There are many Special Places around the world. The picture here is of a place of Pilgrimage called Lourdes, in the South of France.
Places can be special for many different reasons. Sometimes it is because someone special has visited there, other times it is because something special has happened there.
Although God is always with us it is sometimes important to go to a special place where we have time and space to think and reflect upon important things in life.
This week you will find out more about some of the special places that Jesus visited, some places where special things have happened and you will have the chance to make a journey to your own special place!
If you would like to reflect on some more of the scriptures related to this topic then you can use some of the scripture references below.
Most of these are taken from Open Bible – you can use their Topical Bible Search facility to find lots more ideas! Just remember to change the Bible translation to ‘Good News Translation’ when you click on the link!
If you have found any pieces of scripture that you think link to our theme this week then please add them in the comments box below to share the Good News so that we can all enjoy them!
If you’d like to find out more about Lourdes then check the Be Inspirational website.
Becket sixth formers who are travelling to Lourdes to help the pilgrims on their pilgrimage around Lourdes. So check out the Be Inspirational site to see what they were up to.
If you’d like to see more now then you can have a look on the website at previous sixth formers whilst they were in Lourdes or, follow the link below to watch the live TV link to the Grotto in Lourdes.
Click here for the Music Resource
This week’s song is a popular song in a special place called Lourdes.
Lourdes is a town in the South of France where, in 1858, Mary the Mother of God appeared to a young girl called Bernadette.
Bernadette told the people of Lourdes that she had seen Mary but they didn’t believe her at first. She told them that Mary had asked for a Chapel to be built nearby and that Mary said they should drink from the water of the spring that was there. Eventually they believed her and Bernadette became a Saint in 1933.
Lourdes is now a special place of Pilgrimage. Every year about 5 million people travel from all over the world to visit the grotto where Mary appeared to Saint Bernadette and to drink the water and wash in it. Many people have been cured by bathing in the water. Instead of just a Chapel there are now many churches built near where Mary appeared, one is so big it can fit 25,000 people inside!
This song is called Come to the water. The words encourage anyone and everyone to come and visit the water in Lourdes. It talks about those people who are poor, weary, thirsty and have big burdens to carry and tells them that they do not need to worry about these things if they trust in God and come to Him.
Listen to the song and think about the story of Lourdes.
Would you have been brave, like St Bernadette, and tell everyone what you saw?
Do you follow what you have been asked to do even if it is a big job?
Would you like to go to visit Lourdes?
Click here for the Picture Resource
Have a look at this picture.
This picture shows what Israel looked like when Jesus was a child and when He was an adult and travelled around Israel with His disciples.
It’s now Quiz Time!
Get into teams and try to answer these questions using the map above.
If there are any questions that you don’t know the answers to then look them up using the Bible references given with the questions.
If you’re still not sure then the answers can be found at the end of the 10 questions.
You could look up the scripture using Bibles or by using the website http://www.biblegateway.com/
Many people travel on pilgrimages to special places but the pilgrimage is more than just visiting a special place.
A pilgrimage is a journey. The pilgrimage begins when the pilgrim begins to plan for their pilgrimage, to pack their bags, to make their sandwiches and when they start to travel to the special place.
Today you are going to go on a journey!
Work together to plan a route around your school and the school grounds for your journey.
Remember that not everyone in school will be going on their journey today so try not to disturb anyone.
Is there a special place where you would like your journey to finish? You could finish your journey with some time to pray together, just as pilgrims would at their special place.
What will you find at your special place? Candles, cushions, calm music, flowers, pictures, water, pens, paper?
Think about this together and prepare your special place before you set off on your journey.
As you make your journey you will have the time to reflect and think about what the journey means to you. You might walk alone or you could think together with a partner.
Think about these questions:
Is there something in your life that you need to say sorry for?
Do you need more peace and calm in your life?
Is there something big in your life that you need help with?
Are you happy with how you live your life?
Is there someone that you need to help?
Do you say thank you to God and to others enough?
Are you inspired by the things you see on your journey?
As you make your journey remember these reassuring words when you do not know where to go:
If you wander off the road to the right or the left, you will hear his voice behind you saying, “Here is the road. Follow it.”
When you end your journey gather together in your special place and talk to God about the things that you thought about on your journey.
Thank you Lord for the opportunity to journey closer to you.
Help us to find what we need on our journey throughout our lives.
Help us to remember that you are always with us wherever we go.
Click here for the Video Resource
The Nottingham Diocese celebrates the Grotto Mass on their pilgrimage in Lourdes.
Click on the link below to see the Grotto Mass! and see if you can spot us!
If you’re a bit too early or too late to see the Nottingham Diocese follow the link anyway and see what is happening at the Grotto – you might find another Mass being celebrated in a different language or you might see people who are visiting the Grotto.
You may need to open this link in Internet Explorer or Firefox.
People journey to special places for all kinds of reasons.
Watch the videos below which discuss some of the reasons that some Becket 6th Formers travelled to Lourdes in 2013.
Would you like to go on a pilgrimage?
Where would you go?
Why would you go to a special place?
What would be the challenges of journeying to a special place?
How do you think a pilgrimage would affect your faith?
Please help us Lord in our journeys through life and in our journeys to special places.
Help us to make the most out of the places that we visit and to be courageous as we tackle the challenges along the way.
Click here for the Scripture Resource
This week’s scripture is the story of when Jesus went to the Temple.
Read the Scripture story or watch the video.
A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke.
(Glory to you O Lord.)
Every year the parents of Jesus went to Jerusalem for the Passover Festival. When Jesus was twelve years old, they went to the festival as usual.When the festival was over, they started back home, but the boy Jesus stayed in Jerusalem. His parents did not know this; they thought that he was with the group, so they travelled a whole day and then started looking for him among their relatives and friends.They did not find him, so they went back to Jerusalem looking for him. On the third day they found him in the Temple, sitting with the Jewish teachers, listening to them and asking questions. All who heard him were amazed at his intelligent answers. His parents were astonished when they saw him, and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been terribly worried trying to find you.”
He answered them, “Why did you have to look for me? Didn’t you know that I had to be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand his answer.
So Jesus went back with them to Nazareth, where he was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart. Jesus grew both in body and in wisdom, gaining favour with God and people.
The Gospel of the Lord.
(Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ.)
In this piece of scripture we can see how important the Temple is to Jesus. It was His Father’s house, God’s house, and therefore He had to be there to spend time with Him.
There are many places that will be special to us, our homes, places we have visited, and places we go to spend time with others.
Think about the places that are special to you.
Think about the places where you feel close to God.
It is important that we spend time with God because, just like any of our friends, we need to spend time with God and talk to Him.
Please help us Lord to always make time and space for you in our lives so that we may be better friends.