Lent Activity

Celebrate in Style - Persevere in Love

Aim: To use the good Samaritan as a model of how to behave with those around us.

We Are Learning To (W.A.L.T.):

  • Compare the characteristics of the giraffe with those of the jackal.

  • Reflect on the parable of the good Samaritan.

  • Become aware of Pope Francis’ encyclical – Fratelli Tutti.

  • Discuss various points and reflections.

  • Identify practical way/s of living in harmony with others.

Time: 45 min


Welcome - 5 to 10 mins

Greet the students. If not acquainted with the class, the following name game can be used as an ice breaker:

One person starts by using an adjective starting with the same letter as their first name, followed by their first name (i.e., Clever Claire, Kind Karen) the next person and following must repeat the first person's adjective and name and then add their own, it goes around, and the last person must repeat all other names in order and end with their own.

Introduction - 5 mins

Compare the giraffe and jackal through the story below (you may also use the PPT)

Ask the students - to reflect or create a discussion: (the questions below can be used as a guide)

  • What characterises the giraffe?

  • What characterises the jackal?

  • With which animal do you resonate the most?

  • Which features in your personality are more towards the giraffe and which are more towards the jackal?

  • Do you desire to be more of a giraffe or a jackal? Why?

Step 1 - 5 mins

Explain the background of the parable, using the map on the Powerpoint presentation.

Mention that the clip does not contain words so they could use this time to reflect on the story.

Step 2 - 10 mins

Ask the students - to reflect or create a discussion: (the questions below can be used as a guide)

  • Who would you have been in the clip?

  • Would you have stopped?

  • Would you have walked away? Why?

  • Would you have been the robbers?

  • What do you think of actions speak louder than words?

Step 3 - 10 mins

Pope Francis wrote an encyclical letter Fratelli Tutti, revolving around this parable and says: “Jesus trusts in the best of the human spirit; with this parable, he encourages us to persevere in love, to restore dignity to the suffering, and to build a society worthy of the name.”

Explain in simple terms that our actions should be actions that “preserve in love and restore dignity.” Discuss with them how their actions can be actions to “preserve in love and restore dignity”. Discuss practical ways of living in harmony and as a class come up with a goal/pledge to live in harmony together.

Conclusion - 5 mins

To conclude the session, invite the students for a moment for prayer.

You may opt for some back music to set the scene for prayer and reflection.

Invite the students to reflect on the point, idea, or person that resonated from the story and write/draw them on the paper (to externalise their feelings). Invite them to talk to God/Jesus/The Good Samaritan, then you can close with the Our Father.

The Giraffe and the Jackal

The giraffe and the jackal are very different animals, yet both live in us.

The giraffe is a very special animal. It has an exceedingly long neck, and its head is several meters in the air. It is not easy to pump blood to such a height, and for this it must have a huge heart. That giraffe’s heart weighs various kilos, beating strongly to move the blood so far. Its height, fruit of millions of years of evolution to be able to reach the leaves of the trees, also allows it a much broader field of vision since it looks from on high. And when the giraffe moves, many other animals congregate around it, trusting in its sight. But these other species can keep close, and in fact they do, because they know that the giraffe is neither an enemy nor a danger. It is, rather a gentle animal.

The jackal is a more difficult animal. Its heart is too close to its head, and its head is too close to the ground, and that is why its vision is limited by its impulse. But its impulse is violent. It is not sight which leads it far. It is, rather, a very sharp sense of smell which allows it to pursue the odour of dead animals, on whose carcasses it feeds. The jackal, furthermore, is dangerous since it attacks from the back.

And now, which one do we choose to give wings in our life and in our hearts? Which one do we want to speak in us, the giraffe, or the jackal; big heart, lofty viewpoint and gentle behaviour, or violent impulse, tunnel vision and feeding on death?