Here are ideas for you to use in reflecting on the upcoming Sunday’s scriptures with your classes.
- Leviticus 13:1-2, 44-46
- 1 Corinthians 10:31-11:1
- Mark 1:40-45
“The man went away and began to publicize the whole matter.”
It’s hard to keep good news to ourselves!
Teaching for Primary Grades:
1. Explain what a leper is and how lepers were treated in Jesus’ time. Tell the story of Jesus curing a leper. Discuss what a cure would have meant to that person, not only in having the sickness healed but also in being able to be accepted in the
community again. Tell the children to imagine the leper’s joy, relief, and gratitude.
2. Jesus didn’t want the leper to tell lots of people about what he had done. Jesus didn’t heal people just to be popular or famous. But it’s really hard to keep good news to ourselves. So the leper told everyone! Have the children recall some
wonderful things that happened to them that made them very happy. Teach a spirited song of joy and God’s love from
any of Carey Landry’s Hi God CD series from OCP. Let the children march around the room while they sing.
Teaching for Intermediate Grades:
1. Tell the students the story about Jesus healing a leper and then telling him to be quiet about it. Talk about the reasons Jesus might have had for not wanting that publicized. He wasn’t interested in popularity and didn’t want his message to get lost in the crush of people needing something from him.
2. Assign the students to work with a partner. Tell them to imagine a situation where they could quietly do something to help another person and not seek any reward or recognition for their kindness. Then, together, have them write the incident as a story, including in the story the difficulties they might encounter in keeping their good work anonymous. What could they do to share their joy about the person who was helped? Invite students to read their stories to the class.
Teaching for Secondary Grades:
1. Assign students to groups of four. Give them Bibles and the following Scripture passages to find in the Gospel of Mark: 1:40-45
Tell each group to read the four stories and then discuss these questions:
a. What similarities are there in these stories?
b. Why did Jesus not want these healings to be publicized?
2. Bring the class together and discuss the groups’ responses to the questions. Prepare for the discussion by researching the “Messianic Secret” in Mark’s Gospel. Then explain this to the students. Close by reading Mark 8:27-30. The next few chapters show how the disciples did not yet understand what being the Messiah meant. Assign students to read Mark 8:31–10:45 and take notes on how Jesus opened his disciples’ eyes.
Sr. Karen Berry is a Joliet Franciscan, a former teacher of high school religion and director of family programs of Religious Education, and currently a teacher of adult religion classes in several parishes in Tucson, Arizona.