Friday, November 30, 2012

Family Advent Night at San Jose

A catechetical project in San Jose featuring Prisarts' Virgin Guadalupe by Sherry Scott

Advent Family Night 2012

Guide for parents in talking to their children about the infancy narratives of the Gospel of Luke.

Parent: We are going to decorate this picture of Mary.

Parent: As we decorate it, we will learn about her.

Parent: What do you notice in this picture of Mary?
(possible answers: her halo, her complexion, blue veil, her folded hands, the stars in the sky, the artists name along her sleeve…)

This is an artist’s painting of the Virgin of Guadalupe. The original looks like this:

What looks the same? What looks different? (there are all sorts of responses here)
We are going to add flowers, jewels, stars, sequins and paint to our pictures to decorate them and to enter into the mystery of this sacred image of Mary. Mary was a person, just like you and me.

Her veil is blue representing the sky and also purity and goodness.

Her halo means that she is a saint, One of God’s special friends, She is a daughter of Israel: a Jewish woman who practiced her faith. Through her, the savior promised to the people of Israel came to be. That is why Jesus is called Messiah.

She was a young woman when the angel Gabriel came to her to announce God’s plan that she would be the mother of Jesus.  The angel said, “Hail, favored one, the Lord is with you”  Do you recognize these words? This is the first line to the “Hail Mary.”

At first Mary questioned the angel, she did not understand how she could be the mother of God. But, she trusted God and said “yes” (Actually, she said,” “May it be done to me according to your word”)  This is called Mary’s Fiat, (fiat in Latin means: Let it be done)

Her trust in God, even though she did not know exactly how everything would turn out, is an example to all of us to be willing to say “Yes” to God’s plan for us.

Mary went to visit her cousin Elizabeth, who was also going to have a baby. This baby is John the Baptist. Elizabeth greeted her cousin, Mary with these words, “Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb.” This is the second line to the “Hail Mary”.

The flowers we add to the picture represent the honor that we give to Mary by bringing flowers to church, especially on her feast days and in the month of May.

The stars represent our belief that she is Queen of Heaven. That is her reward for giving birth to Jesus and teaching him and raising him. Our mothers and our fathers have such a great impact on who we grow up to be, so we honor Mary for her role as Jesus’ parent. And we also hope to share heaven with her one day.

Parent: how do you want to decorate the image to show honor and thanks to Mary for her part in giving us Jesus?

(decorate and talk about why you are adding each embellishment to the picture, make it your expression of faith.)

As we wait in hope for Jesus to come into our hearts this Christmas, we can think of Mary, who was also waiting for Jesus to be born long ago. She was faithful and willing to answer God’s call for her. We can ask her to pray for us and she will take our prayers and needs to Jesus.
Image of Throne of Wisdom by Michael O’Neill Mc Grath

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for …….  Amen.
(we can pray for “us sinners”, or we can pray for something specific.)

Did you know that the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary are all about Jesus’ birth and childhood. These mysteries are perfect for praying during the season of Advent, as we prepare ourselves for Jesus’s birth. We can enter into the mystery of the Incarnation and ponder how very wonderful it is that God loves us so much that he would become one of us and befriend us.

Family prayer at home: pray one decade of the rosary each night before bed, pondering on one of the Joyful Mysteries.

Check out my paintings for sale: