“Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife…”
The Archangel Gabriel
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 Blessed is every one who fears the Lord, who walks in his ways!
2 You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be happy, and it shall be well with you.
3 Your wife will be like a fruitful vinewithin your house; your children will be like olive shootsaround your table.
4 Lo, thus shall the man be blessed who fears the Lord.
5 The Lord bless you from Zion! May you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life!
6 May you see your children’s children! Peace be upon Israel!
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, Son of David, Do Not Fear
1. Matthew’s Gospel traces Joseph’s genealogy back more than 40 generations. What is the value of genealogy for a father? for a son? How far back do you trace your own genealogy? Are there any lessons from your family history that help you understand yourself? Your children?
2. Matthew calls Joseph a “just man.” What qualifies a man to be called a “just man”? Describe a “just man” in your life. How are you already “a just man,” and how do you need to become more “just” as a man?
3. Joseph was “unwilling to put her to shame” and wanted to handle her crisis “quietly.” How do you measure when to keep a family crisis “quiet” and when to ask for help from the wider community? What are the advantages and risks of handling a crisis entirely privately? What are the advantages and risks of involving outsiders inside the family?
4. The angel’s message to Joseph was “do not fear to take Mary as your wife.” What fears did you face in proposing marriage? How did the Lord lead you then beyond fear? What fears are you presently facing in marriage, and how is the Lord leading you through them now?
5. In Matthew 1:21, the angel gives the name “Jesus” to Joseph. In Luke 1:31, the angel gives the name “Jesus” to Mary. How does your own name originate in God’s plan? What is the origin of your name, and are you aware of your parents’ preferences and roles? How does (or how did) the process of naming happen for your own offspring? How involved do you expect heaven, mother, and father to be in the choice of a given name? A nick-name?
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 spend an hour researching our family genealogy.
2. I will share a family genealogy with my children.
3. I will ask the Lord how I may become a more "just man".
4. I will find an opportunity to retell the story of my proposing marriage to my wife.
5. I will ask the Lord to increase my courage in the face of present fears.
6. I will ask my wife what fears she has in our present life, and I will pray aloud with her for faith, confidence, and courage.
7. I will share with my children the origin and the meaning of the names we chose for them.
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.