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.
We begin once again looking at the decades of the Rosary and before we move on to the Sorrowful ones during Lent. We look at the newest one, given to up by Pope John Paul II. A couple of weeks ago we hear that John was baptizing in the Jordan and crowds were coming to be baptized. Jesus himself comes and after the water was poured over his head there was a dove and a voice syaing “This is my beloved son, listen to him”. When we were baptized whenever that was we shared in this event, God is pleased with us, for many though we were baptized as infants and have no idea what all happened.Let us all go out into the world showing the Holy Spirit to the world so that it can help transform the world to a better place. With so much negativity around the world let us take the high road and show that we are the children of God who he is pleased with.
This week the readings come from Proverbs 8:22-31, Psalm 8, Paul’s letter to the Romans 5:1-5 and John’s gospel 16:12-15.
This week we hear an awful lot about the Wisdom of God and the Spirit of Truth, but we do get some reference to the Father and Son as well. This is the Trinity. It can be seen many different ways from the traditional of Father, Son and Spirit to that of mother, lover and friend or God, His Word and his Wisdom. All three are separate in being but they are One God they are co-equal and co-eternal. St. Patrick we widely believe used a shamrock to illustrate this idea. I like to look at it as the way that God has revealed himself to us throughout the ages. In the Old Testament God, the Father, plays a significant role in choosing his people. In the New Testament Jesus is the central figure and his building up the people. Now we live in the Age where the Spirit is the figure that has the central role. This is the Spirit foretold by Jesus in the Gospel who will “guide us into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.” Let us listen to the Spirit working in the world today and throughout this week that we may draw closer to our heavenly family.
The readings this week are Acts 2:1-11; Psalm 104; Paul’s first letter to the Corithians 12:3b-7,12-13 or Paul’s letter to the Romans 8:8-17; the sequence Veni, Sancte Spiritus; and John’s Gospel 20:19-23 or John’s Gospel 14:15-16, 23b-26.
The is the final Sunday in the Easter Season and the Holy Spirit is the thing of chief importance today. As we see above there are options this week of what the best readings are. Now we get fruits and gifts from the Holy Spirit. The fruits are attributes of a Christian Life according to Paul’s letter to the Galatians the fruits are Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Generosity, Gentleness, Faithfulness, Modesty, Self-control, and Chastity. It’s a dozen tips to living a good life. The gifts are different as there are only seven and are wisdom, understanding, counsel, knowledge, fortitude, piety, and fear of the Lord (awe and wonder). Now these gifts are given to us at Baptism and are strengthened at Confirmation. We are not just given one of these gifts but we get the whole set and we should use them all our lives. Thomas Aquinas relates these gifts with the seven virtues. Let us all try to life our lives living out these gifts and fruits of the Spirit. As the Easter Season comes to an end and we return to Ordinary Time let us not forget about our Easter journey out into the world to spread the word of the Lord.
This is a strange week as there is an option for the readings since Thursday is the Ascension and many places have moved that feast to the follow Sunday so the second reading and Gospel might be those from next week. The readings for this week are Acts 15:1-2, 22-29; Psalm 67; Revelation 21:10-14, 22-23; and John’s Gospel 14:23-29. or Revelation 22:12-14,16-17,20 and John’s Gospel 17:20-26. I will be focusing on the the readings for this week and this week alone.
We hear about how the Apostles were faced with a big decision “should we just be a Jewish sect, or should we allow gentiles to join as well” or to put it in simpler terms should it stay the same or change. They with the help of the Spirit come up with a unique answer by saying let’s do a little of both. The gentiles can join but they should follow some of the rules and customs of the Jewish people. This questions gets asked throughout the generations in the Church as people wonder if the church has gone too far from the way of the early Church. Just look at all those who wonder if Vatican II was a good thing and would rather to have a post-Trent. However technically we still are a post-Trent Church as both Vatican Councils didn’t take anything away from as the both focused on different subjects. Trent was in response to the reformation and Vatican II was in response to the modern world.
If we had time machines I’m sure that we’d recognize elements of the Church that we know in the Early Church but it is a completely different thing that we have now and I am sure that if we took this time machine to the future we’d recognize elements but it will be something a bit different from what exists today. This isn’t a bad thing at all because we got to this point with the help of the Holy Spirit. Let us all turn to the Holy Spirit to help guide us in all that we do in this upcoming week.
