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Thinking about love and loving each other is really important whilst we are thinking about our friends and our families.

Jesus taught His followers that we must love God and love our neighbour so this week we are thinking about whether that is what we actually do. We start with a song that asks “Where is the love?” and learn that it is our mission to fill the world with love.

We have more pictures than usual as we explore the story of the Lost Sheep to help us to understand just how much God loves us and our scripture story of The Prodigal Son helps us to reflect on this further.

Our video will get us thinking about our vision of love and how that may be different for every person. There is also an action which gives us something to do every day this week!

Just as Saint Therese reminds us, loving is not about doing huge actions and being the best at loving but instead, it is about giving our lives to others by doing small acts of great love.

Click here for the Music Resource

Some of you may already know the song “Where is the love?” by the Black Eyed Peas. Listen carefully to the lyrics and watch to see what happens in their video.

The Black Eyed Peas – Where Is The Love?

Watch this video on YouTube.
What issues did you hear about in the song?

What was the message of the song?

Are there any times or places where you ask the question – where is the love?

There are many situations in the world where bad things happen, where people are hurt and where we cannot always see love. It is easy to blame others and to give up on there ever being a good and happy solution to these problems but Jesus taught us that in these most desperate situations it is our job to share love:

“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ But now I tell you: do not take revenge on someone who wrongs you. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, let him slap your left cheek too. And if someone takes you to court to sue you for your shirt, let him have your coat as well.

But now I tell you: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may become the children of your Father in heaven. For he makes his sun to shine on bad and good people alike, and gives rain to those who do good and to those who do evil.Why should God reward you if you love only the people who love you? Even the tax collectors do that! And if you speak only to your friends, have you done anything out of the ordinary? Even the pagans do that! You must be perfect—just as your Father in heaven is perfect.

(Matthew 5: 38-39, 44-48)

It is difficult to remember to always love others because there are times when they upset us or treat us in a way that we do not like.

In the video there were lots of question marks to ask “Where is the love?” It is our job as followers of Jesus to answer those question marks by filling those situations with love, even when we find it difficult.

Draw and cut out some love hearts. You might like to write some of the scripture on the love hearts you have created.

Just as the people in the video placed question marks in places for people to see it is your task to fill your school with love hearts that will remind everyone that it is their job to fill the school with love. These could be on the corridors of the school or hidden away in trays and boxes ready to surprise people!

Share the message that it is our job to fill the world with love!

Click here for the Picture Resource

This week there are pictures!

They show the parable that Jesus told of the Good Shepherd who leaves his flock of 99 sheep to go and search for the one sheep who is lost. Go through the pictures to see how the story ends and if you can’t tell then read the scripture below.

Click on the first picture to enlarge it and then use the arrow tab on the right hand side of the picture to go through the images in order.

 

“What do you think a man does who has one hundred sheep and one of them gets lost? He will leave the other ninety-nine grazing on the hillside and go and look for the lost sheep. When he finds it, I tell you, he feels far happier over this one sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not get lost. In just the same way your Father in heaven does not want any of these little ones to be lost.

(Matthew 18: 12-14)

How does this story fit in with the theme of loving this week?

Who does the scripture say the shepherd is like?

It shows great love to care about one sheep so much that the shepherd would go and search until the lost sheep was found. God loves us in the same way. We are all children of God and even if just one person is lost God will still search for them and bring them back to the flock.

It is a great comfort to know that we are loved so much. There is always someone who cares for us and will not allow us be lost on our own because they will search for us.

It is this love that we should try to demonstrate in our own lives. We should not give up on others or decide that just because it is a small act of love that it is not worth doing. We must take every opportunity to show love and never leave anyone out.

Thank you Lord for loving us so much that you will come and search for us when we are lost.

Help us to remember how much you love us and to trust in you.

Amen.

Click here for the Action

As part of our action today we are going to think about the important words in John’s Gospel:

My commandment is this: love one another, just as I love you. The greatest love you can have for your friends is to give your life for them. And you are my friends if you do what I command you.

