Faith-Quest: The Land Where Jesus Walked

Audience: RCIA participants, Junior and Senior High School Students, and those who would like to take a virtual pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

Overview: Faith Quest offers an exciting way to explore and deepen a Catholic's faith.  This interactive web-based activity opens up the opportunity for inquiring learners to virtually visit a religious site like the Holy Land or to broaden personal understanding and background regarding theological terms and historical movements, e.g., the history of spirituality or the organization of the Vatican. 

The Land Where Jesus Walked is an online adventure that involves websites related to the Holy Land. It serves as a model for catechetical leaders who are exploring how to use the Internet in the process of catechetical faith formation. This Faith-Quest experience offers an on-line opportunity for you to experience firsthand a faith-based activity. 

Leader Version: Below is an annotated Leader version with notes. 

For Student Version go to The Land Where Jesus Walked.


The Land Where Jesus Walked

Introduction:

Welcome to the land where Jesus walked! I am Abdul Bakr.  I am pleased to take you on a virtual pilgrimage of the Temple Mount and the Western Wall, Nazareth, and finally Bethlehem.   As we virtually walk the land that Jesus walked, you will visit places that Pope John Paul II visited in March 2000 during the Jubilee Year.  Come, let us visit a land rich with history, tradition, and most of all faith!

 

Day 1: The Temple Mount and the Western Wall

Day 2: A Visit to Nazareth

Day 3: Bethlehem

 

 

Day 1 -- The Temple Mount and the Western Wall

The Land Where Jesus Walked comprises the present day country of Israel. We often refer to Israel as the Holy Land, a place that most Christians would like to visit.  Those who have made the journey, often called a "pilgrimage," say they will never be the same again.  Just walking where Jesus walked becomes a gift in itself.  You are invited to set aside three days in your daily schedule for a virtual tour through several sacred sites in the Holy Land.  You will be given the opportunity to learn more about this ancient land and its people, to stop and pray, and to remember that this is the place where Jesus lived, died, and rose from the dead.

Let us explore the place where Pope John Paul visited on March 26, 2000, the Western Wall.  As you view the scene, begin to imagine what it is like to walk to the Wall and place your prayer in one of the cracks--as the Holy Father did.

Pause for a moment to pray the prayer that the Pope placed in a crack at the Western Wall

Take a moment to write a prayer that you would like to leave in a crack in this ancient wall.
 

Catechetical Leader Note: You may wish to direct your participants to do one of the following: 

1. Write a prayer in their prayer journal, or

2. Email the prayer to the catechist or teacher. When you gather for the next class, you may wish to have a picture of the Western Wall on your prayer table.  Participants can be invited to share their prayer within a group setting.

After you have completed your prayer, we will walk up the stairs to the top of the Temple Mount.  The Temple Mount continues to be a holy site for the three major religions - Islam, Judaism, and Christianity.

Dr. Leen Ritmeyer is a former lecturer in Biblical Archaeology at the University of Leeds and served as adjunct professor of Biblical Archaeology at Trinity South West University, Albuquerque NM, USA. He hosts the Temple Mount in Jerusalem Website where brief summaries and a computer graphic reconstruction of the Temple can be found.

When you are finished reading about the Temple Mount provided by Dr. Ritmeyer, briefly summarize what you have learned about the Temple Mount.

Catechetical Leader Note: You may wish to direct your participants to do one of the following:

1. Write a reflection in their prayer journal, or

2. Email the reflection to the catechist or teacher.  Suggested ideas for follow-up:

  • Personally respond to the reflection.

  • Copy and paste all the reflections together into one file.

  • Print out the reflections and add them to a bulletin board where participants may take time to read the reflections

  • Comment on the reflections at the beginning of your group prayer.

 

Day 2 -- A Visit to Nazareth

The town where Mary and Joseph lived stands high in the hills of Galilee.  Go to Bible Study Tools and type Luke 1: 26-30 into the "Search For" field.  Set the drop-down arrow for in: to "Whole Bible" and using: to New American Standard.   Then click on "Find." 

Prayerfully read the story of Mary being visited by the angel Gabriel.  If you were Mary, what would be going through your mind? Take a moment to write your feelings or reflections.

Take some time to reflect on the history of Nazareth.  In three sentences, summarize what you have learned about the history of this city.

Catechetical Leader Note: You may wish to direct your participants to do one of the following:

1. Write a summary in their prayer journal, or

2. Email the personal reflections and summary to the catechist or teacher.

To learn more about Nazareth, visit the photographic tour of Nazareth. If you actually had the opportunity to visit this town, where would you like to visit and why? 

Catechetical Leader Note: You may wish to direct your participants to do one of the following:

1. Write a comment in their prayer journal, or

2. Email the comment to the catechist or teacher.

Pope John Paul visited the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth on March 25, 2000.  Have you ever wondered why the Pope visited Nazareth on this day?  Go to The Eucharistic Celebration for the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord to learn why. 

What would it mean for you to visit Nazareth on March 25th? 

Catechetical Leader Note: You may wish to direct your participants to do one of the following:

1. Write a personal meaning statement in their prayer journal, or

2. Email the personal meaning statement to the catechist or teacher.

 

Day 3 -- Bethlehem

On March 22, 2000 Pope John Paul II visited Bethlehem.  In his homily the pope said, "Bethlehem is the heart of my Jubilee Pilgrimage."  You are invited to read the homily. As you reflect on the significance of Bethlehem for the pope, think about on the significance of Jesus’ birthplace for yourself.

Take time to virtually visit Bethlehem  (click on "Bethlehem" in the list).  You will find photos and descriptions about Bethlehem and the Church of the Nativity.  After you virtually visit Jesus’ birthplace, pause for a moment. If you could, why would you like to visit Jesus’ birthplace?

Catechetical Leader Note: You may wish to direct your participants to do one of the following:

1. Write a reflection on why they would like to visit Jesus’ birthplace in their prayer journal, or

2. Email the reflection to the catechist or teacher.  If they choose this option, either e-mail a comment back or gather the reflections to share in your next class meeting.


Comments:  At the end of the virtual tour, invite your participants to share what it was like for them to participate in The Land Where Jesus Walked Faith Quest. Please email comments to webmaster@sadlier.com.

Links Used in the Jerusalem Faith Quest:

The Temple Mount and the Western Wall Plaza
http://mosaic.lk.net/g-wall.html

Prayer Placed at the Western Wall
http://198.62.75.1/www1/ofm/pope/50/57/260320022.html

The Temple Mount
http://www.ust.ucla.edu/ustweb/Projects/Israel/USpress1_327.htm

The Temple Mount in Jerusalem
http://www.templemountonline.com

Bible Study Tools
http://bible.crosswalk.com

Nazareth
Nazareth">http://198.62.75.1/www1/ofm/san/TSnzmain.html">Nazareth and http://www.twilliam.force9.co.uk/General%20Photos/Nazareth/index.htm

The Eucharistic Celebration for the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord
http://198.62.75.1/www1/ofm/pope/50/56/250320003.html 

Pope John Paul Homily – Bethlehem
http://198.62.75.1/www1/ofm/pope/50/53/220320002.html

Bethlehem: the Birth Place
http://www.bibleplaces.com/bethlehem.htm

Note: If you receive a message that a link is not available, first copy and paste the URL into your browser. If a link is not working, please notify the webmaster.

 

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