Living The Option
Serving The Poor
Edge Night Outline
Goal of this Night
The goal of this Edge Night is to help the youth grow in awareness of what our Catholic faith teaches about serving the poor. This night will help the middle school youth see what the poor can teach us about loving God.
About this night
The Catholic Social Teaching we will focus on for this Edge Night is called “preferential option for the poor and vulnerable.” Blessed John Paul II wrote: “By virtue of her own evangelical duty, the church feels called to take her stand beside the poor…” (On Social Concerns). The Church calls for us not only to have a charitable heart, but that we ensure that the rights and needs of the poor protected and provided for. The Church believes strongly that it is our responsibility to stand beside the poor and to help defend the most vulnerable in our society.
The topic of this night is about serving the poor. The night will begin with an activity focusing on six of the seven corporal works of mercy. The night will transition into the teaching with the gospel reading from Matthew 25:31-46. The focus will be on feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, sheltering the homeless, and clothing the naked. In their small group discussion, they will talk about ways they can be of service to the poor. The closing prayer will challenge the youth to see what the poor can teach us about loving God.
During tonight’s Edge session, we discussed the Corporal Works of Mercy – focusing on feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, sheltering the homeless, and clothing the naked. This is one way to be of service to the poor. Our Catholic Social Teachings remind us that we should have a preferential option for the poor. Jesus came to bring us life, not in the material sense, but in the deep authentic joy of knowing that riches will not make us ultimately happy. We must learn to be detached from material wealth – meaning not to make it the center of our lives. Love of God and neighbor, not of things, is essential for entering the Kingdom of God. By serving others (feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, etc.) we are learning how to be Christ to others. For it is when you serve the poor that you serve God.
Here are some discussion points and questions:
- Discuss what the Corporal Works of Mercy are as a family. (Provide the list for the parents.)
- Put a list together as a family with ideas of how to serve the poor together.
The environment for the night will set up as a street corner with a bench, cardboard box that someone lives in, trash all around the area, etc. A screen and projector will also be needed if available to your group and have the YouTube video playing “Dare You to Move” by Switchfoot (see Media Suggestions).
• Construction paper
• Pens, pencils, markers
• Glue sticks, tape
• Handout A: “Works of Mercy”
• Handout B: “Prayer to Know Jesus in Those in Need”
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