(John 15: 12-14)

Jesus showed us how much He loved us by giving up His life for us. We should try to give our lives to others by always trying to help them and by being kind to them.

One Saint who did this very well is Saint Therese of Liseux, it was her feast day on 1st October but as that was a Sunday this year, you may not have heard about it! St Therese believed in doing little things with great love. She gave her life to others by always doing little things to help them and to care for them so that she showed love to others in everything she did. She saw herself as the “little flower of Jesus,” who gave glory to God by just being her beautiful little self among all the other flowers in God’s garden.

st-therese

Your action this week is to find a way to lay down your life for others by doing a small action that shows great love.

It could be to hold open a door, give someone a smile, or even tell them a joke!

One way to remind yourself, and others, of the message of Jesus is by making a little flower and then giving it to someone so that we are following in the footsteps of Saint Therese by doing a small act which shows great love.

Try to do a different action everyday this week!

 

Prayer to Saint Therese of the Child Jesus

O Little Therese of the Child Jesus,
Please pick a rose for me
From the heavenly gardens
And send it to me
As a message of love.

O little flower of Jesus,
Ask God today to grant the favors
I now place with confidence
In your hands.

(Think about what you want to pray for)

St. Therese,
help me to always believe,
As you did,
In God’s great love for me,
So that I might imitate your
“Little Way” each day.

Amen

Click here for the Video Resource

There are lots of different types of love, it can mean different things to different people.

Watch this video which shows how different people see love.

What does Love look like to YOU?

Watch this video on YouTube.
Were you surprised by anything that you saw in the video?

What do you see as love?

It is not always easy to see love and we may find love and beauty where others cannot see it.

Create your own images of where you see love.

You might like to draw them, act them out, or take photographs of where you see love in your lives.

Share your ideas with those around you. Even though we may all have different ideas you could inspire someone to see love where they had not seen it before.

Click here for the Scripture Resource

This week our scripture teaches us that we must show love to others even if they have done something wrong and have made bad choices which have upset us.

Read the scripture below or watch the video of the parable of The Prodigal Son.

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke.

(Glory to you O Lord.)

Jesus went on to say, “There was once a man who had two sons. The younger one said to him, ‘Father, give me my share of the property now.’ So the man divided his property between his two sons. After a few days the younger son sold his part of the property and left home with the money. He went to a country far away, where he wasted his money in reckless living. He spent everything he had. Then a severe famine spread over that country, and he was left without a thing. So he went to work for one of the citizens of that country, who sent him out to his farm to take care of the pigs. He wished he could fill himself with the bean pods the pigs ate, but no one gave him anything to eat. At last he came to his senses and said, ‘All my father’s hired workers have more than they can eat, and here I am about to starve! I will get up and go to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against God and against you. I am no longer fit to be called your son; treat me as one of your hired workers.”’ So he got up and started back to his father.

“He was still a long way from home when his father saw him; his heart was filled with pity, and he ran, threw his arms around his son, and kissed him. ‘Father,’ the son said, ‘I have sinned against God and against you. I am no longer fit to be called your son.’ But the father called to his servants. ‘Hurry!’ he said. ‘Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and shoes on his feet. Then go and get the prize calf and kill it, and let us celebrate with a feast! For this son of mine was dead, but now he is alive; he was lost, but now he has been found.’ And so the feasting began.

The Gospel of the Lord.

(Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ.)

(Luke 15: 11-32)

The Parables of Jesus 6 – The Prodigal Son

Watch this video on YouTube.
Where can you see love in this Parable?

Do you think you would react in the same way?

In this parable the father is like God. His love is so strong that no matter what the son has done he is looking out for him and hoping that he will choose to do the right thing and come back to him. This is the same as our relationship with God, He is always looking over us and loves us even though we sometimes turn away from Him.

In our lives we should try to love like God loves us. Even when we find it difficult love should be at the centre of our actions and behaviour towards others.

Please help us Lord to love those who have turned away from us and have upset us.

Thank you for the loving example you give to us, please help us to follow in your footsteps.

Amen.