Engaging Faith: Practical lesson ideas and activities for Catholic Educators

December 30, 2015

Recognizing Jesus

The Christmas season continues, even as you return to school. Have your students meditate on the humanity of Jesus and his mission. Share these words of Pope Benedict XVI. Have them complete the assignment that follows.

The real novelty of the New Testament lies not so much in new ideas as in the figure of Christ himself, who gives flesh and blood to those concepts—an unprecedented realism. In the Old Testament, the novelty of the Bible did not consist merely in abstract notions but in God’s unpredictable and in some sense unprecedented activity.

 This divine activity now takes on dramatic form when, in Jesus Christ, it is God himself who goes in search of the “stray sheep,” a suffering and lost humanity. When Jesus speaks in his parables of the shepherd who goes after the lost sheep, of the woman who looks for the lost coin, of the father who goes to meet and embrace his prodigal son, these are no mere words: They constitute an explanation of his very being and activity.

                                                                             —Pope Benedict XVI (Deus Caritas Est, 12)

Do the following:

  • Research the meaning of the term anawim. How are the anawim another way to describe the poor in spirit? Who are anawim in your community? How can you serve them? Write a one-page essay that describes them.

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