Wednesday 28 December 2022

The Bible in a Year Companion Volume III Days 244-365 - Fr. Mike Schmitz and Jeff Cavins - Ascension Press

The Bible in a Year Companion 
Volume 3 Days 244-365
Kara Logan
ISBN 9781954881174
eISBN 9781954881181

I completed the Bible in a Year in 2021. Then early in 2022 I attended the The Bible in a Year Retreat, and absolutely loved it. When I found out about the three volumes of companions for the Bible in a year I picked up Volume I Days 1-120 right away. The eBook only released for Volume III it was available several days early. I was surprised by where the splits came. They did not split the year equally in 3, or break them at ends of periods. That is the only thing odd of off about these books. Other than that I find them excellent resources for working through the Bible in a Year, following along with Father Mike and the Ascension Podcasts. I really believe that these volumes make the Bible in a Year an even better experience. 

The description of this volume states:

“The Bible in a Year Companion takes Catholics through the award-winning Bible in a Year podcast with summaries, transcripts of Fr. Mike’s daily prayers, and extra content for each episode. It’s the perfect way to remember what you’re hearing, as well as learn even more about each part of Scripture!

The Companion presents daily content for each episode of the podcast, including:

The proprietary Bible in a Year Reading Plan
Reflect on the Word, where readers will find a summary of the key points and highlights of Fr. Mike’s commentary on the daily readings
Take It to Prayer, so Catholics can pray the daily prayer with Fr. Mike and the rest of the BIY community
Dive Deeper, which features unique content surrounding each day’s readings, from images and Q&As to prayer prompts and ways to live out the Bible in everyday life

In addition to this daily content, each biblical period has a Time Period Introduction and Review. Written by Jeff Cavins, these help Catholics to know what to look for in the days ahead, and to recall what has happened in the days they have just completed.

Volume III of The Bible in a Year Companion covers Days 244–365 of The Bible in a Year podcast.
This sought-after guide to the award-winning podcast The Bible in a Year (with Fr. Mike Schmitz)TM featuring Jeff Cavins is coming to you thanks to many collaborators including:

Fr. Mike Schmitz
Jeff Cavins
Bobby Semendy
Members of the Ascension Catholic Bible Studies Facebook group
Kara Logan
& many more!”

And father Mike states at the end of the introduction of the first volume:

“I believe that this Bible in a Year Companion is a great tool to take you deeper. It is one thing to be exposed to the Story, but it is another to remember it. This Companion will help those who are so quick to forget—which is all of us! … In this world, where we are so tempted toward distraction and distress, we now have a resource to understand how the story of salvation unfolds and how we can fit into that story today.”

And towards the end of the introduction to this volume he states:

“As we journey through the New Testament, we will see stories of people who noticed the gift of God, appreciated Jesus’ sacrifice for us, were filled with gratitude, and then used the gift of the Holy Spirit! They did not allow the gift of God to be wasted but used what had been given to them, both to glorify God and to serve the people around them.

This has been an incredible year. It truly has been a gift. We want to receive this gift well. We want to notice all that God has done. We want to appreciate what it cost those who brought it to us. We want to express our thanks. And above all, we want to use this gift to the glory of the Father and for the salvation of the world.

Let’s receive this gift well!”

Each time period begins with an introduction by Jeff Cavins. This is where Jeff explains the colour of that period, what it means and why. He gives a brief overview of key events, people, and changes from period to period. And each period ends with a recap and summary from Jeff. Each day has a two page spread. The first page Has the Day number and title, And a section called Reflect on the Word. The Second page has the Passages read at the top and two more sections; Take It To Prayer and Dive Deeper. A sample day is:

DAY 306: Wisdom Is Beautiful 
Reflect on the Word
 • In Wisdom 7, we see a list of key words that highlight various aspects of wisdom. These are worth taking time to meditate upon. 
 • In Wisdom 8, the author speaks of how he longed for wisdom, knowing that it comes from the Lord. 
 • In the Old Testament, wisdom is often personified, typically in feminine terms.
 • While we heard about the defeat of Antiochus in 1 Maccabees, in 2 Maccabees 9 we hear who defeated him—the Lord. 
 • In the midst of the fighting and political machinations, the Lord is involved, as 2 Maccabees makes clear.
 • We can take one of two perspectives in life: either we can focus on ourselves and our own strength, or we can see how God is active in our life, always helping us.
 • The second book of Maccabees shows that life with the Lord is not predictable. There is no guarantee that we will win every single battle or never face suffering. But what is guaranteed is that God is always with us. 

2 Maccabees 9; Wisdom 7–8; Proverbs 25:1-3

Take It to Prayer

Father in heaven, thank you so much. Thank you for your Word and thank you for your goodness. Thank you for giving us the gift of wisdom. Thank you for sharing who you are with us, your character with us. Thank you for the ways in which you are unseen and yet still present. Thank you for the ways in which you act in silence and speak to us in silence, the way you love us in silence. Lord God, we also thank you for the times when you make yourself known. We thank you for the times when it is unavoidable for us to realize that you not only are present but you are active. Not only that you are good but that you love us. Help us to receive your love and help us to love you back. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Dive Deeper

What perspective do you tend to take in your life—that of 1 Maccabees or 2 Maccabees? Choose a time today to meditate on the truth that God is always with you and actively fighting for you.”

This is an excellent resource. Most days I have listened to the podcast in the morning. And then on my first coffee break at work, I read through the two pages for that day. I love praying the prayer that Father Mike prayed that day, and I love the going deeper sections. I believe this is a must have resource to support your Bible in a Year journey. This is my second time through the podcast, and I see it being an annual journey going forward. If you are listening to the BIAY pick this up as a supplement to that adventure.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2022 Catholic Reading Plan

The Bible in a Year Resources:

Books By Father Mike Schmitz:
Made for Love: Same-Sex Attraction and the Catholic Church
Quick Catholic Lessons with Fr. Mike

Contributed to:
Pray, Decide, and Don't Worry: Five Steps to Discerning God's Will
Don't Be Afraid to Say Yes to God! Pope Francis Speaks to Young People

Audio Talks by Father Mike Schmitz:
Living Life by Design, Not by Default
Love - Sacrifice - Trust He Showed Us the Way
From Love, By Love, For Love
True Worship
The Four Last Things
Jesus Is …
Changed Forever - The Sacrament of Baptism
We Must Go Out - The Sacrament of Confirmation

Books by Jeff Cavins:

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