Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Devotion for today: The mysteries of light

Today we begin a study of the Luminous Mysteries.

Scripture for meditation: Isaiah 49: 6
I will make you a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.

Christ tells us: John 12:36
“While you have the light, keep faith in the light; thus, you will become sons of light.”

Blessed John Paul II tells us, in his apostolic letter “ROSARIUM VIRGINIS MARIAE”:
19. I believe… that to bring out fully the Christological depth of the Rosary it would be suitable to make an addition to the traditional pattern… to include the mysteries of Christ's public ministry between his Baptism and his Passion. In the course of those mysteries we contemplate important aspects of the person of Christ as the definitive revelation of God. Declared the beloved Son of the Father at the Baptism in the Jordan, Christ is the one who announces the coming of the Kingdom, bears witness to it in his works and proclaims its demands. It is during the years of his public ministry that the mystery of Christ is most evidently a mystery of light: “While I am in the world, I am the light of the world” (Jn 9:5).Consequently, for the Rosary to become more fully a “compendium of the Gospel”, it is fitting to add, following reflection on the Incarnation and the hidden life of Christ (the joyful mysteries) and before focusing on the sufferings of his Passion (the sorrowful mysteries) and the triumph of his Resurrection (the glorious mysteries), a meditation on certain particularly significant moments in his public ministry (the mysteries of light). This addition of these new mysteries, without prejudice to any essential aspect of the prayer's traditional format, is meant to give it fresh life and to enkindle renewed interest in the Rosary's place within Christian spirituality as a true doorway to the depths of the Heart of Christ, ocean of joy and of light, of suffering and of glory. The Mysteries of Light: 21. Moving on from the infancy and the hidden life in Nazareth to the public life of Jesus, our contemplation brings us to those mysteries which may be called in a special way “mysteries of light”. Certainly the whole mystery of Christ is a mystery of light. He is the “light of the world” (Jn 8:12). Yet this truth emerges in a special way during the years of his public life, when he proclaims the Gospel of the Kingdom. In proposing to the Christian community five significant moments – “luminous” mysteries – during this phase of Christ's life, I think that the following can be fittingly singled out: (1) his Baptism in the Jordan, (2) his self-manifestation at the wedding of Cana, (3) his proclamation of the Kingdom of God, with his call to conversion, (4) his Transfiguration, and finally, (5) his institution of the Eucharist, as the sacramental expression of the Paschal Mystery.

Prayer: ” (At the start of the twenty-fifth year of my Pontificate, I entrust this Apostolic Letter to the loving hands of the Virgin Mary, prostrating myself in spirit before her image in the splendid Shrine built for her by Blessed Bartolo Longo, the apostle of the Rosary. I willingly make my own the touching words with which he concluded his well-known Supplication to the Queen of the Holy Rosary (John Paul II, from the Vatican, on the 16th day of October in the year 2002, the beginning of the twenty- fifth year of my Pontificate.)
  “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 assaults 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 of Pompei, 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.

My thoughts: As we enter into Ordinary Time, the Luminous Mysteries can serve as a structure for us to meditate on the public life of Jesus. Beginning with His baptism, which the Church celebrated on Monday, and continuing through Christ’s first public miracle, His announcement of the Kingdom of God, His open display of His Godliness in the transfiguration, and the gift of Himself in the Eucharist, the Luminous Mysteries provide an excellent way for us to remain in the Light, and become sons and daughters of the Light now and forever.

Our prayer to God: Blessed John Paul introduced these mysteries in 2002, and the above excerpt from his Apostolic Letter lets us peek into the profound devotion he had to Mary and the rosary. May we, too, follow his example and entrust ourselves to her loving intercession as we explore the life of her most beloved Son. Let’s begin today by praying one decade of the rosary to prepare ourselves for our new study.

No comments: