Joseph, Spouse of Mary, Primary

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Primary Session
Matthew 1:16, 18-21, 24a

Opening Prayer
Let us Pray.
Dear God,
Mary and Joseph both said “yes” to you and obeyed you. Help us do what you want us to do. We want to show other people that Jesus is with us, but we need your help. Let our actions and words tell about Jesus. In Your Son’s name we pray. Amen.

Opening Life Reflection
Create a shadow box or collage of wedding scenes. Using the words from the Rite of Matrimony help children paraphrase the words that are meaningful for them.

• What ideas from our current marriage rite can be found throughout the ages?
• What are some of the things God asks two people to do who are getting married?
• How have you seen married people living out these promises?

Allow time for everyone to reflect on these ideas and their art with one another.

Listening to the Word of God
Joseph wasn’t sure he should go ahead with his plans to marry Mary. Listen to how the angel helps Joseph decide.

Matthew 1:16, 18-21, 24a
Allow for silence.

Scripture Discussion Starters
• What did Joseph see as the problem in marrying Mary?
• How did Joseph plan to solve the problem?
• How did God help Joseph solve the problem?

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

David was one of Joseph’s ancestors. A long time ago, God promised that a king would be born from David’s family. Because Joseph was Mary’s husband, he was also Jesus’ earthly father. This is how God’s promise was fulfilled. At first it wasn’t clear to Joseph how he could be Jesus’ father, but an angel came to help him understand. The angel told Joseph that Mary’s baby was made possible through the Holy Spirit. The angel told Joseph not to be afraid to be Mary’s husband. Joseph obeyed the angel and became Jesus’ father on earth.

Questions for Deeper Reflection
• What gave Mary the courage to tell Joseph about her baby?
• How did the angel’s message change Joseph’s mind about marrying Mary?
• How did Joseph show his love for God and Mary?

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

Doctrinal Discussion Starters
Joseph is Mary’s husband

Joseph married Mary and became the earthly father of Jesus. Mary and Joseph shared the job of raising Jesus. They worried about him, taught him to work, and took care of him. Before all this happened, however, an angel from God let Joseph know that Mary’s baby came through the Holy Spirit. Even thought they had not lived together as a married couple, it was okay for Joseph to marry Mary and be Jesus’ father while he lived on earth. Joseph believed the angel and married Mary. We believe that Joseph knew Mary was special to God and that she would always be a virgin. They did not have any other children.

• Why is it important that all parents look to God for help?
• How have you seen God help parents?
• How does God help young people who are getting married today?

Sacrament Connection
God always planned that a woman and man share a special life together and create children. In the Sacrament of Matrimony, a baptized man and woman become partners with one another and with God. They promise, in the presence of God, to love one another. They promise to accept and care for children that result from their union. It is from the grace of this sacrament that two people receive the strength to love one another.

The Gospel in Life
Is there someone you know who is awaiting the birth of a child? Do something for the parents to show them that God is with them. Help them see God through you.

Posted in: Sessions A , Sessions B , Sessions C