Pauca Verba is Latin for A Few Words.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

A Rosary for Young People ~ The Fifth Luminous Mystery ~ Jesus Gives the Gift of the Eucharist




Our Father Who art in Heaven...

Tintoretto is the painter of this picture of the Last Supper. Jesus told his apostles: I have long desired to eat the Passover Meal with you. That Jewish feast, and its meal, remembers the ancient Hebrew people being freed from slavery and death. Jesus is our Passover from death to life and inner slavery to freedom.

Hail Mary full of grace...

In Tintoretto's painting there are many more people in the room than just the twelve apostles. The crowds wanted an earthly king with power, but Jesus came to show God's friendship with us in love. How boring, many thought. Now on the night of the Last Supper, some are waiting and watching to see if Jesus will be the earthly king or not. Even his friends leave him in the end. 

Hail Mary full of grace...

Jesus wants to be the companion to all the people of the earth until the end of time. He promises to stay with us in his Body and Blood, wearing the appearance of bread and wine.

Hail Mary full of grace...

This promise is Jesus' gift from heaven and so Tintoretto has painted heaven opening up and angels filling the dining room as Jesus gives the Holy Food of his Body and Blood. 

Hail Mary full of grace...

This Last Supper with his friends happens the night of Jesus' arrest. The next day will be Friday - the day of his suffering and death on Mount Calvary. And so, as he breaks the bread and passes the cup to each, he is really pointing to the self-gift he will make the next day on the cross.

Hail Mary full of grace...

Jesus gave himself completely to the Father on the cross. But he didn't just do this 2000 years ago! Jesus gives himself in love all the time and forever. When we come to Mass we receive this gift of his love. We step into angel-time and are at Calvary with Mary under the cross. Jesus' gift is for each of us and all of us.

Hail Mary full of grace...



The bread is broken and given away. The cup is passed, poured out and emptied. But even before he did this, Jesus washed the feet of the apostles as a sign of servant-love. He tells us we must do the same. This painting shows Jesus sharing the supper with the poorest children from Manila. Everyone belongs at the table of Jesus!

Hail Mary full of grace...

The family of Jesus comes to the table. The Eucharist calls us to a new kind of heart. Receiving Holy Communion means having a heart that continues to open and expand to the world, especially where the world is hungry.

Hail Mary full of grace...

When the ancient Hebrews wandered in the desert and were hungry, God fed them with bread they found each morning on the desert floor. Now Jesus is our bread from heaven. He feeds us with himself on our own journey - the journey of becoming the full-grown children of God. We might call that desire a hunger.

Hail Mary full of grace...

When we are at Mass heaven and earth touch. The Risen Jesus feeds his people. So Communion also gives us a new way of looking at other people. See the little word union in Communion. We can't receive Holy Communion and be okay with divisions, arguing and hatred.

Hail Mary full of grace...

Glory be to the Father...


















6 comments:

  1. Father Stephen,
    Thank you so much for these wonderful reflections. I appreciate how you bring the Jesus to the lives of kids today. They will relate to these things. I am not quite certain what age group you had in mind, but while looking for material to use for a confirmation retreat, I found the Glorious Mysteries and thought they would work well. Every confirmation candidate is asked to write a reflection on their retreat and many said they enjoyed learning to pray the rosary with these little focusing prayers. I cannot thank you enough for taking the time to think of our young people. They do not a have to be a lost generation. They just need the proper direction and people who care to teach them the basics of prayer and spirituality.

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  2. I don't know who I was writing the reflections for - perhaps like the gospel Seed Sower - I tossed the seed and trusted it would land where it would grow. I'm pleased for your young Confirmation Candidates. Tell them we've spoken and that I send a blessing and good wishes and hope they will continue to look at the blog. I will have them in mind often.

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  3. What a wonderful lesson. Our hunger to grow in our Christ like ways and Jesus giving of himself fully to feed us, our path to salvation in eternal life. It is very powerful and hard to fathom this love that God has for us. The sacrifices made for us out of pure love. You give a good explanation of the meaning of the Eucharist. Thank you.

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  4. We can't fathom it. And that makes it all the more wonderful. Keep our eyes fixed on the icon of the Mother of God holding her Son - and the Crucifix.

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  5. What more important lesson could there be than to teach the children about the Eucharist. You have done that job well. Thank You

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  6. My thoughts on why we should encourage the young people among us to read these Rosary Reflections:
    They should read the Rosary Mysteries not only because they will give meaning to the Rosary, but especially because it will instill in them the love that Jesus has for us all. They will understand that everything Jesus did while he walked as a human among us was for THEM, so that they might have an eternal life of happiness, no matter what their experiences are on Earth. Father Stephen has chosen very meaningful images and points out many important elements while at the same time making their messages totally relatable. While reading the reflections they will internalize that they are a part of something greater than this world and will be transported to a new and exciting spiritual place. He shares concrete suggestions on how to grow in love and faith. The path has been laid down, they just have to follow it.

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