The Power of Blessing
Session Overview (for facilitators): This session focuses on the power of blessing in our lives. Each person longs to be blessed—to know we are beloved, by God and others. Jesus received the Father’s blessing at Baptism and at the Transfiguration (today’s Gospel) with the words, “You are my beloved Son.” Hearing those same words is the desire of the human heart as we all long to know we are loved, accepted, favored, and called to holiness. Leaders of the domestic church have the power and privilege of blessing those in their home by saying, in word and action, “You are my beloved.”
Good and Gracious God, from the very beginning of time you made man and woman to live in loving relationship with you and one another. The family, created to be a reflection of your fruitful love, is meant to continue your mission of love in the world. Be with us today as we reflect on the power of blessing to transform any person and any situation. Help each member of our family to know they are blessed as God’s beloved child. Help us to know our family is holy, even in the midst of struggles and challenges, knowing wherever two or three are gathered in your name, you are present. We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark (9:2-10):
Jesus took Peter, James, and John
and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves.
And he was transfigured before them,
and his clothes became dazzling white,
such as no fuller on earth could bleach them.
Then Elijah appeared to them along with Moses,
and they were conversing with Jesus.
Then Peter said to Jesus in reply,
“Rabbi, it is good that we are here!
Let us make three tents:
one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
He hardly knew what to say, they were so terrified.
Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them;
from the cloud came a voice,
“This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.”
Suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone
but Jesus alone with them.
As they were coming down from the mountain,
he charged them not to relate what they had seen to anyone,
except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead.
So they kept the matter to themselves,
questioning what rising from the dead meant.
The Gospel of the Lord:
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.
Reflection Video with Lyrics: (or choose your own)
For Facilitator Use (may share with group): This song goes further into what it means to be God’s beloved. We are blessed when we hear God’s words, “You are my beloved son or daughter.” We will now listen to this song and reflect on our own blessedness.
Your Beloved by Brent Helming
Lead into the session video with these group discussion questions:
- Some people describe the term, “beloved” as to “be loved”. What comes to your mind when you hear the word, beloved?
- Do you feel you are God’s beloved? Do you and the members of your family feel beloved ~ fully loved?
- Peter, James, and John were blessed to be on the mountaintop with Jesus. What are some of the blessings in your life?
Please show the Session Video: The Power of Blessing by Mary Pedersen
- We bless through words and actions. When have you been blessed? By whom?
- In what ways do you already bless others in the home?
- When have you blessed or withheld a blessing from someone else? (When have you said, or not said, “Bless you” when someone sneezes; encouraged, affirmed, or praised another or not; hugged or touched someone in need of affection or not?)
- Have you ever known a blessing to change a person or situation?
- How can we help each member of our family to know they are blessed—beloved by God and us? Be specific.
- What are some different types of blessings you’ve experienced? Name the different times we are formally or informally blessed at Church.
- Name at least one new way you will bless those in your life.
- What was most helpful from this session?
To read more about blessing from Rev. Ronald Rolheiser: http://ronrolheiser.com/struggling-for-our-fathers-blessing/#.VLQx8SfanS8
Closing Song: I Send You Out by John Angotti
Closing Prayer: Holy Family Prayer
Let us pray with expectant faith for the growth of the faith of our families and the transformation of the Archdiocese of Dubuque.
Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
in contemplating your example of love,
we wish to follow your way of holiness.
Holy Family of Nazareth,
may each family of the Archdiocese of Dubuque
discover, embrace, and live its true vocation
as the domestic church—the place of intimate communion and prayer.
Holy Family of Nazareth,
may each home become an authentic school of the Gospel,
may each table provide rich and satisfying nourishment, and
may each hearth extend compassionate love and mercy.
Holy Family of Nazareth,
make us every mindful of each family’s call to holiness
Jesus, Mary and Joseph, give us the desire to make our families more like yours.
Help each family realize that family matters and our mission is love.
We ask this through Christ, our Lord.