Opening Prayer Led by Group Facilitator

Psalm 103

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

1  Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless his holy name!

2  Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits,

3  who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases,

4  who redeems your life from the Pit, who crowns you with mercy and compassion,

5  who satisfies you with good as long as you live, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

6  The Lord works vindication and justice for all who are oppressed.

7  He made known his ways to Moses, his acts to the people of Israel.

8  The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in mercy.

9  He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger for ever.

10  He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.

11  For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward those who fear him;

12  as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.

13  As a father pities his children, so the Lord pities those who fear him.

14  For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.

15  As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field;

16  for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more.

17  But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children,

18  to those who keep his covenant, and remember to do his commandments.

19  The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all.

20  Bless the Lord, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, hearkening to the voice of his word!

21  Bless the Lord, all his hosts, his ministers that do his will!

22  Bless the Lord, all his works, in all places of his dominion. Bless the Lord, O my soul!

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.

Israel Moves to Egypt

Genesis 46-47:12

1.       Circumstances force Jacob to find work in another country (Egypt).  How does Jacob prioritize work, residence, and family?  What priorities have determined moving your family in the past?  Did you move to a new city, state or country as child? What was your experience like? What would it take to move your family from your present home?

2.       Jacob’s sons are vacating a land promised to their great-grandfather Abraham and moving to a culture with different politics, beliefs and morals. They have no Bible and no Catechism. What strategies do you imagine they employed to pass along the faith of their great-grandfather Abraham and their connection with the Promised Land to their children? Why are these strategies more than simply “catechesis” or “Bible study”? Who is your personal father* or grandfather* in faith? How could you employ these same strategies to pass along the faith of your father* or grandfather* in faith? (*Note: this person does not need to be a biological relative).

3.       Lack of economic opportunity (famine) forces Israel into Egypt.  What circumstances affected the immigration decisions of your ancestors?  Do your children know the story of their ancestor’s immigration experiences?  Why is this important to pass on to the next generation?

4.      Debates over immigration policy applied in Joseph’s time as they do now. Joseph is an immigrant in an advantageous position for his immigrant family. Pharaoh must weigh the value in allowing Joseph’s family to immigrate even during a strenuous time. What are the similar conflicts our country faces even now when balancing immigration decisions? As a Catholic, what informs your opinions on immigration? Have you read documents from the USCCB concerning immigration? How can a Patriarch use the immigration debate to teach his more mature children to be informed by the heart and wisdom of the church in controversial political matters?

Prayer Partners

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