Opening Prayer Led by Group Facilitator

Psalm 82

Pray the Psalm together aloud, alternating verses between two sides.  When finished, share reflections on the Psalm as a group

1  God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the angels he holds judgment:

2  “How long will you judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked?

3  Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute.

4  Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”

5  They have neither knowledge nor understanding, they walk about in darkness; all the foundations of the earth are shaken.

6  I say, “You are gods, sons of the Most High, all of you;

7  nevertheless, you shall die like men, and fall like any prince.”

8  Arise, O God, judge the earth; for to you belong all the nations!

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.

Judah & Tamar

Genesis 38

1.       A levirate marriage is contracted when a widow marries her dead husband’s brother.  Considering the time and culture, how did this arrangement provide protection and security for widows?  How have you seen men in your own family provide for in-laws of deceased siblings?   

2.       The story of Onan is the first biblical description of attempted birth control.  What is the act?  What is the intention?  How does God respond? When did you learn about the Church’s teaching on contraception? How well has it been explained to you?  When and how should a Patriarch explain to his children the teachings of the Church on contraception? 

3.       Judah's avoidance of a grave and serious responsibility forces Tamar to ensure her own protection and provision.  What are the parallels in modern society? What effect does evasion of masculine responsibility have on women today? In your own family?  

4.       Aside from explicit prostitution, what situations do modern women encounter where they are pressured to "sell their body" in order to receive support.  How can men actively fight against these situations? What specific strategies can a father employ to raise a daughter to be cunning and resourceful without resorting to “selling” her body?

5.       Again the themes of deception and hypocrisy recur in the descendants of Abraham. Judah is content to allow deception and hypocrisy to continue in his own life until Tamar drastically exposes him.  What drastic measures are required of a husband/father to proactively uproot deeply ingrained recurring flaws in his family?  

6.       What is the significance of Judah’s descendants by Tamar (See Matthew 1:1-17)? What subtle message does God the Father reinforce through this lineage concerning the value of human life? As a father, how can you subtly reinforce this same message to your own children?

Prayer Partners

Discuss with your prayer partner the success/failure of your previous resolution & offer a vocal prayer for one another.