“Here he is burying the dead again!”
Opening Prayer Led by Group Facilitator
Pray the Psalm together aloud, alternating verses between two sides. When finished, share reflections on the Psalm as a group
1 Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless his holy name!
2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits,
3 who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with mercy and compassion,
5 who satisfies you with good as long as you live, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
6 The Lord works vindication and justice for all who are oppressed.
7 He made known his ways to Moses, his acts to the people of Israel.
8 The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in mercy.
9 He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger for ever.
10 He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
13 As a father pities his children, so the Lord pities those who fear him.
14 For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.
15 As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field;
16 for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more.
17 But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children,
18 to those who keep his covenant, and remember to do his commandments.
19 The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all.
20 Bless the Lord, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, hearkening to the voice of his word!
21 Bless the Lord, all his hosts, his ministers that do his will!
22 Bless the Lord, all his works, in all places of his dominion. Bless the Lord, O my soul!
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.
A Lone Patriarch In Exile
1. How is Tobit’s worship distinct from the religious practice of his tribe of origin? How is Tobit’s charity exceptional in the Assyrian Empire? How does my practice of worship compare to my family of origin? How does or how could my practice of charity be more exemplary for my family?
2. Although Tobit’s race and religion is outnumbered and overrun by the Assyrians, how does Tobit ‘remember’ and ‘consume’ differently than his neighbors? What are my experiences of being religiously outnumbered and overrun? How do I experience tension practicing my Catholic faith in an American context? How do I lead the practice of my religion in my own home? What refusals, renunciations or self-denials have I practiced in relation to American culture?
3. Like Joseph, Daniel and Mordecai, Tobit is an Israelite who ascends in influence (e.g. the King’s ‘buyer of provisions’) in a foreign empire. How have I made use of my skills and opportunities to gain position, promotion, and prominence in my profession? How have I exercised my personal and professional influence on behalf of God’s Kingdom?
4. What are some of the “works of mercy” that Tobit dangerously practiced? What kind of influence do you think Tobit’s example of ‘dangerous religion’ had on his impressionable son? Has my faith ever demanded courage in the face of danger? What “works of mercy” have I practiced in this Year of Mercy? How have I led my family in practicing “works of mercy”?
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 augment my family prayer at home with an extra spiritual exercise.
2. I will read and discuss the Sunday Mass readings at home with my family on Saturday before attending Sunday Mass.
3. I will take my family to accomplish a work of mercy for the poor.
4. I will assemble “homeless snack bags” to give panhandlers from my car.
5. I will lead my family to a public Catholic prayer event.
6. I will lead my family to a public political event.
7. I will lead my family in peaceful pro-life prayer outside an abortion clinic.
8. I will propose with my wife a way for our meals to reflect Friday abstinence and Sunday feasting.
9. I will initiate a conversation with my supervisor about conditions for my next promotion or my next raise.
10. I will recommend a trustworthy and qualified Catholic for next jobs in my firm.
Discuss with your prayer partner the success/failure of your previous resolution & offer a vocal prayer for one another.