Assumption of Mary - Mary as a Disciple

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May is the month that we honor Mary. We celebrate the Assumption of Mary on August 15. This activity helps young people meet Mary in the Scriptures and understand her role as the first disciple.
  1. Begin an exploration of Mary as the first disciple by explaining the word disciple, which means "follower, or one who believes in the teachings of a leader."

     

  2. Invite the students to examine the ways that Mary was a disciple by writing the bolded statements about discipleship below on a sheet of newsprint. On another sheet of newsprint, write the citation for the Scripture passage that illustrates how Mary is a model for that quality of discipleship. Make sure to mix them up in random order.

     

  3. Divide the class into small groups, and assign each group several Scripture passages. Instruct the students to read each of the assigned passages and match the Scripture citation with the statement about discipleship that best shows how Mary illustrates it. When the students are done, discuss their responses, sharing the following explanations as appropriate:

 

  • Disciples of Jesus hear the Good News and freely choose to accept it.

(Luke 1:26-38) Mary accepted God's invitation to be the mother of Jesus. She was the first one to hear the Gospel and freely choose to accept it.

 

 

  • Disciples do not keep the Gospel to themselves; they communicate it to others.

(Luke 1:39-44) Mary shared the good news with Elizabeth.

 

 

  • Disciples of Jesus understand and live the call to stand with people who are poor and people who are oppressed.

(Luke 1:46-56) Mary's Magnificat anticipated her Son's message that God stands with people who are poor and people who are oppressed, throughout the ages.

 

 

  • Discipleship requires faith in the midst of difficulty or confusion.

(Luke 2:41-52) Mary found Jesus in the Temple. She did not fully understand his actions or his words, but she did respect his explanation.

 

 

  • Disciples are not afraid to challenge and to be persistent.

(John 2:1-12) Mary challenged Jesus at a wedding feast in Cana, prodding him to begin his ministry. He did not immediately grant her request for him to do something. When he was twelve, he had been about his Father's business. As an adult, he said it was not his time. Mary persisted and proclaimed her faith in him when she directed the stewards to do what he told them to do.

 

 

  • Disciples hear the word of God and do it.

(Luke 8:19-21) Mary was the first of many to be called a disciple because of her belief and actions.

 

 

  • Disciples are faithful to Jesus in the face of suffering and tragedy.

(John 19:25-27) Mary and a handful of other women were with Jesus at his death. In the face of great suffering and tragedy, being a disciple of Jesus' can be a great challenge and yet a comfort.

 

 

  • Disciples are part of the larger community of the church.

(Acts 1:13-14) Mary was present in the upper room with other disciples who devoted themselves constantly to prayer. This group witnessed the coming of the Holy Spirit, the first Pentecost, the beginning of the church.

 

acknowledgments

(This activity is adapted from Biblical Women: Exploring Their Stories with Girls, a manual in the Voices series, by Janet Claussen [Winona, MN: Saint Mary's Press, 2002], page 88. Copyright © 2002 by Saint Mary's Press. Permission is granted for this activity to be used for classroom or campus ministry purposes. This activity may not be republished in any form without written permission from Saint Mary's Press. To order this book, contact Saint Mary's Press at 800-533-8095, or visit our online catalog at www.smp.org/catalog.cfm.)

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