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From November 12–18, 2017, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops invites families, parishes, schools, and other Catholic groups to participate in National Bible Week.  This year, readings focus on immigration as part of the Share the Journey campaign. 

SUNDAY:  Read Genesis 12:1-9.  Imagine what it must have been like for Abram to migrate at 75 years of age.  What hardships would he have endured?  Do you think the decision to leave his homeland was easy or difficult?  Why?  How was Abram like modern day immigrants?

MONDAY:  Read Genesis 46:1-7; 47:1-6; and Exodus 1:6-14.  Why did Jacob (aka Israel) and his entire household migrate to Egypt?  Do people immigrate today because of similar hardships?  How were Jacob and his family greeted in Egypt?  Why were later generations oppressed?

TUESDAY:  Read Exodus 22:20-23; 23:9; Leviticus 19:33-34; 23:22; Deuteronomy 10:12-22; 24:17-22.  What are the laws pertaining to aliens and strangers?  Why are aliens often grouped together with widows and orphans?  What does it mean to you to love the alien as yourself (Lev. 19:34)?  Why is there an emphasis on how aliens and strangers are treated?

WEDNESDAY:  Read Isaiah 1:12-17; Amos 2:6-16; 8:4-8 and Micah 6:6-8.  Throughout the books of the prophets, the people of Israel are judged for what they don’t do.  What are some of the things they neglect?   What is meant by “justice” in these passages?  What does God really want from us?

THURSDAY:  Read Matthew 3:16-23.  Those who leave their homelands due to persecution or fear for their lives are called refugees.  Why does Joseph leave his homeland in the middle of the night with his wife and young child?  If the parents of the Innocents had been warned like Joseph, do you think they would have fled also?  Where are people fleeing for their lives and the lives of their children today?

FRIDAY:  Read Matthew 25:31-46.  What does Jesus mean by “whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me?”  How are you welcoming to Jesus the Stranger?  What concrete actions can you take to welcome Jesus as a stranger in the future?

 

SATURDAY:  Read Luke 14:12-14; Romans 12:9-21; and Hebrews 13:1-6.  Depending on the version of the Bible you are reading, these verses either say “exercise hospitality to strangers” or simply “exercise hospitality.”  What does it mean to exercise hospitality?  What does it mean to “entertain angels?”  How do you exercise hospitality?