“Thus the man grew exceedingly rich...”
Opening Prayer Led by Group Facilitator
Pray the Psalm together aloud, alternating verses between two sides. When finished, share reflections on the Psalm as a group
1 Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations.
2 Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
3 You turn man back to the dust, and say, “Turn back, O children of men!”
4 For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night.
5 You sweep men away; they are like a dream, like grass which is renewed in the morning:
6 in the morning it flourishes and is renewed; in the evening it fades and withers.
7 For we are consumed by your anger; by your wrath we are overwhelmed.
8 You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your countenance.
9 For all our days pass away under your wrath, our years come to an end like a sigh.
10 The years of our life are threescore and ten, or even by reason of strength fourscore; yet their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away.
11 Who considers the power of your anger, and your wrath according to the fear of you?
12 So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.
13 Return, O Lord! How long? Have pity on your servants!
14 Satisfy us in the morning with your mercy, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
15 Make us glad as many days as you have afflicted us, and as many years as we have seen evil.
16 Let your work be manifest to your servants, and your glorious power to their children.
17 Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us, yes, establish the work of our hands.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now and will be forever. Amen.
Profiting From Laban
1. What does Rachel’s complaint about infertility reveal about femininity? As a man who loves his wife, Jacob is eager to satisfy a deep desire in the heart of his wife. What are some of the temptations a husband faces when evaluating how to satisfy this desire in his wife's heart?
2. Compare Patriarchal responses to barrenness: Abram, Isaac, Jacob. Which of these three Patriarchs has the most noble response?
3. How does Rachel initially solve her barrenness? What precedent is there for this in Genesis? What is Church teaching on “surrogate motherhood”? In vitro fertilization?
4. Jacob says to Laban, “For you had little before I came, and it has increased abundantly; and the Lord has blessed you wherever I turned.” What does this reveal about Patriarchy & Employment? What is Jacob's primary motivation in making this point known to Laban? How does this interaction serve as a model for your relationship with your employer?
5. What does Laban pledge to Jacob in this chapter? What had Laban previously pledged to Jacob, only to deceive him? How has Jacob become more wise since the first time Laban deceived him? How have you become more wise in the face of intentional deception coming from someone close to you?
6. How does Jacob profit from Laban without being guilty of severing their relationship? Is Jacob's profit dishonest? What does this teach a Patriarch about navigating your own professional world when you encounter intentional deception?
Choose a resolution for this week from the suggestions below or make your own. Tap on a resolution to email it to yourself:
1. I will have a conversation with my wife about whether she desires to have more children.
2. I will schedule an appointment with a Catholic doctor to discuss fertility struggles that my wife and I are having.
3. I will offer up a fast for someone I know struggling with infertility.
4. I will read and discuss the section The Gift of a Child from the Catechism (par. 2373-2379) with my older children.
5. I will write down a list of ways that I can bless my employer in order to increase the success of my company.
6. I will update my resumé and establish goals to accomplish in an areas that my resumé is weak.
7. I will have a conversation with a good friend about potential employment opportunities in his field.
8. I will evaluate and re-establish any long-term financial goals for my family.
Discuss with your prayer partner the success/failure of your previous resolution & offer a vocal prayer for one another.