The fifth and final Luminous Mystery is the Institution of the Eucharist. This happened at the Last Supper so it’s perfect timing with Lent starting next Wednesday. If we remember that the word eucharist comes from the Greek and means thanksgiving or grateful. This is where we need to come from as we live our lives sure the world seems to suck but if we can go out there being thankful for another day and grateful to be alive. Let us remember the words of Jesus “Do this in memory of me” now this wasn’t just the sharing of the bread and wine but it points toward the general idea of giving of oneself for others just like Jesus does. The Eucharist and therefore the sacrifice of Jesus is the core of the Christian faith. This should be our focus during Lent to be more grateful and willing to sacrifice for others.
As we turn to the fourth luminous mystery, we reflect upon the Transfiguration. This is an event that seems like it would be interesting to actually be there, with Jesus, Moses and Elijah all coming together and talking to one another. It show that Jesus didn’t come to replace the Law or the Prophets but to add to them. All to often we like to think of Christianity as something completely different from the Jewish faith and in turn the Islamic faith as well. These other religions are our siblings so we should try to understand them at least a little bit better than most of us currently do. I’m sure many of us would be like Peter and would want to experience to last forever but it can’t while we are alive. We get brief mountaintop experience in our lives but we can’t stay there forever as if we did nothing gets done. Let us all think of our spiritual lives as a mountain that we are climbing sure some people we are all at different levels of our journey sure some climb faster and higher but we are all trying to get higher each year. Let us all take some time before Lent to look at our spiritual lives and see where we are and how we can improve.
We have made it to the third luminous mystery. This is a difficult one since it isn’t a single event that we can point to as “The Proclamation” Jesus does this in various ways notably in the parables. There are a bunch of parables just focusing on the Kingdom of God, the sower, the mustard seed, the pearl of great price, the hidden treasure, the leaven, and the growing seed are all great examples. In most of these the focus is on some small object a seed or yeast or some great treasure that although is small the individual takes all that they have to get the treasure or grows into something much larger. At the Easter Vigil we see this as the Pascal Candle is lit and from that single fire every candle in the church is lit as we pass on the fire up the rows of pews. Sure we all are hoping for the Kingdom to come but perhaps it is here in our small action (works of mercy) that we need to pass on to one another. Let us all keep this in mind as we begin our Lenten journey in about a month.
As we continue our way through John Paul II’s additional mysteries to the Rosary. The second Luminous Mystery we hear about the first miracle and the beginning of the public ministry of Jesus. Here we have Mary and Jesus at some wedding, and they have run out of wine, which is a small problem. As the story goes Mary informs Jesus that the wine is running out he snaps back with “What concern is that to me, my time has not yet come.” Then Mary tells the servants to do as Jesus tells them. Jesus tells them to fill the empty purification jars with water and take it to the chief steward. The remarkable thing here is that Jesus doesn’t touch the water or really do anything to it yet it turns into the finest wine of the evening.
Now, Pope Benedict offers a unique observation of this miracle in his book, Jesus of Nazareth, saying that the miracle of producing a lot of wine for a wedding can be seen as a sign of the greatness of the love we find at the core of salvation history: “God lavishly spends himself for the lowly creature, man. (…) The superabundance of Cana is therefore a sign that God’s feast with humanity, his self-giving for man, has begun”. This in a way points toward the heavenly banquet where all are welcome. We also have an interesting role for Mary as it is where she always is pointing us towards Jesus. She is our signpost in life on our path toward heaven. I hope that we all can take Mary’s advice and do whatever he (Jesus) says.
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.
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 Adoration.
Adoration like love is a complex idea in the modern world. Since there seem to be more people saying that they adore someone/thing just like how people are all about saying they love something. However when we look it up adoration is more reverential like bowing and kissing the hand of the Queen or like standing up when someone enters the room or men lifting their hats when they meet someone or something like that rather than just liking someone a lot. The line here is to connect the Fruit of the Mystery to Eucharistic Adoration, it is something that you can do at any church by spending some time in front of the tabernacle or if you are lucky you might know of a perpetual Eucharistic adoration chapel in your area perhaps take some time and visit. Also as we get closer to Lent there might be some Holy Hours and Benedictions offered at some parishes.
The fruit of this decade is the Desire for Holiness.
Desire for Holiness is a complex topic as sure we all have the basic desire to be holy but it is more nuanced then it looks. We have the basics about the Transfiguration Jesus bring Peter, James and John up a mountain and then Jesus become glowing brighter than the sun while he talks with Moses and Elijah. Peter suggests building tents and selling tickets so more people could witness this miraculous event. Paul later on in his letters talks about living in the Spirit and not in the body. I hope that we can all be like Peter savoring the mountain top experiences and trying to living in the Spirit as Paul later tells us since this is one of the ways to holiness.
The Fruit of the mystery is Trust in God. There is a second part of the fruit which is call to conversion. The first part really doesn’t make much sense to me since isn’t that what we need to do in life trust in the Lord and put ourselves in the God’s hands then the second part isn’t the life of a christian supposed to be one of conversion in that we are continually trying to become better people. These are some easy things to reflect upon are we trusting in the Lord that the things in our lives turn out well. As well as continually trying to make ourselves better, kinder people and the world a better and nicer place
The fruit of this mystery is unique since it’s not a thing like the other mysteries but rather “To Jesus through Mary. The understanding of the ability to manifest-through faith.” This is a reminder to us that while praying we don’t have to only pray to Jesus but can uses others to get to Jesus. Devotion to Mary and the Saints lead us closer to Jesus, since when we pray anything it is not just simply us reflecting on that one aspect, like the Rosary isn’t simply a Marian prayer but a deep meditation on the life of Christ. This is similar to turning to the saints as we learn about their lives and how they related to Jesus in their prayers and writings.