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    The following classroom resource is offered to teachers who would like to use St. Anthony Messenger in the classroom. This resource is prepared with high school students in mind, but can be adapted for other age groups. We will feature one article for classroom use each month. Back issues, beginning in May 1997, contain a Teachers’ Guide. Teachers with access to computer labs should encourage students to access the article directly online. Students have our permission to print out a copy of the article for classroom use. We encourage you and your students to subscribe to the print edition of St. Anthony Messenger, where you will see all of the graphics, and more articles that you might find useful on a variety of topics. Please let us know how we can improve this service by sending feedback to

    “Jesus, the Messiah”

    This resource guide will support curriculum in several areas:

    Religion - Biblical history; Jesus as Messiah; the third millennium.

    Social Studies - the Church in Cuba; the journeys of Pope John Paul II; concern for undeveloped nations; civil rights movement in America.

    Liturgy - Advent and preparation for Christmas.

    Idea One - Each of Us is God’s Anointed - Describing a Christian Teen

    A. Old Testament Kings as Precursors to Our Roles

    The author, Michael D. Guinan, O.F.M., writes of the coming of Jesus the Messiah, both in Advent and Christmas as well as in key moments of our lives. The Messiah is anointed to serve.

    1. In the Old Testament, an anointed one is charged with a mission, duties and responsibilities. Your students can find and read Psalm 72 in the Bible. Ask them to identify statements describing the role of an Old Testament king (an anointed one). The Psalm reads as a job description for a king in God’s kingdom.

    Remind your students of their own anointing, first in Baptism, then in Confirmation. (Some, of course, will be preparing for Confirmation at this time.)

    Ask your students to write a job description for their own role as an anointed Christian teen in today’s world. Using Psalm 72 as a guide, and perhaps reading through the Gospels (Luke 4:18, for example) for Jesus’ own words and directives, they can put together a list of duties that would characterize a Christian teen.

    Who are some of the “kings,” or anointed ones, in today’s world? Today’s church? Can your class list some responsibilities expected of others anointed to serve in God’s world?

    2. Were the Old Testament kings faithful to their role? The author tells us that typically, and often, they failed. But God was always faithful to them. He sent prophets in the role of guides, reminding the kings of their mission, urging them to live up to their expectations.

    Who are our “prophets”? Who reminds us of our duties, our mission?

    Brainstorm among the class, or let them put names together in small groups, re: who fills the role of prophet today. Narrow the list and ask the class to research in depth the roles of several contemporary prophets.

    For example:

    Pope John Paul II has made numerous trips to many countries and organizations over the last 19 years. See for a description of Pope John Paul II’s trip to the United States in October 1995, including texts of his speeches. John Paul visited several East Coast states, including New York, where he spoke to the General Assembly of the United Nations. His speech made reference to the new millennium. He spoke of a common concern for the human family among the Church and the nations assembled in New York. He strongly urged care for the poor and undeveloped countries of the world. Could he fill the role of prophet for some?

    In the same visit, John Paul addressed thousands of Christians in New Jersey’s Giants Stadium. He reminded America of the poem emblazoned on the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor. “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free....” Ask your students to research the poem and compare it to Psalm 72. Are there parallels?

    The pope will visit Cuba in January 1998. What do your students think he’ll say to the people there? What will he say to Fidel Castro and the Cuban leadership? They can research Cuba’s political and religious history to determine critical issues. Look at “Pope John Paul II AND Cuba” in an Internet search. Other sources include “Catholic Church Rallies Masses in Cuba” in The Los Angeles Times, October 17, 1997. Or Tad Szulc’s “A Sunny Day in Rome” in Newsweek, December 2, 1996. Szulc tells us both Castro and John Paul believe in social justice. Why do they express their concerns differently?

    B. Preparing for Christmas

    Advent is a special season, as we prepare for the fuller entry of Jesus into our personal lives at Christmas.

    Using the job descriptions put together from discussing Psalm 72 and Luke 4:18, what gifts can teens prepare to give to others in this season?

