October 20, 2016

Meditations on the Luminous Mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary

The new Rosary of Light, the Luminous Mysteries is a gift to the faithful from Pope John Paul II in October 2002. He describes the Rosary as his favorite prayer. In his incomparable letter on The Most Holy Rosary, he writes: “Today I willingly entrust to the power of this prayer, the cause of peace in the world, and the cause of the family.” He calls on every family to pray the Rosary daily for these intentions. In the Luminous Mysteries, we contemplate with Mary, the public life of Jesus. We begin with His Baptism in the Jordan and the Father’s testimony to his Beloved Son. Then we move to that historic moment, the wedding at Cana, when at Mary’s request, Jesus reveals Himself to His disciples by turning water into wine. Following this first sign, we reflect on the fullness of Jesus’ mission, his proclamation of the Kingdom and the call to conversion. With Peter, James and John, we ponder the supreme mystery of light, the transfiguration, when Jesus allowed his Godhead to shine forth. In the fifth mystery, we bow in adoration of Jesus in the sacrament of His Pascal Mystery.

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The First Luminous Mystery
The Baptism of Jesus

Our Lord Jesus Christ is baptized by John in the River Jordan. The word, Christ, means the Anointed One. Jesus is anointed by the Heavenly Father, and the oil for this anointing is the Holy Spirit. We read in St. Mark, “And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens opening and the Spirit descending on Him like a dove. And a voice came from Heaven: You are my Beloved Son. With you, I am well pleased.” Jesus is the Beloved Son of the Father. He is the Messiah, the Anointed One. My loving Lord Jesus, by Your immersion in the River Jordan, you made holy the waters of Baptism in which our sins are washed clean. We have been born again to new life and become the dwelling place of the Holy Trinity. Lord, let the promise You made to Your disciples be fulfilled in us. May we be baptized in your Holy Spirit every moment of our lives.

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The Second Luminous Mystery
Jesus reveals Himself at the Wedding in Cana

Now, Mary, the Mother, becomes Mary, the Disciple. She does not know what Jesus will do but She believes that He will do the most perfect thing. She teaches the disciples to open their hearts to faith. They look on and witness the miracle. Suddenly, they realize that this grace of faith in Jesus has also changed the water of their poor lives into the new wine of His Kingdom. He, who up to this has been their teacher, they now see as their Lord. Blessed Holy Mother Mary, seat of wisdom, You have never ceased to teach us about Your Son, and yet, there remains so much for us to learn. Help us through prayer to come more and more into the light of faith.

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The Third Luminous Mystery
Jesus proclaims the coming of the Kingdom

In St. Mark’s Gospel, we read, “Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee preaching the Gospel of God, and sayingThe time is fulfilled and the Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe the Gospel.” And in St. John’s Gospel, Jesus says of Himself: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life. I have come as light into the world, that whoever believes in Me may not remain in darkness. Lord Jesus, through our sin, we sit in darkness and in the shadow of death. So many who once walked in your light, now walk in darkness. Jesus, give to us and to all our loved ones, the grace to turn away from sin and turn back to You. And may all people everywhere come to hear the good news of Your Kingdom.

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The Fourth Luminous Mystery
The Transfiguration

“And as He was praying, the appearance of His face altered and His clothing became dazzling white. This is truly a mystery of Light. The glory of Jesus, the Son of God, shines forth. The light of the Godhead is seen in the face of Christ when the Father proclaims to the astounded apostles: “This is my Son, my Chosen One, listen to Him. Lord, we have never seen You transfigured like this but we have seen the transforming radiance of Your presence on the faces of others - on the young mother with her afflicted child, on the man arriving home from work, on the old priest as he offers the bread and wine, on the young nun as she moves lovingly among the starving poor. Jesus, those who listen to You are always transformed by Your word. Even in suffering, You show us the joy of the Resurrection and a life transformed by the presence of the Holy Spirit.

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The Fifth Luminous Mystery
The Institution of the Eucharist: The Pascal Mystery

The Eucharist is the source and summit of the Church’s life. The other sacraments and every ministry of the Church lead to the Eucharist because the Eucharist is Christ Himself. It is the Pascal Mystery, the Lord’s Supper, the Sacrifice of the Cross, the Resurrection from the dead, and it is the real presence of the living and glorious Christ. O Loving Mother Mary, when You gathered with the disciples for the breaking of the bread, You received from their hands, Your risen Eucharist Son. You helped them to remember Him as they call to mind His words and teachings. His face always before You. Teach us to see Jesus in the Eucharist, through Your eyes of faith, and to love Him, with Your Heart. And may we find Him in every crushed grain of humanity, from which His body is maimed.

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Concluding his letter on The Most Holy Rosary, Pope John Paul II quotes this beautiful prayer in the writings of the Blessed Bartolo Longo: “O Blessed Rosary of Mary, sweet chain which unites us to God, bond of love which unites us to the angels, tower of salvation against the assault of hell, safe port in our universal shipwreck, we will never abandon you. You will be our comfort in the hour of death. Yours, our final kiss, as life ebbs away. And the last word from our lips will be your sweet name, O Queen of the Rosary, O dearest Mother, O Refuge of Sinners, O Sovereign Consoler of the Afflicted. May you be everywhere blessed, today and always, on earth and in heaven. Amen.