST READING 

       (“It is necessary for us to undergo many hardships to enter the kingdom of God.”) 

  1. What did Paul and Barnabus proclaim in Derbe, what happened      there, and to where did they return? Acts   14:20-21

  

  1. What is the Good News they proclaimed? Acts 13:32-34

  

  1. What did Paul and Barnabas strengthen in the disciples, in what did they encourage them to    persevere, and what did they say was necessary? Acts     14:22

  

  1. Where does your strength come from in order to bear your share of the hardship for the Gospel and of what  are you not to be ashamed? 2 Timothy 1:8

  

  1. What did Paul and Barnabas appoint for the people, what did they do, and then where did they go? Acts   14:23-24

 

  1. What were the disciples doing when the Holy Spirit spoke to them? Acts 13:2

  

  1. Where did the disciples proclaim the Word of God?    Acts 14:25-26

  

  1. Why did Paul and Barnabus call the church together in Antioch? Acts 14:27

  

Personal – What can you report to your family or friends as to what God has done with you?

  

  1. What happened to the Gentiles who heard the Word of the Gospel and believed, and how did God purify their hearts? Acts 15:7-9

 

 

  1. For what should you pray, and how should you conduct yourself towards outsiders? Colossians 4:2-5

  

Personal – How do you approach or talk to those outside your faith? What can you do to bring the Gospel message to those around you who do not believe or know what Jesus has done for them?

 

 

THIRD DAY            READ REVELATION 21:1-5      SECOND READING 

               (“Behold I make all things new.”) 

  1. What was seen and what had passed away? Revelation 21:1 

 

  1. What dwells in the new heavens and the new earth?      2 Peter 3:13

  

  1. What was seen coming down out of heaven from God and how was it prepared? Revelation 21:2

  

  1. Of whom is the bride the wife? Revelation 21:9 

 

  1. What was heard from the throne, where is God’s dwelling, and what will they be to him? Revelation   21:3 

 

  1. What are we to the living God and what is he to us?    2 Corinthians 6:16 

 

  1. What will God wipe from his peoples eyes, of what will there be no more, and what has passed away?    Revelation 21:4 

 

  1. What is anyone who is in Christ? 2 Corinthians 5:17 

 

  1. What did the one who sat on the throne say and why did he say to write them down? Revelation 21:5 

 

  1. What are true and just? Revelation 19:1-2 

 

Personal – In what way does your life show God has made his dwelling place within you? Can you see the old and the new person? Reflect on this.

 

 

FOURTH DAY               JOHN 13:31-35                  GOSPEL 

(“As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.) 

  1. After Judas left, what did Jesus say? John 13:31 

 

  1. How do we glorify the Father? John 15:7-8 

 

  1. If God is glorified in Jesus, what will God do to Jesus? John 13:32 

 

  1. Whom did Jesus say the Father will honor or glorify?  John 12:26 

 

  1. How did Jesus glorify God on earth? John 17:4 

 

  1. What did Jesus call his disciples, and what did he say about where he was going? John 13:33 

 

  1. Where was Jesus going? John 7:33 

 

  1. What did Jesus give us, and how should we love one another? John 13:34 

 

  1. What did Jesus say about no greater love than this?  John 15:12-13 

 

  1. How will all know that you are a disciple of Jesus?   John 13:35 

 

  1. Why do we love, and who is the one who loves God?    1 John 4:19-21 

 

Personal – What do you do to show your love for God and one another?

 

 

FIFTH DAY              READ PSALM 145:8-13
(“The Lord is faithful in all his words and holy in all his works.”) 

Read and meditate on Psalm 145:8-13. 

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

                         ACTS 14:21-27  

     Paul tells us in today’s reading that honesty and the willingness to accept afflictions was going to be a strong requirement in the new church. He told them that there was no easy way and reminded them that Jesus did not come to make life easy but to make men great. Paul shows them that Christianity must be lived in fellowship. 

     One of the great fathers of the Church stated, “No man can have God for his Father unless he has the Church for his mother.” None of us will go to heaven alone; it will be because someone influenced us to seek Christ, know Christ, and be saved by Christ. To some people, the only bible they will read will be you. We are called into Christian fellowship. 

     Like a loving mother, the Church teaches, preaches, and rules her children so that they will grow up and die to themselves and live for Christ by living for others. Good parents want their children to grow up, go out and forward. The Church wants the same for her children, to grow up, go out, and bring someone back to Christ.  