The fruit of this mystery is Holy Wisdom to know the truth and share with everyone, Divine Charity and Love of God.
After the Ascension of Jesus the Apostles were still in the “keep this a secret from everyone” phase they were all scared and locked up in a room when a howling wind came through the house and flung the windows open. The Apostles were filled with the spirit, they went out and spread the message and baptized many that day. We need to remember that the Holy Spirit is with us at all times and we only need to ask for some help from the Spirit so that we can be like the Apostles on Pentecost, being inspired and going out bringing the message to the world.
The fruit of this mystery is Openness to the Holy Spirit.
This is the first of the Luminous mysteries and reminds us about the Holy Spirit. All to often we forget that Jesus sent the Holy Spirit for us. Sure we are reminded about this at Pentecost but we should always be reminded that the Spirit is here and in our lives. We are in the age of the Spirit and should be willing for the Spirit to help direct all of our decisions, like the cardinals do at a Papal Concave. I hope that in the new year we can all be willing to share our lives with the Holy Spirit. At our Baptism and Confirmation we are anointed with the Holy Chrism which is a physical sign of the Spirit in our lives. Let’s recall the gifts and fruits of the Spirit as well and try to live these in the world. This weekend there will be some more about the Gifts and Fruits of the Holy Spirit.
I am sure you know what happens at the Transfiguration Jesus takes Peter and the Sons of Thunder up a mountain. While they are on the mountain top Jesus is transfigured before them and Moses and Elijah appear. Then Jesus, Moses and Elijah talk to one another, we hear the Voice of God saying “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him.” and Peter has the clever idea to build some tents and keep this event last forever.
The Transfiguration is a singular event and we all are somewhat like Peter wanting the feeling to last forever, like when you go on a retreat you feel so much better when you get back. It seems like the world is in desperate need of a mountain top moment where things are righted or something. I hope that by looking at the Transfiguration we all can be transformed by our faith and we in turn can transform the world into a better place to live. Let us all pray that the Holy Spirit can come down and inspire us all to make the world a better place for everyone to live in no matter what we are Muslim or Christian or Jew or Buddhist, Hindu, Shinto, gay or straight or trans, Woman or Man, rich or poor.
This is the first story after the Nativity in most of the Gospels. Jesus goes to the Jordan where John is baptizing and asks to be baptized. John then says to Jesus “It is I who should be asking to be baptized by you”. Nevertheless, John baptizes Jesus and from the heavens comes a voice “This is (You are) my beloved son, with whom I am well pleased” along with a dove. This is same event happens at our baptism we become the Sons and Daughters of our heavenly father, and he is pleased with us. I hope that this is something that we keep in mind during our lifetimes as we often forget that we are that beloved child of the heavenly father and that he is pleased with you and me.
This week the readings begin in that mysterious book of Wisdom. It’s that book that’s found in the Catholic and Orthodox Bibles. The speaker (King Solomon) prays and pleads for wisdom and when it comes Wisdom is the most precious and valuable thing in the world. It is greater than riches, gold is like sand while silver is like a mire and more important than health or beauty. The message we hear this week is one to take to heart. We need to care more for Wisdom than for material things here on earth. This message continues in the Gospel. As we make our way to the epistle we hear another short reading from Hebrews it is a couple of chapters from last week. The key point to get from this reading is that the Word of the Lord is a living thing and the Lord sees all that we do for we are but naked like Adam and Eve in his sight.
Turning to the Gospel we pick up right where we left off last week in Mark. As Jesus was about to leave some random guy shows up and ask “ Good teacher, What must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus asks him why he called Jesus good as no one it good except for the Father and tells his to follow the commandments. The man replies that he has done this since his youth and Jesus tells him that he is missing only one thing “Go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, then you will have treasure in heaven; then come and follow me.” This was not the response that he was excepting and the man left sad. Jesus then turns to the apostles and disciple and says that “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get to heaven.” The apostles were confused how is that possible and Jesus says by man it is impossible but nothing is impossible for the Lord. Then Jesus continues saying that whoever gives up everything to follow will be rewarded a hundred-fold. This is a difficult thing to comprehend in the world that we live in as many of us always want the newest and latest thing, just look at when the next generation of iPhones come out and people are flocking to replace the item that still works fine but it’s not the best thing available. We need to be happy with what we have and be willing to give it up for the sake of the Gospel. Let us pray like Solomon does in the first reading that we all can have wisdom in our lives since it is the most precious thing in the world.