"...Rise, take the child and his mother and flee to Egypt..."
The Angel of the Lord
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 Fret not yourself because of the wicked, be not envious of wrongdoers!
2 For they will soon fade like the grass, and wither like the green herb.
3 Trust in the Lord, and do good; so you will dwell in the land, and enjoy security.
4 Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.
6 He will bring forth your vindication as the light, and your right as the noonday.
7 Be still before the Lord, and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over him who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!
8 Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.
9 For the wicked shall be cut off; but those who wait for the Lord shall possess the land.
10 Yet a little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look well at his place, he will not be there.
11 But the meek shall possess the land, and delight themselves in abundant prosperity.
12 The wicked plots against the righteous, and gnashes his teeth at him;
13 but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he sees that his day is coming.
14 The wicked draw the sword and bend their bows, to bring down the poor and needy, to slay those who walk uprightly;
15 their sword shall enter their own heart, and their bows shall be broken.
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.
Mary's Submission to Joseph
1. Joseph’s child was sought out by good influences (the Magi) and bad influences (King Herod). What good influences and bad influences are seeking the attention of your children? As the head of your family, how do you balance permitting good influences and protection from evil influences? How do you provide exposure to the world without pollution from the world? What boundaries do you insist upon in the sanctuary of your home?
2. Joseph’s child was offered treasures of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. What treasures have come to you and your family on account of your children? How has God surprised you with unexpected resources for your children? How do you train children in the earning of resources, saving of resources, and spending of resources?
3. A dangerous childhood crisis for Jesus occasions God’s redirection of Joseph’s life. How has God redirected your life for the sake of your children? What crises, if any, put you on an unforeseen and unprecedented path of life? How do you believe God has honored your sacrificial obedience and heroic generosity to your children?
4. The Lord communicates directly with Joseph at least four times in his dreams with essential information about the direction of his wife and son. Mary and Jesus follow Joseph’s lead. In your spiritual leadership, how are you conveying God’s Word to your wife and children? How have you helped your wife to receive a challenging word from God? How have you led your wife and children out of comfortable and into uncomfortable territory? How has God honored your leadership?
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 create an inventory of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for each of my individual children.
2. I will consult my wife to create an inventory of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in the life of our family.
3. I will establish a new boundary for myself to secure my growth as a Christian.
4. I will consult my wife on age-appropriate boundaries for the use of media in our home.
5. I will make a list of financial facts and skills to train my children in.
6. I will share with my children how our family has chosen to tithe.
7. I will meditate in prayer on God’s provision during sudden crises in our family’s past.
8. I will pray Psalm 23 or 27 as an exercise of trust in God through crisis.
9. I will read a Scripture with my wife and share its meaning to me with her.
10. I will read and explain a story from the Bible with my children.
11. I will thank my wife again for trusting me when she followed me into something she did not at first prefer.
12. I will ask God to reveal an area of my marriage or family that requires conversion and change, and ask God for the courage and grace to initiate conversation and a timeline for change.
Previous Resolutions - Luke 2:1-38
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.