The second Luminous mystery is the wedding feast at Cana, the place where the first miracle took place. It is found in John’s Gospel (2:1-11) the story goes that Jesus and Mary were invited to a wedding and the party ran out of wine. Mary told Jesus to do something about this and he said “My hour has not yet come”, so Mary goes to the servants and tells them to do what he tells you. The servants fill up containers with water and then give it to the chief steward. The steward after tasting it goes to the bridegroom remarks that usually the best wine is usually served first. The fruit of this mystery is to Jesus through Mary. The whole Mary thing is a tough part for Christians to understand about Catholics but Mary is a conduit between mankind and to Jesus. As these words of Mary are the last time we hear from her in the Bible “Do whatever he tells you.” This is something that we need to remember we need to listen to what Jesus says.
We have made our way through one of the mysteries and now it is on to the newest one introduced by Pope John Paul II in his apostolic letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae (October 2002). These are the Luminious mysteries or mysteries of Light. The first Luminious mystery is the Baptism of Jesus. It can be found in the three synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) where we hear from the sky “This is/You are my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” and in John’s Gospel while it doesn’t have the baptism story it does have John the Baptist testifying about Jesus saying that “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.” The fruit of the mystery is openness to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is something that we all should be praying for to come into our lives and inspire all our actions.
The Fifth and final Joyful Mystery is the finding of Jesus in the Temple. As with many of the other mysteries this can be found in Luke’s Gospel (2:41-52). The story of the finding is the only event from the adolescence of Jesus that is in the Gospel and Bible. This event is when Jesus, Mary and Joseph all head to the Temple with some relatives for Passover. Jesus is about 12 year old. It goes that on the day they were returning Jesus lingers in the Temple, Mary and Joseph both assumed that Jesus was in the group. So after a day Joseph and Mary realized that Jesus was missing and they turned back to find him. When they found Jesus, Mary asked “Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety.” Jesus said to them, “Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” but his parents didn’t understand what he meant. Yet Jesus went with them back to Nazareth and was obedient to his parents.
The fruit of this mystery is True Conversion (Piety, Joy of Finding Jesus) and/or Obedience. It would be nice if more people could live a pious life, this is one of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. In a world that is starving for humility if we could all try to live a more pious and humble life that would be a godsend.
The fourth Joyful Mystery is The Presentation, the feast is on 2 February and it can be found in Luke’s Gospel 2:22-40. This event is a common Jewish tradition where the mother purifies herself and the first-born son is “redeemed” by use of silver coins from his birth-state of sanctity. This is one of the twelve Great Feasts in the Orthodox Church and is also known as Candlemas as candles can be blessed at this mass. The fruit of the mystery is Purity and Obedience. As a reminder to us of Simeon and Anna who were at the Temple and greeted Jesus, Mary and Joseph. These are great qualities that don’t seem to exist much in the world, let us make it our goal to try and make these things purity and obedience a part of our lives.
The third Joyful Mystery is the Nativity. This story can be found in Luke and Matthew’s Gospel. We all know what happens here Jesus is born. The fruit of this mystery is a bit more complex than other mysteries as it is multifaceted being Poverty (poor in spirit), Detachment from the things of the world, Contempt of Riches, Love of the Poor. This is perfectly illustrated in the Nativity as Jesus, the king of the Jews, was born in a cave/barn and placed in a manger since there wasn’t room at the inn.
Most everyone in the world today is attracted to the opposite of these things. Popes across the years have tried to stress these thing we need to care more about the Poor and forget about things of the world. This is one of the seven points in Catholic Social Teaching, as Pope Benedict XVI said “the love for widows and orphans, prisoners, and the sick and needy of every kind, is as essential as the ministry of the sacraments and preaching of the Gospel”. We need to become a society that cares about each other rather than one obsessed with being the best and having the most as this does nothing in the long run but create social problems.
