Pauca Verba is Latin for A Few Words.

Monday, April 22, 2013

The Luminous Mysteries

THE LUMINOUS MYSTERIES WERE INTRODUCED BY POPE JOHN PAUL II in October of 2002. They are another set of five scenes, this time taken from the public life of Jesus, which we might consider while praying the Rosary.

For most people the word mystery means: A puzzle we can't solve. Sometimes we can't understand something, like the resolution of a crime, because the clues have been covered or removed. Or something might be a mystery because: "The clues were right under my nose all the time."

I might not be able to see well because there is not enough light, or I might not be able to see because there is too much light. Christian mystery is the later: right under my nose, so close, too much light. How's that? In Jesus Christ God has come to be with us as close as God can get. "So the Word (the self-expression of God) became flesh and blood and lived for a while among us, abounding in blessing and truth..." (John 1:14).

Luminous means shining with a bright light. Don't we need to be invited to the light in a dark world: a world where terrorism is now an everyday world, a world so often constructed on lies, a world of uncertainty and fear?

In the 1930's throughout parts of Europe, the clergy devised a method of praying the rosary in which two or three sentence reflections were offered between each Hail Mary, to help the mind remain focused or locked on the mystery being considered. Here I've composed a new set of reflections, using that helpful format.

Better to light a candle than curse the darkness, the Chinese Proverb and the Christophers say. Maybe these new prayer-flames will light up some dark place within and help to focus our thoughts - distractable as we are.



The First Luminous Mystery

The Baptism of the Lord Jesus in the Jordan River

Our Father who art in heaven...


"I want to walk as a child of the light..." the hymn says. What could this mean for my mind and its thoughts? What could this mean for my awareness, intentions and gratitude?

Hail Mary, full of grace...

Jesus begins  his public work at his Baptism. Later He will tell us "Don't hide your light; let it shine, (Matthew 5:15).

Hail Mary, full of grace...

Jesus steps down into the waters of the Jordan. In Jesus Christ, God begins to take back everything lost to Him. He begins with the water of which we're all made.

Hail Mary, full of grace...

The waters of our planet are increasingly polluted. Millions upon millions of people have no access to drinkable water. I can't ignore this.

Hail Mary, full of grace...

The nakedness of Jesus. But it is not sensual nakedness like in a movie or in a magazine. He is each human person, stripped of nationality, custom, time. Jesus stands as God sees us - without masks.

Hail Mary, full of grace...

The waters of the Jordan don't flow crisp and clear all the time. In places the river is muddy, cloudy and even polluted. Much of it flows through lands where war seems perennial. In Christ, God immerses Himself in the muddiness of our human story.

Hail Mary, full of grace...

A dove appears. I am reminded of the dove which did not return to Noah after the waters of the flood receded. God is always ready and eager to begin again (Genesis 7:10-13).

Hail Mary, full of grace...

Jesus is in the crowd of people whose land is occupied by the Romans. They are full of  anticipation, of weariness, desire and a sense of failure. I may discover Jesus in church, in my prayers, in the teachings of religion, but will I find Him in the human crowd?

Hail Mary, full of grace...

The humility of John, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?" (Matthew 3:14) However I may hold to religious truths, values or practices - humility means I still have so much to learn  from others.

Hail Mary, full of grace...

Mother's water broke and I passed through to be born. In Baptism I returned to the water, passing  through again, to be born this time from above; born to become the new kind of human person Jesus reveals and to which he invites.

Hail Mary, full of grace...

Glory be to the Father...

3 comments:

  1. This is a great blessing. Do you have reflections for all the mysteries?

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  2. Hi, my name is Kelly. I had to do a report for school on how Catholicism is being spread through social media. I came across this and many blogs in the process, but this one just caught my eye. I don't know, maybe it just seemed more cozy and warm than many of the others. I found myself reading it for the sake of reading it and not just for my paper. Most of the blogs are about current events and how Catholicism is in the news. I found a few written to be more sort of like this, but this is the only one I really read. So I am following it on Facebook and will keep checking it out. I also saw many blogs that were started and then they just gave up. I hope this isn't going to end up like that.

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