Immaculate Conception, Primary

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Primary Session
Luke 1:26-38

Opening Prayer
Let us Pray.
God our Creator,
Thank you for sending Mary to show us how to obey. Help us say yes right away when we need to help others. Help us show your love to others. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Opening Life Reflection
Outline each person’s hand on a sheet of paper. Look at the hand and think about ways that hand will obey God and do God’s will. Have children draw pictures around the hand that indicate some of things they might do to say “yes” to God.

• What are some of the things God asks us to do?
• Why is it hard to do some of the things we know God wants us to do?
• Name one thing you can do to change something that stops you from saying “yes” to God.

When the children are finished with their handprints and illustrations, invite them to share their responses with one another.

Listening to the Word of God
See how Mary obeys God as we listen to Luke describe her conversation with the angel, Gabriel.

Read Luke 1:26-38
Allow for silence.

Scripture Discussion Starters
• What all is God asking of Mary?
• What does Mary learn about her child from the angel?
• What is Mary’s response to God?

Scripture Background
Provide 2-3 minutes of background information on the gospel using the Catechist Background section.

The angel of God, Gabriel, comes to Mary with the message that with the help of the Holy Spirit, she will give birth to God’s son. Mary doesn’t understand this news exactly, but she recognizes it as the will and work of God. Therefore, she simply agrees to obey God. The angel gives Mary even more astonishing news when he informs her that her cousin, Elizabeth, and older woman well beyond child-bearing years, is also expecting a baby.

Questions for Deeper Reflection
• What are some astonishing events in our own time that have been hard for you to believe?
• If you had been Mary, what kinds of thoughts would be going through your mind when you heard Gabriel’s news?
• What are some things God asks of us that at first seem impossible to do?

[If you are not going to continue with the doctrinal discussion, proceed to the Gospel in Life.]

Doctrinal Discussion Starters
The Immaculate Conception of Mary

Catholics believe that Mary was free from sin from the moment of her conception in her mother, Anne’s, womb. God set her apart from all other human beings. Favored by God, she was blessed and gifted. While people always believed that Mary was free from sin, it took many years for the Church to firmly declare that she was free from sin at the time of her own conception. In 1854, Pope Pius IX officially said in a document called Ineffabilis Deus, that Mary, by special grace from God, was conceived by her own mother without sin.

• Why is it important for us to have Mary as a model today?
• In what ways do we receive grace from God?
• How do you see others saying “yes” to God?

Sacrament Connection
The sacrament of Holy Orders is reserved for priests and deacons. Like Mary, they say “yes” to a special way of life so that they can bring Jesus forth into the world. Through our baptism, however, we are all called to priests. We show bring Jesus to many people when they hear our words and witness God’s love through us.

The Gospel in Life
I know that God is calling me to something. I will be like Mary and say “yes” to God by answering the call.

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