Engaging Faith: Practical lesson ideas and activities for Catholic Educators

February 12, 2019

Comparing Parable Themes with Music Videos

An essential component for authentic catechesis is to include real-life, pertinent, and culturally relevant examples within the theology course activities (Catechesi Tradendae, 1979; Instrumentum Laboris, 2012; Evangelii Gaudium, 2013).  Jesus exemplified this by teaching through parables to relate to his audience.  Jesus’ parables challenged the audience to think critically about a moral lesson, and jar complacent/stereotypical attitudes of the time (see Luke 10:25-37).  Although we don’t use the same cultural images in our stories today we can still use similar techniques, like music videos and short films, to teach moral lessons and challenge our students to think beyond stereotypes and labels.  Music videos, like ancient parables, can be a helpful modern-day storytelling technique as well as a beneficial option for a quick theological conversation starter. 

Directions

To start a conversation for adolescents on parables choose a couple of the music videos (a few are listed below), watch the video and develop a dialogue from the following suggested questions to discuss the meaning and morals of the videos you chose.  Finally, bring the conversation back to Scripture by connecting the video to any theme of Jesus’ parables.

Suggested Questions

1) What message do you think the director wanted to express through this music video?

2) How could the video be compared to a parable? 

3) What were your first impressions of the video?

4) Who could be considered the anawim (outcast) in the video? 

5) Briefly discuss, explain, or compare/contrast the videos you chose and relate them to a parable from the Gospel. 

Suggested Videos (remember adolescents may relate to other genres or artists more than the options offered below)

- Avicii's "Hey Brother" (2013) 

- Collective Soul's "The World I Know" (1995) 

- Dave Matthew's Band "Everyday" (2001) 

- Emerson Drive's "Moments" (2006) 

- Five for Fighting’s “What If” (2013) 

- Taylor Swift’s “Mean” (2010) 

- T.I.'s "Live Your Life" (2008) 

                                                                     Submitted by Thomas Malewitz, Ph.D.

                                                                     St. Xavier High School Louisville, KY

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