Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Applying the Luminous Mysteries

1. The Baptism in the Jordan

2. The Wedding at Cana

3. Proclamation of the Kingdom

4. The Transfiguration

5. The Institution of the Eucharist

The Luminous Mysteries, which became part of the Rosary in October of 2002, were instituted by Pope John Paul II as the "Mysteries of Light" to emphasize Jesus' public ministry. I think of them as being particularly pertinent to our times, and that's why I think the Holy Spirit moved John Paul II to add them. That means they are particularly helpful when I'm looking for solutions to my problems.

The Baptism in the Jordan

Jesus didn't need to be baptized, but he submitted to His Father's will. We know this pleased the Father, because He said so. "This is my Son, with whom I am well pleased."

I think that we were made for order, and I think the Father loves order. When our lives are ordered around Christ, we are living as we should. When we have simple order in our households, then we eliminate unnecessary worries and tension and we are truly ready to submit to God's will. 

I'll pray later, when I have time. I'd love to go to morning Mass but I have to finish that thing I forgot to do yesterday. I'd volunteer my time, but I'm afraid to be tied up because so many unexpected emergencies are always popping up. This is what my life looks like when I don't have order, and you can see how God gets pushed to the bottom of the list. Not good. He belongs at the top. 

We should order our days around God, not fit him into our day. 

Do my problems exist because my life was a mess of paper piles and overextended scheduling? Did the solutions evade me because I couldn't find them in my stress and rush?  Could I have been better prepared to deal with my problem if only I had been living in order? 

The mystery behind this Mystery is that God loves order and obedience, and if I live my life accordingly, I'll be prepared for my troubles and ready to receive the solutions. 

The Wedding at Cana

I have to admit that this is one of my favorite mysteries. I love how Mary points everyone to Jesus and how she has complete trust that he will make the problem disappear. 

When the couple ran out of wine, it was a crises of dignity rather than an issue of life or death, but Mary and Jesus thought it was important enough to lend a hand, so I should never feel that my problems are too insignificant to pray about. 

This story also tells me that It's not all about me.  Mary noticed that someone else was in distressed, and rushed to ask Jesus to help them. 

Did my problems come about because I didn't consider the dignity of others?  Did I charge up a storm without thinking about how it would effect my family? My hard-working husband? My own dignity? Do I have a strained relationship because I didn't treat that person with dignity? 

But my problem is a strained relationship.  I had to chastise my spouse for spending all our savings on his monopoly addiction. I had to say something! But did you say it with love? With love, dignity remains intact. 

The mystery behind this Mystery is that I need to consider the dignity of myself and others before I make decisions. And, if I wind up in trouble, Jesus will help me if I ask. 

Proclamation of the Gospel

It's all there in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John: Jesus telling and showing us how to live. 

We preach through our actions, so if I'm not handling my money well, if I'm not doing the Corporal and Spiritual Acts of Mercy, then I'm going to go off the right track.  Is that how I wound up in my current situation? Is my current situation keeping me from performing the Acts of Mercy? 

If I've handled my money wrong, I might not tithe. Big mistake. The first 10% of everything, from our money to our time to our talents belongs to Him. He lets us keep 90% because He is a nice guy. 

The Corporal Works of Mercy
  • Feed the hungry
  • Give drink to the thirsty
  • Clothe the naked
  • Shelter the homeless
  • Visit the sick
  • Visit the imprisoned
  • Bury the dead
The Spiritual Works of Mercy
  • Admonish the sinner
  • Instruct the ignorant (This and the next work are extremely pertinent categories today, when so many people are confused by what the Church teaches on contraception, abortion, homosexuality, etc.)
  • Counsel the doubtful
  • Comfort the sorrowful
  • Bear wrongs patiently
  • Forgive all injuries
  • Pray for the living and the dead
The mystery behind this Mystery is that I need to match my actions to what Jesus teaches. That should help me avoid my problems as well as find solutions. 


Okay. This might be my favorite Mystery. (Or maybe they ALL are?)  Jesus went up the mountain, and there Peter, James and John saw Him revealed as the Son of God. He made the connection between the Law (Moses) and the Prophets (Elijah), showed us the point between Heaven and Earth, and combined the old covenant with His new covenant, which would come with His resurrection. 

Jesus was with the apostles the entire time and they didn't know He was God.  Likewise, God is with us all of the time, even if we don't recognize Him. He is in the face of the person we most dislike, the politician we hate, the crazy homeless person who grosses us out. 

Jesus revealed Himself as God at the chosen time. Not sooner; not later. There is a proper time for everything, as the Psalms tell us. Maybe I'm trying to accomplish things before it's the right time, and I'm pushing at them and causing problems, or a push back. Maybe I'm not dealing with issues when I should, and then they become bigger problems. 

The mystery behind this Mystery is that God is beside us all of the time, even if we don't notice Him.  There is a proper time for everything, and by preparing and being aware, I'll be ready to respond "at the right time."

The Institution of the Eucharist

Jesus left us with his physical presence in the Holy Eucharist. We can receive him at daily Mass, and He will help us through the day. 

When I receive the Eucharist, I pray that God, who is in me right now, will shine through me and guide my actions for the day. 

The mystery behind this Mystery is that the Eucharist is one of the biggest helps I have available to me, and it's a gift from God. He meant me to utilize His presence, so by receiving daily Communion and by showing up for Adoration, I'll be able to better hear Him throughout my day, and maybe I won't get into problem situation in the first place!

I hope that I've done an effective job of showing you how the Mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary can be brought into your present life and used in your life right now. Today. The Mysteries of Christ's life and death are not old news to be reviewed like a history book. They are present and current, and you can use their example to wind your way through modern trials, and to help you avoid them!

I'd love to know what you think about the Mysteries, especially any examples of how they helped you deal with situations in your life. 

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