     Paul tells about the problem of so many Gentiles coming into the new church. He states the friction over what a Christian is really supposed to be. Gentiles wanted to be Christians. The other side of the problem, Jews were not allowed to have anything to do with Gentiles. The church welcomed all to come into God’s family, as they are, not as someone else thought they should be. That is what being a Christian means today. So be all that you can be and be excited in who you are. You are unique, there is no one else quite like you. Remember, all that you do, and all that you say, and all that you are is being brought into perfection in direct proportion to your obedience to God’s Holy Word.

 

                       REVELATION 21:1-5 

     Today’s passage reveals that the dream of a new heaven and earth was deep in Jewish thought. Today we hear people in many lands still looking forward to a better place than what they have here on earth. Isaiah speaks of the new heaven and earth that God will make, and he calls for the people to make their lives an act of worship (Isaiah 66:22). In the new heaven and earth, there is the eternal hope of no more sorrow, no more tears; sin is defeated, darkness is no more, and joy is forever. This vision has been strongly held throughout the ages because of man’s faith in God and his inherent sense of sin.  

     The ancient people feared the sea because they believed terrible creatures came from the sea. They believed that one day the sea would not be a barrier between God and man. Their beliefs consisted of two concepts regarding the new Jerusalem. The first concept was of Greek origin. It taught that in the invisible world there existed the perfect thing or place of everything visible here on earth. That meant there was a heavenly Jerusalem of which the earthly Jerusalem was an imperfect copy. The ideal is a challenge, in that, even if in this world the imperfect can not be made perfect, it can still be worked out in the next world, because God is the source of all ideals. The second thought or concept is Jewish and it shares the many dreams of the prophets.  

     The new Jerusalem or the “Holy City” was a constant dream that inspired and sustained the Jew as he was constantly being in the process of being obliterated. The Jews never lost confidence that they were the chosen people and God would someday present them with their “Holy City,” the new Jerusalem. They expressed their hope in material things, but these were just symbols for the faithful. We see that God is to make his dwelling place with men. In the wilderness the tabernacle was a tent. Today the tabernacle of God is you. You carry him wherever you go. His power lies within you waiting to be used to make the world “The New Jerusalem.”

 

                         JOHN 13:31-35 

     When you look at the word “commitment” you think of someone giving their complete all. The glory of Jesus is the glory of commitment and that is the glory of the cross. Jesus has shown

us that the greatest glory in life is the glory which comes from sacrifice. In war time the supreme honor and glory belongs to those who lay down their lives so that others may live. History has taught us that those who have made great sacrifices have entered into great history.  

     Jesus Christ in his humility and obedience went to the cross for you and me and he brought honor and glory to God. We have found through time tested experience that obedience is the foundation of love. The most notable way a child can honor his parents is by being obedient to them. In Jesus God glories himself in the incarnation and the cross. Jesus’   love, for us shows us that there is no glory like that of being loved. Let that sink in for a moment. He died for you because he loved you just as you are, not as you should be.

     The enthronement of Christ followed his crucifixion. The crown of thorns has changed into a crown of glory and as scripture tells us “eye cannot see, ear cannot hear, nor can man even comprehend what God has in store for those who love him.” Jesus leaves us his stamp of glory and that is we are to love others as he has loved us. We will be asked to love the unlovable, the unwashable, the unkissable, the ugly, the deformed, the sick, and the people of the land. We need only to look and see how he loved. He loved deliberately, openly, unhesitant, completely, gently, unreservedly. He chose to love because simply he is love. His glory will be in you loving others as he has loved you.

 

Application 

     In the first reading it brought out to be a Christian in the new church meant equality for all. In the second reading the Holy Spirit resides in you waiting to be used to make the world “a new Jerusalem.” The Gospel shows the glory of God lies in the incarnation and the cross. 

     This week, let yourself be committed to making the world around your home, office, or school “a new Jerusalem” or “Holy City” by seeing in others the signs of Christ. Let yourself, this week, love others as Christ loves you. This especially means those in your family or those around you that you find very difficult to love. Remember, commitment means sacrifice and sacrifice means going to the cross. Your glory will be God’s glory in you. You will be his glory as he sees you loving the people around you as Jesus loves you. This will bring the “new Jerusalem” right into your heart.