Read the article ‘St James reminds the Church of its mission’ and answer the following questions. Then share your answers in pairs, small groups or in a classroom discussion.
1. Break out your Bibles and read the Epistle of James in the New Testament. (Teachers can also assign a specific chapter in the Epistle of James.) Why do you think St James was known as ‘James the Just’?
2. Why is ‘remember the poor’ a central mission of Christianity?
3. Why should the rich ‘behave justly to the poor’?
4. How would Christians favour the wealthy? Where do you see the wealthy being favoured in our society today? Where do you see Christians resisting the favouring of the wealthy?
5. Peter Fleming writes, ‘James was a pronouncer of wisdom. He resembled Jesus in this manner of teaching’. After reading the Epistle of James, do you agree that James’ teaching style is like Jesus’? Why or why not?
1. Epistle to Australia: In the style of St James, write an epistle to Catholic Australians. Make sure you touch on the main points of our faith and its mission.
When you’re finished, if you feel comfortable read your epistle to your class.
2. Response Epistle: Break up into groups of two or three. Pick a chapter or two of one of Paul's epistles and compare them to the Epistle of James. How are Paul and James preaching styles similar? How are they different? What Christian teachings do they each focus on in their epistles?
Imagine how these letters were received by early Christians. As a group, write a response letter to either Paul or James.
Each group can then share their response letter with their class.
For younger students
Remember the poor: Teachers can either read the story ‘St James reminds the Church of its mission’ to the students or tell it to them in a simpler form.
Then, teachers can discuss with the students what ‘remember the poor’ means to the mission of our Church.
Students can create little booklets or a poster explaining how we can remember the poor at school, at home and in our own lives.