The second Joyful Mystery is when Mary goes and visits her cousin Elizabeth. This story can be found in Luke’s Gospel 1: 39=56. In the Western churches the feast is celebrated on 31 May and the Eastern churches celebrates it on 30 March. The fruit associated with this mystery is love of neighbor, since at the Annunciation Mary learned that Elizabeth was with child. When Mary arrived Elizabeth was about six months pregnant and Mary stayed for three months. Sure, Mary and Elizabeth were family but the general idea of love of neighbor, going out on a mission of charity, would be a wonderful thing if we could all do something like this. These are sort of outlined by the works of mercy, as how to love your neighbor. Let us all be able to stir the spirit within our neighbors like Mary did for Elizabeth when she her the voice of Mary the babe leapt in her womb. We need to bring love into the world all too often we are surrounded by hate in the world and that is never fun.
It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these decade posts so we begin going through them all again. We start with the Joyful Mysteries.
The first Joyful Mystery is The Annunciation, this is when the Angel of the Lord (Gabriel) came to Mary this is found in Luke 1:26-38. Gabriel came to Mary and Mary said Yes to become the Theotokos. This event also takes place in the Quran and according to Muslim tradition it took place during the month of Ramadan. The fruit of the mystery is humility. According to the Catechism humility is the root of prayer, so it is fitting that we reflect on humility as we begin the Rosary. It is one of the seven heavenly virtues the obverse of the seven deadly sins. Humility is something that we need more of in the world, too many people it seems are obsessed with themselves and forget about everyone else. Humans are social creatures and we should care more about others. I mean look at that TED talk from Pope Francis a couple of weeks ago in which humility played a big role. Let us all try to care more for other.
The fruit of this mystery is Adoration.
This is the final Luminous mystery as it turns out that I didn’t do this back before Lent began, so here it is now. The focus is on adoration of the Eucharist however this is simply adoration of God. One of the ways that the Church can adore the Eucharist is in Eucharistic Adoration, where a host is place in a Monstrance and that is placed on an altar. Some churches have perpetual adoration chapels but if you can’t find any place that holds an Adoration or even a Benediction. One of the ways to adore the Eucharist is to pray in the presence of the Tabernacle before or even after Mass. This might not be a common idea but show up to church a bit early and prayer before the service begins or before and after you receive Communion pray. However, Pope John Paul II suggested to us all in his letter, Dominicae Cenae that “The Church and the world have a great need of Eucharistic worship. Jesus waits for us in this sacrament of love. Let us be generous with our time in going to meet Him in adoration and in contemplation that is full of faith.” This is more than just the brief time we have before or after Mass we need to make more time in our week for God and grow closer to Jesus.
The fruit of this mystery is Perseverance and Crown of Glory, Trust in Mary’s Intercession.
As we enter into the month of May we turn our focus on Mary our mother and Queen. She is someone that we should be able to turn to when we are in trouble and need some help, as Mary will help like she did at Cana. Since most everything to Jesus through Mary, at Cana she told the stewards to listen to Jesus and there was the best wine of the evening. Mary needs to have role in our lives, be it simply praying a Hail Mary during the day or going all out and praying a whole Rosary. It is only through Mary that we eventually get to Jesus. As Pope Francis said on Sunday “May the Virgin Mary help us to welcome with meekness the Holy Spirit as the interior Master and as a living memory of Christ in our daily journey.” I hope that we all can add some sort of additional devotion to Mary or read up on one of the many titles of Mary during this month.
The fruit of this mystery is Grace of a Happy Death and True Devotion towards Mary.
As we near the month of May we turn our focus to Mary. When the time came for Mary to die she fell asleep and her body was brought into heaven like Jesus. This should be a goal for all. We need to be willing to emulate Mary in the world, be willing to say “Yes” when we face difficulty. Mary is our mother, Jesus while he was on the Cross gave his mother to his beloved disciple, we are that beloved daughter/son. Although at time we might not always be happy with our mothers they would give everything for you to succeed in life Mary did this for Jesus at the Wedding at Cana where she told the stewards to do whatever he (Jesus) tells you. Mary point us toward Christ and by following Mary we will be on the path.