Mother of God, Intermediate

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Intermediate Session
Numbers 6:22-27
Luke 2:16-21

Opening Prayer

Let us pray.
Loving God, You chose Mary to be the mother of your Son. She trusted and obeyed you. Help us to be like her. Through Jesus we pray. Amen.

Opening Life Reflection

Draw ten circles on a long sheet of shelf paper. Have children write a word or phrase or draw a picture that tells something about Mary. Ask:

• What do we know about Mary from your drawings/words?
• Why do you think Mary is called the Mother of God?
• How are we blessed like Mary?

Allow time for discussion. Mary obeys God even when she doesn’t fully understand God’s plan. She doesn’t completely understand what the shepherds are telling her, but she still listens to God’s messengers, thinks about what they have to say, and obeys.

Listening to the Word of God

In an old blessing, Moses asks God to protect the Israelites and shine on them. Listen to the words from the Old Testament.

Read Numbers 6:22-27.
Allow for silence.

Scripture Discussion Starters

• How does God say he will bless the Israelites?
• What does God promise to do when people call on him?
• What hope can we find for ourselves in this blessing?

The shepherds come to the stable in Bethlehem telling Mary the angel’s message. Mary didn’t understand everything, but she would remember the words of the message always.

Read Luke 2:16-21.
Allow for silence.

Scripture Discussion Starters

• What did the shepherds tell Mary?
• Why did Mary hold everything in her heart that the shepherds told her?
• What do you think the shepherds did when they left the stable?

Scripture Background

Provide 2-3 minutes of background information on the readings using the Catechist Background and Preparation section.

As soon as the shepherds hear the good news from the angel, they follow the sign to find the savior. Everyone they meet, including Joseph and Mary, learn from the shepherds that this child is indeed special, the Son of God and Savior of the world. People have trouble understanding what all this means; even Mary, still young in her faith journey can’t fully grasp all that the shepherds say. We are told, however, that she keeps the words of the shepherds in her heart. She reflects on these words throughout her life. Eight days later, Mary and Joseph take Jesus to the temple where he is named Jesus.

Questions for Deeper Reflection

• Mary brought Jesus’ body into the world. How do you bring the spirit of Jesus into the world?
• Are there some thoughts you treasure in your heart?
• What does the name “Jesus” mean to you?

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

Doctrinal Discussion Starters
Mary is the Mother of God and all of humanity

We believe in the full humanity and full divinity of Jesus. We know that God wanted Jesus to come into the world to save us from our sins so that we could be with God forever. Mary is part of God’s saving plan because she is the mother and bore Jesus, the human baby. However, we also believe in the two natures of Jesus and his full divinity. For this reason, Mary is the Mother of God. She is the mother of the whole person of Jesus, both his humanity and his divinity. At the Council of Ephesus in 431 the Church proclaimed Mary to be truly the Mother of God.

Mary is part of the salvation won by Christ and hears this news when the shepherds come to the stable. Even though she does not fully understand what they say to her, she follows God’s laws, contemplates the words of the shepherds, and fully cooperates with the mystery of God.

• Why is it helpful for us to recognize Mary as our mother, too?
• Why is Mary part of salvation history?
• What is our role in God’s saving plan?

Sacrament Connection
In baptism we become a member of the family of God and our parents choose a special name for us. They also choose people to help them as Christian parents. Mary chose a special name for her son, too. He was called “Jesus,” and that meant he would be our savior. Besides our parents and godparents, we have a special helper in Mary as well.

The Gospel in Life
Where is one place in your life where you need to be more obedient to God?

Posted in: Sessions A , Sessions B , Sessions C