“And the child grew and became strong...”
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 extol thee, my God and King, and bless thy name for ever and ever.
2 Every day I will bless thee, and praise thy name for ever and ever.
3 Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable.
4 One generation shall laud thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts.
5 On the glorious splendor of thy majesty, and on thy wondrous works, I will meditate.
6 Men shall proclaim the might of thy terrible acts, and I will declare thy greatness.
7 They shall pour forth the fame of thy abundant goodness, and shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.
8 The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
9 The Lord is good to all, and his compassion is over all that he has made.
10 All thy works shall give thanks to thee, O Lord, and all thy saints shall bless thee!
11 They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and tell of thy power,
12 to make known to the sons of men thy mighty deeds, and the glorious splendor of thy kingdom.
13 Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endures throughout all generations. The Lord is faithful in all his words, and gracious in all his deeds.
14 The Lord upholds all who are falling, and raises up all who are bowed down.
15 The eyes of all look to thee, and thou givest them their food in due season.
16 Thou openest thy hand, thou satisfiest the desire of every living thing.
17 The Lord is just in all his ways, and kind in all his doings.
18 The Lord is near to all who call upon him, to all who call upon him in truth.
19 He fulfills the desire of all who fear him, he also hears their cry, and saves them.
20 The Lord preserves all who love him; but all the wicked he will destroy.
21 My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord, and let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever.
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 Leadership of Jesus
1. Both Matthew and Luke record a “homecoming” to Nazareth. How do the homes of parents support a new family? How important is “leaving home” for a new husband? A new wife? How important is “establishing home” for a married couple? For children? What elements of “homecoming” have you experienced and do you desire to be part of your family’s journey?
2. Luke 2:40 reads “And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom, and the favor of God was upon him.” How do you model and promote physical health and strength in your family? How do you model and promote the intellectual growth and wisdom in your family? How do you model and promote prayer and spiritual maturity in your family?
3. Joseph must have taken time off work for this extended journey and celebration of Passover in Jerusalem. How did your father model taking extended time for travel, pilgrimage, faith and family? What extended time of travel, pilgrimage, faith and family have you enjoyed with your family? What fruits do you see in your family as a result of the time spent together?
4. Joseph likely presided at the domestic Passover Seder Meal, the same Passover Meal Jesus would preside at some decades later. What domestic religious celebrations do you preside at? How are you modeling the priority of religious celebration and ritual inside your home?
5. “His parents did not know…” What did your parents “not know” about you when you were an adolescent? Would you have been better off if they had known? How did you experience your parents “seeking you”? Was there any way you would have wished they would have sought you more? How do you “seek” your children’s attention, wellbeing, and communication? Like Joseph and Mary, how do parents accompany and support a child when “they did not understand the saying which he spoke to them”?
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 write a note of thanks to my parents for the “home” they raised me in, and the ways they have helped me to establish “home” for my own family.
2. I will invite a neighbor, a co-worker, or a parishioner who has never been in my home to a meal in my home.
3. I will commit to a new habit of physical exercise.
4. I will exercise with one of my children.
5. I will read a book.
6. I will share something that I am reading with my family.
7. I will increase a spiritual discipline in my life.
8. I will lead my family in the practice of a devotion (Lectio Divina, rosary, stations of the Cross).
9. I will schedule with my wife our next intentional family vacation, and include an element of pilgrimage (shrine, cathedral, saints relics, etc).
10. I will lead my family in a regular family prayer at the end of Mass.
11. I will schedule a religious Feast Day at my house that includes prayer, food, music, festivity, and guests.
12. I will consult a man who has children older than mine for wisdom about raising, communicating, and understanding my children as they grow older.
13. I will consult a man whose “best practices” I admire about preparing, initiating, and launching my children into adulthood.
Previous Resolutions - Matthew 2
Discuss with your prayer partner the success/failure of your previous resolution & offer a vocal prayer for one another.
Patriarch curriculum currently ends with St. Joseph.
The long-term plan for Patriarch is to continue the curriculum to cover the remaining Old Testament Patriarchs.
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.