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 Gods 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 todays 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
Who are some of the kings, or anointed ones, in todays
world? Todays church? Can your class list some responsibilities
expected of others anointed to serve in Gods 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,
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
Pope John Paul II has made numerous trips to many countries and
organizations over the last 19 years. See http://www.catholic.net/RCC/POPE/index.html
for a description of Pope John Paul IIs 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
In the same visit, John Paul addressed thousands of Christians
in New Jerseys 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 hell say to the people there? What will he say to
Fidel Castro and the Cuban leadership? They can research Cubas
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 Szulcs 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
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 poorhats, gloves, scarves, toiletries.