Engaging Faith: Practical lesson ideas and activities for Catholic Educators

December 3, 2008

Getting to Know Jesus


I am pleased to announce the publication of Catholic Essentials: An Overview of the Faith a new handbook for Catholic teenagers written to provide a synthesis of Catholicism. Even more, I intended Catholic Essentials to be a starting point to provide teenagers with more information about Jesus Christ with the intention of helping them be open to the grace for building a deeper and loving friendship with him.

A regular feature in the text is called "Getting to Know Jesus." Here is a synopsis of one of the activities (with thanks to Sr. Kieran Sawyer, SSND). I hope you will be able to use it with your students as you approach these final days before finals and/or the Christmas break.

Read Luke 19:1-10. (Jesus has dinner with Zacchaeus)

Say:

Imagine that Jesus comes to your house, like he did to Zacchaeus's. He spends about a week with you, your family, and your friends. In your mind, walk through the events and situations of a typical week. The presence of Jesus might cause you to see things about every day places and people that you sometimes fail to see. Imagine what Jesus would be pleased to see happening in your family, among your friends, and at your school or workplace. Hear also what Jesus would say is displeasing to him.

Have the students write:

Jesus says: "I am pleased with your family because . . . ."
Jesus says: "I am pleased with your friends because . . . ."
Jesus says: "I am pleased with your school or workplace because . . . ."
Jesus says: "I am pleased with you because . . . ."

Jesus says: "I am not pleased with your family because . . . ."
Jesus says: "I am not pleased with your friends because . . . ."
Jesus says: "I am not pleased with your school or workplace because . . . ."
Jesus says: "I am not pleased with you because . . . ."

Pray:
Allow time for quiet, reflective prayer as the students look over both lists and consider an honest look at their live and their relationships with Jesus.

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