    Guide your class as a group in designing an Advent calendar to help them prepare for Christmas. It can start as a group collage or art project, but should have a personal application that carries students through the close of school and right up to Christmas morning. Put together 24 statements from the job descriptions found in Psalm 72, the Gospels, and the students’ work. Each of these statements will serve as a daily reminder of how to live, how to prepare for Christmas. Some of the 24 statements can be written on Post-It note pads so the teens can take them home as reminders. Or gather pictures of 24 people or situations that remind you of Christians living the life of an anointed one. Put these pictures in the Advent calendar.

    Another suggestion: Have the class research the meaning of and put together a Jesse Tree. It can be decorated with gifts for the poor—hats, gloves, scarves, toiletries.

    Idea Two

    Will January 1, 2000, bring any change in the world? As our Messiah, Jesus calls on us (see Luke 4:18) to live as the prophets urged their contemporaries to live—“... to bring the good news to the poor, to proclaim liberty to the captives...” The author’s article suggests seven ways in which we as Christians can actively prepare for 2000, and effect change in our world.

    Let’s focus on one of his suggestions: “Be hopeful, not pessimistic.” Guide your class in researching and then bringing in for group discussion examples of teens and adults who exemplify hope in their lives. Here are some suggestions:

    1. “No Stopping Her” from Seventeen magazine, September 1997, p. 244, is a story of a girl with epilepsy. She suffers 10 to 20 seizures a month, some causing her temporary blindness. She is unable to drive a car or baby-sit. But she focuses on what she can do with her life.

    2. September 1997 marked the 40th anniversary of the Little Rock Nine, a group of brave black teenagers who integrated Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. Do an Internet search under “Little Rock Nine” Try also for a story on Daisy Bates, one of the nine.

    3. Free the Children is an international youth-run movement founded by teenager Craig Kielburger to uphold the rights of children and tell the world about young people being exploited through forced labor. See

    4. See the Anne Frank Web site ( Of special interest is a photo album illustrating her short life’s story, and a listing of cities where the Anne Frank Exhibit can be seen in 1998. Can you put together a photo album (using clippings or photocopies if photos are not available) illustrating the hope-filled life of one teen or adult who lives as Jesus directs?

    5. Research St. Anthony Messenger online ( for back-issue stories on Sister Helen Prejean (the film Dead Man Walking), or Tony Melendez, the special young man who played guitar for the pope when he visited Denver, Colorado, for a youth celebration. Also check out the special section on Mother Teresa. What special gifts did they use to bring hope to our world?

    6. In the face of teen suicide, pregnancy, drug and alcohol abuse, abortion, depression, are there teens you know who stand as a symbol of hope? Ask the teens to suggest local youth whose lives and efforts may parallel those of the famous teens mentioned above.

    7. Where can a teen find a message of genuine hope in the media? Ask the class to research examples from current movies, music lyrics, biographies, books. Is Joan Osbourne’s song, “One of Us,” an expression of hope?

    8. Your students might enjoy reading about the NFL quarterback, Trent Dilfer, of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Los Angeles Times reports on November 4, 1997, in “Team Player: NFL Multimillionaire Dilfer Puts Faith in Advisors—and God”, that Dilfer tithes 10 to 15% of his gross income to charities. While this story focuses on the financial aspects of his giving, your students can research Dilfer further with the news resources listed at the end of this guide. What drives Dilfer to share so much with charity?


    Further Resources

    Try accessing some of these Internet sources for reference. Be aware, however, that some of these sites may charge for downloading articles contained within the site’s archives. New York Times Los Angeles Times magazine —CNN —MSNBC —This site will take you to a number of online publications —The Associated Press Chicago Tribune magazine Washington Post

    Links Disclaimer:

    The links contained within this resource guide are functional at the time the page is posted. Over time, however, some of the links may become ineffective.

    These links are provided solely as a convenience to you and not as an endorsement by St. Anthony Messenger Press/Franciscan Communications of the contents on such third-party Web sites. St. Anthony Messenger Press/Franciscan Communications is not responsible for the content of linked third-party sites and does not make any representations regarding the content or accuracy of materials on such third-party Web sites. If you decide to access linked third-party Web sites, you do so at your own risk.

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