Week 2 – “Shabbat” & “Jesus Loves the Children”
Another two amazing episodes that provide us with some background on Jewish tradition, as well as start to develop Jesus’ character and personality. See the video above for Fr. Raph and Abby’s reaction and thoughts.
Now you’re once again invited to reflect on the episode yourself, either in a group or on your own. Maybe grab a coffee or tea and contemplate what you saw and heard. Below you’ll find discussion questions that can be used to get you started.
- What stood out to you, or moved you in episode 2?
- In the different Shabbat dinners, we saw very different pictures of each character’s experience of “family”. Did you grow up with/do you have a regular Sunday dinners or gatherings with “family”?
- Which character’s Shabbat experience reminds you most of what your family is like?
- We also saw in this episode, the various characters trying to find rest.
- Which character’s experience is most like your own?
- If you identified with a character who did not seem to find rest, what do you think was missing or stood in the way of them finding it?
- If you identified with Mary Magdalene, what was it about her situation that made her first Shabbat experience in a long time, one in which she found rest?
- What stood out to you or moved you in Episode 3?
- The children are not aware of Jesus’ reaction to their reciting of the “Shema” prayer, and yet we see how deeply moved He is in that moment. It’s easy for us to fall into thinking that we have to do all sorts of really difficult things and only then, just maybe, God might “tolerate” the sight of us. But what we see here is the complete opposite.
- Do you believe that God is just as pleased to hear you when you pray, as we see Jesus is when He is with these children?
Prayer with Scripture – Week 2 Challenge
Try to spend some time praying with each of these at least once this week. Find a comfortable, quiet place, and give yourself at least 10 minutes (you can set a timer if it helps) to let God speak to you, and then to speak to God from your heart. Some people find it helpful to draw, or write, or to pray while out for a walk. Do whatever is helpful for you.
Matthew 11:25-26, 28-30
“At that time Jesus said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,
because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent
and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
Come to me, all you who are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Read Jesus’ words in Matthew 11:25-30 slowly and prayerfully a few times, and close your eyes.
- Where do you think you will find rest in life?
- Where do you find rest – even if only partially – right now?
- What are the things in your life that you are restless about right now?
- Is there any word or phrase that stands out to you?
Imagine yourself standing or sitting in the crowd near Jesus when He said these words, and imagine He looks over at you. What, if anything, do you want to say to Jesus? Speak to Jesus as you would to a close family member or friend.
“O Lord, my heart is not proud nor haughty my eyes.
I have not gone after things too great nor marvels beyond me.
Truly I have set my soul in silence and peace. As a child has rest in its mother’s arms, Even so my soul.
O Israel, hope in the Lord Both now and for ever.”
Imagine yourself with the children in this episode, and imagine Jesus asks you all to recite Psalm 131 together. Pray it a few times slowly, close your eyes and imagine the scene if this helps. Allow Jesus to look at you. If you feel moved to respond to Him, speak to Him from your heart, as you are.
- Do you try to be anything other than a child in your relationship with God? Why do you do that?
- Can you believe that God is pleased with you, just as we see how Jesus is so pleased with the children in episode 3? They haven’t “done” anything other than be themselves, and sincerely believe and trust the God whom they pray to. A God who is sitting right there with them, though they don’t realize it.