ISSL Reflections September 18 2022 Genesis 32:22–32 Post 1

With this week’s reading about Jacob at Jabbok we come to one of my favorite episodes in Scripture.

There is a lot going on in this brief passage.

I invite you to read it slowly, rest in the images and responses it brings to mind for you, and then reread and pay attention to what draws your deepest attention.

Genesis 32:22-32 New Revised Standard Version Updated Edition

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. He took them and sent them across the stream, and likewise everything that he had. Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. When 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. Then he said, “Let me go, for the day is breaking.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go, unless you bless me.” So he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” Then the man said, “You shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with humans and have prevailed.” Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And there he blessed him. So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “For I have seen God face to face, yet my life is preserved.” The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip. Therefore to this day the Israelites do not eat the thigh muscle that is on the hip socket, because he struck Jacob on the hip socket at the thigh muscle.

What draws you in? What image stays with you?

Why do you think that is? Do you identify with some aspect of the reading? Do you find some parallel in your own experiences?

Go back to the passage, read it again, and this time stay with Jacob as he finds himself alone, and notice what you sense as his greatest struggle.

{ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est}

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