Reflecting on the Corporal Works of Mercy

For this evening’s Confirmation Intensive, my segment is to do a meditation on the Corporal Works of Mercy.

Remember, our Confirmation Intensives are two hours long and aside from an opening and closing segment in their “homeroom,” the young people move about to fout different 20-minute mini sessions. My segment takes place in the chapel.

This evening we are focusing on what Catholics BELIEVE and DO. Two of the mini sessions will be on the Creed (the Trinity and the Marks of the Church), one will be on conscience and moral life, and mine will be on performing works of mercy.

The meditation will invite the young people to, as always, center and quiet themselves (that alone can be a challenge!). Then I will lead them to imagine that Jesus has entered the room and sits himself down to talk individually with them. In the course of their conversation, Jesus asks the young person to consider following him. The young people’s reply is that they want to know what they have to DO as his follower. Jesus will then go on to describe how they can share his merciful love with others by peforming works of mercy. I have taken the Corporal Works of Mercy and described some practical things that young people can do to perform these works in their everyday lives.

At the end, Jesus once again restates his invitation to follow him. The meditation ends with the young people conversing in their own words about how ready they are to do this and asking Jesus to help them overcome any obstacles that stand in the way of following him more closely.

I will end the meditation by reading a brief segment of the Parable of the Last Judgment (Matthew 25) which form the basis for the Corporal Works of Mercy (“For I was hungry and you gave me food…)

If all goes well (and maybe even if it doesn’t go well!), I’ll share the text of the meditation in my next post.

Best wishes for engaging sessions this week!

About Joe Paprocki 2741 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at

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