“…the younger son gathered all he had and took his journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in loose living.”
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 My son, be attentive to my wisdom, incline your ear to my understanding;
2 that you may keep discretion, and your lips may guard knowledge.
3 For the lips of a loose woman drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil;
4 but in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword.
5 Her feet go down to death; her steps follow the path to Sheol;
6 she does not take heed to the path of life; her ways wander, and she does not know it.
7 And now, O sons, listen to me, and do not depart from the words of my mouth.
8 Keep your way far from her, and do not go near the door of her house;
9 lest you give your honor to others and your years to the merciless;
10 lest strangers take their fill of your strength, and your labors go to the house of an alien;
11 and at the end of your life you groan, when your flesh and body are consumed,
12 and you say, “How I hated discipline, and my heart despised reproof!
13 I did not listen to the voice of my teachers or incline my ear to my instructors.
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.
The Younger Son Leaves
1. As sons grow, many tend toward separation from parental authority and divine authority. When and how did my father experience separation from his father? How did he experience reconciliation with his father?
2. When and how did I experience the drive to separate from my father? How did my father expect my submission? How did he empower my initiative?
3. How have I experienced my children’s impulse to separate? What were (or will be) my expectations of conformity and submission? How will I empower their maturity and initiative?
4. In relation to God, how have I “wandered far from home”? How long did it last? What prompted my “homecoming”? Who welcomed me (back) to the Father’s house?
Choose a resolution for this week from the suggestions below or make your own.
1. I will schedule time with my father to ask for his advice about how to best communicate expectations, priorities and standards in my home.
2. I will compose a list of expectations, priorities and standards for our home.
3. I will discuss with my wife how we will more effectively address resistance to the expectations we have established in our home.
4. I will write down ways in which low expectations and standards negatively affected myself or my siblings. I will share this list with my spouse.
5. I will evaluate in my journal any areas of my fatherhood that have evolved since my first child was born. I will initiate any necessary corrections to excessive or lax standards that I find.
Discuss with your prayer partner the success/failure of your previous resolution & offer a vocal prayer for one another.
Patriarch curriculum currently ends with The Father of the Prodigal Son.
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.