“... to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph...”
Opening Prayer Led by Group Facilitator
Pray the Canticle of Tobit together aloud, alternating verses between two sides. When finished, share reflections on the canticle as a group
1 I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
2 My soul makes its boast in the LORD; let the afflicted hear and be glad.
3 O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together!
4 I sought the LORD, and he answered me, and delivered me from all my fears.
5 Look to him, and be radiant; so your faces shall never be ashamed.
6 This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.
7 The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them.
8 O taste and see that the LORD is good! Happy is the man who takes refuge in him!
9 O fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him have no want!
10 The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.
11 Come, O sons, listen to me, I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
12 What man is there who desires life, and covets many days, that he may enjoy good?
13 Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit.
14 Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.
15 The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous, and his ears toward their cry.
16 The face of the LORD is against evildoers, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.
17 When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles.
18 The LORD is near to the brokenhearted, and saves the crushed in spirit.
19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous; but the LORD delivers him out of them all.
20 He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken.
21 Evil shall slay the wicked; and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.
22 The LORD redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.
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.
Joseph's Support of His Bride
1. In Luke’s account of the Annunciation, God’s plan is revealed entirely to Mary without reference to Joseph. How do you receive and discern when your wife brings you an inspiration from her prayer that surprises you? When is a time your prayer and your wife’s prayer surprisingly coincided? How do you know when to yield to a wife’s prayer, and how do you know when to redirect a wife’s prayer?
2. When have you – like Mary or Joseph – been challenged to stake your future based upon a revelation from God? How do you keep “stepping out in faith,” in the midst of an increasingly secular and faithless culture?
3. Joseph seems to have consented to Mary’s trip to see Elizabeth and Zechariah. How important is it for your wife to have contact, communication, and visits with her family? How have older women in her family supported your wife’s growth? What advantages and disadvantages have you seen from involvement with in-laws?
4. Mary explicitly prays and praises with Elizabeth. What women help your wife to pray, praise, and grow closer to God? How do you support that? What men help you to pray, praise, and grow closer to God? How does your wife support that?
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 express interest in hearing how my wife's prayer is going and what the Lord is saying to her.
2. I will ask the Lord in prayer, "What are you daring me to do?"
3. I will propose to the Lord in prayer, "If I had no fear, what I would do for You is..."
4. I will encourage my wife to Skype with someone in her family this week.
5. I will praise some aspect of my wife's family to her and to my children.
6. I will encourage my wife to find an opportunity for a women's group or women's retreat.
7. I will ask my wife if she would think it valuable for me to join a men's group.
Previous Resolutions - Matthew 1
Discuss with your prayer partner the success/failure of your previous resolution & offer a vocal prayer for one another.
Scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible—Second Catholic Edition (Ignatius Edition) copyright © 2006 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.