Share your “highs” and your “lows” for the past week with each other.
22 The same night he got up and took his two wives, his two maids, and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23He took them and sent them across the stream, and likewise everything that he had. 24Jacob was left alone; and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. 25When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he struck him on the hip socket; and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. 26Then he said, ‘Let me go, for the day is breaking.’ But Jacob said, ‘I will not let you go, unless you bless me.’ 27So he said to him, ‘What is your name?’ And he said, ‘Jacob.’ 28Then the man* said, ‘You shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with humans, and have prevailed.’ 29Then Jacob asked him, ‘Please tell me your name.’ But he said, ‘Why is it that you ask my name?’ And there he blessed him. 30So Jacob called the place Peniel,* saying, ‘For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life is preserved.’ 31The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip.
What surprises you or engages you in this reading? Have you ever felt like you were “holding on for dear life” amidst a struggle or difficult situation? Jacob certainly felt this way and he hung on to “the man” (God) for a blessing. Perhaps part of our discipleship is realizing that “holding on for dear life” is not an experience of faithlessness but instead is the perfect example of faithfulness. Consider and discuss the moments in your life of faith when you have “held on tight” even though you were afraid or uncertain.
Special prayer requests: Pray for those on the margins, those children in difficult and desperate situations, and for compassion to reign in all ways.
Bless each other by making the sign of the cross on each one’s forehead.