Parable-based skits teach St. Dominic 4th graders the meaning of `discipleship’

Bradley Hughes didn’t realize how silly her character sounded until she performed a skit based on “The Parable of the Great Feast” in her fourth grade religion class at St. Dominic.

Bradley, playing the role of a farmer, turns down an invitation to the great feast – a symbol of God’s heavenly banquet – because she had to try out her newly purchased oxen.

“I made an excuse not to go to the feast, which was a really bad excuse, actually,” Bradley said of her character’s brush-off of the dinner host. “Seeing the story acted out made it easier for me to learn how to be nice and accept God’s invitation and to not make dumb excuses.”

The parable was one of three that were studied and performed by St. Dominic fourth graders last month under the direction of their religion teacher, Megan Higgins. The parables, all pulled from the Gospel of St. Luke, were chosen for their common lesson of discipleship, the class’ yearlong focus of study. Students made their own props, costumes and sets for each re-enactment.

“I liked when the Good Samaritan goes to the (robbery) victim and he says, ‘Come, my brother. I will take you to a man who will take care of you,’” said Gabby Gagnon, who portrayed Jesus, the narrator of “The Good Samaritan.”

“I say, ‘Go and do as the Samaritan did. Treat everyone as your neighbor.’” Gabby said, adding: “I learned that if somebody’s hurt, you pick them up and bring them to someone who can help them.”

Props made by cast members of the skit based on “The Rich Man and Lazarus” included the Rich Man’s mansion and gate, decked with jewels and flowers, respectively. Jackson Sevin, who played Jesus, made clouds to symbolize heaven – where Lazarus went after his death – while tongues of fire represented “Hades,” the final destination of the Rich Man, who ignored the hungry and dying Lazarus during his earthly life.

“You’re probably gonna remember (a Bible story) more if you go through the experience of doing it,” Jackson said. “My favorite part was everyone getting together and being a team. We got through it together.”

Higgins detected that this final parable was her students’ favorite because it showed two very opposite outcomes for the main characters.

“You really get to see where your choices lead you,” Higgins said. “It helps them to really see how choices can impact your life. What role do you want to play in your real life?”

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