Use Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to teach a great Gospel lesson.
By Sheri Wohlfert
“For if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them.” (Luke 6:32)
February and Valentine’s Day are right around the corner. I love Valentine’s Day but I’m pretty sure Cupid and Jesus come at the holiday from completely different angles. As Catholic educators we can either be frustrated with the worldly view of Valentine’s Day love, or we can use it as a chance to teach a great Gospel lesson.
Four ideas for helping students add some discipleship action to their candy hearts and chocolate:
- Organize students into small groups and have them choose a story of Jesus’s extravagant love. (For younger students, have a list of Scripture story references prepared so they can draw one from a basket. ) After reading the story together, have them act it out and explain to the class why the love of Jesus was hard or extravagant. After all the groups have presented, choose one to modify and use as a model for a class project. The washing of the disciples’ feet could manifest itself as a washing of the hands and a blessing with Holy Water for the teachers or for a group of younger students.
- “Mercy stems from love and love results in mercy.” We probably won’t find that written on a valentine card, but Jesus would like it if we did. Have students think of a person they need to forgive or a person they need to ask for forgiveness. Have them make a valentine card for each of them. Have a special class prayer service offering those cards to Jesus praying that his mercy will surround all of those situations. Students can choose to deliver the cards after prayer if they feel moved to, or they can be left anonymously in sealed envelopes at the foot of the cross, trusting in Jesus’ love and mercy.
- Valentines from Jesus. After reading and discussing Psalm 139:13-14, have students draw a name from the class list and design a valentine filled with loving words Jesus would speak to them. Have students mention God-given gifts, talents, and graces they see in that student. Since the words are from Jesus and not a classmate, the cards are a beautiful affirmation and a chance to help friends see through the eyes of the Creator.
- Host a “most beautiful homemade valentine” contest and then present the entries to those who are lonely, hurting or feeling a bit un-noticed on Valentine’s Day.
Sheri Wohlfert is a Catholic wife, mom, speaker, and teacher who writes from Michigan. She uses her sense of humor and her deep faith to help others discover the joy of being a child of God. Sheri also writes at JoyfulWords.org.
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