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John is baptizing in the Jordan proclaiming a baptism of repentance. 2. "I am the voice of one crying in the desert, make straight the way of the Lord." 3. "One mightier than I is coming after me." 4. "I have baptized you with water, He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit." 5. Seeing Jesus, John exclaims: "Behold the Lamb of God." 6. After Jesus' baptism a voice from Heaven: "This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased." 7. The Spirit descends upon Jesus in the form of a dove. 8. In this heavenly manifestation is instituted the sacrament of baptism. 9. The divine Trinity is manifested: the voice of the Father is heard as the Spirit descends upon the Son. 10.Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert for 40 days. Spiritual Fruit: Gratitude for the gift of Faith The Second Luminous Mystery THE WEDDING OF CANA 1. Jesus, His Mother and disciples were invited to a wedding in Cana. 2. During the wedding feast the wine ran short. 3. Mary turned to Jesus: "They have no wine." 4. Jesus replied: "What would you have me do? My hour has not yet come." 5. Mary said to the waiters: "Do whatever he tells you." 6. There were six stone water jars, each holding fifteen to twenty gallons. 7. Jesus bids the waiters to fill the jars with water, and then draw some out and take it to the chief steward. 8. The chief steward said to the groom: "Every man serves the good wine first... but you have saved the good wine until now." 9. At Mary’s request, Jesus worked His first miracle. 10.By His presence, Christian marriage was raised to the dignity of a Sacrament. Spiritual Fruit: Fidelity
The Third Luminous Mystery THE PROCLAMATION OF THE KINGDOM 1. "Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand." 2. "My kingdom is not of this world." 3. "Unless a man be born again of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of heaven." 4. "Whoever does not accept the kingdom of God as a little child will not enter into it." 5. "I have come to call sinners, not the just." 6. "Love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you." 7. "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." 8. "Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for justice, for they shall be satisfied." 9. "Blessed are they who suffer persecution for justice' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." 10."You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church... I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven." Spiritual Fruit: Desire for Holiness The Fourth Luminous Mystery THE TRANSFIGURATION 1. Jesus took Peter, James and John up a high mountain to pray. 2. Jesus was transfigured before them. 3. "His face became as dazzling as the sun, his clothes as radiant as light." 4. This was to fortify their faith to withstand the coming tragedy of the Passion. 5. Jesus foresaw the 'scandal of the cross,' and prepared them for it by this manifestation of His glory. 6. Moses and Elias (representing the Law and the prophets of the Old Testament) were conversing with Jesus about His passion. 7. "Do not think I have come to destroy the Law or the Prophets... but to fulfill them." 8. From a cloud came a voice: "This is my beloved Son, listen to Him." 9. Jesus admonishes them not to tell the vision to anyone until the Son of Man rises from the dead. 10.We too will behold the transfigured Jesus on the Last Day. Spiritual Fruit: Spiritual Courage
The Fifth Luminous Mystery THE INSTITUTION OF THE EUCHARIST 1. I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 2. Jesus took bread, blessed it: "Take and eat, this is My Body." 3. Taking the wine: "This cup is the new covenant in my Blood, shed for you." 4. At that eucharistic meal, Jesus celebrated the first Mass. 5. At every Mass the sacrifice of Calvary is made present. 6. At the Last Supper Jesus instituted the sacrament of Holy Orders to perpetuate this sacrifice. 7. "Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him." 8. The Eucharist is a sacrifice inasmuch as it is offered up, and a sacrament inasmuch as it is received. 9. In the Mass we offer ourselves to God, and God gives himself to us. 10.The Mass will be fruitful in the measure of our surrender to the Father. Spiritual Fruit: Love of our Eucharistic Lord
The Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary Rosarium Virginis Mariae, Pope John Paul II's Apostolic Letter which introduced the Luminous Mysteries in October 2002. Five mysteries, the Mysteries of Light (or the Luminous Mysteries), have been added to the Rosary. They focus on the public ministry of Jesus Christ. They are: The Baptism in the Jordan "Here, as Christ descends into the waters, the innocent one who became 'sin' for our sake (cf. 2Cor 5:21), the heavens open wide and the voice of the Father declares him the beloved Son (cf. Mt 3:17 and parallels), while the Spirit descends on him to invest him with the mission which he is to carry out." The Wedding at Cana "The first of the signs, given at Cana (cf. Jn 2:1- 12), when Christ changes water into wine and opens the hearts of the disciples to faith, thanks to the intervention of Mary, the first among believers." The Proclamation of the Kingdom "The preaching by which Jesus proclaims the coming of the Kingdom of God, calls to conversion (cf. Mk 1:15) and forgives the sins of all who draw near to him in humble trust (cf. Mk 2:3-13; Lk 7:47- 48): the inauguration of that ministry of mercy which he continues to exercise until the end of the world, particularly through the Sacrament of Reconciliation which he has entrusted to his Church (cf. Jn 20:22-23)." The Transfiguration "The mystery of light par excellence is the Transfiguration, traditionally believed to have taken place on Mount Tabor. The glory of the Godhead shines forth from the face of Christ as the Father commands the astonished Apostles to 'listen to him' (cf. Lk 9:35 and parallels) and to prepare to experience with him the agony of the Passion, so as to come with him to the joy of the Resurrection and a life transfigured by the Holy Spirit." The Institution of the Eucharist
"Christ offers his body and blood as food under the signs of bread and wine, and testifies 'to the end' his love for humanity (Jn 13:1), for whose salvation he will offer himself in sacrifice."
THE LUMINOUS MYSTERIES (Thursdays) 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.... Each of these mysteries is a revelation of the Kingdom now present in the very person of Jesus. ..... Pope John Paul II THE LUMINOUS MYSTERIES 1. The Baptism In The Jordan
After Jesus was baptized, he came up from the water and behold, the Heaven were opened for him and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to Him. And a voice came from Heaven saying "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased." (Mt.3:16-17)
What John the Baptist was conferring on the banks of the Jordan was a baptism of repentance for conversion and the forgiveness of sins. But he announced: "After me comes one who is mightier than I.... I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit (Mk 1:7-8). He proclaimed this to a multitude of penitents who flocked to him confessing their sins, repenting and preparing to correct their lives. The Baptism given by Jesus, which the Church, faithful to his command, does not cease to administer, is quite different. This Baptism frees man from original sin and forgives his sins, saves him from slavery to evil and is a sign of his rebirth in the Holy Spirit; it imparts to him a new life, which is participation in the life of God the Father, given to us by his Only-Begotten Son who became man, died and rose again. As Jesus comes out of the water, the Holy Spirit descends upon him like a dove, the heavens open and the Father's voice is heard from on high: "You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased" (Mk 1:11). Thus the event of Christ's Baptism is not only a revelation of his divine sonship, but at the same time a revelation of the whole Blessed Trinity. The Father-the voice from on high-reveals in Jesus the Only-Begotten Son consubstantial with him and all this comes about by virtue of the Holy Spirit who, in the form of a dove descends on Christ, the Lord's Anointed. - Pope John Paul II , Jan 1997 2. Jesus Self -Manifestation At Cana On the third day there was a wedding in Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there... When the wine ran short Mary said to Him, "They have no wine." Jesus said to her, "Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come." His mother told the servers, "Do whatever He tells you." (John 2:1-11)
At the wedding feast of Cana Jesus merely told the servants to draw out the water and take it to the chief steward, He did not say a prayer over the water or touch it, He merely willed that it be changed from water to wine, Only God can create or change by an act of His Will alone. God's Prophets performed similar miracles, Elias prayed and the oil did not diminish until the famine was over, Here Jesus does not pray as one whose gift depends upon the Will of God. No-He is God-and His Will alone-creates or changes His creation. It was so when more than four thousand followed Him and forgot to eat for three days. As at the wedding feast of Cana, there was in the feeding of the multitude an important message, These kinds of miracles were performed by Jesus to impress upon the minds of the crowd that His power was the Power of God, These particular gestures of compassion were wrought as a symbol of something greater to come. Their hearts were prepared to accept a greater mystery that He would reveal before His death-the Mystery of the Eucharist, This Mystery was so great a gift from God that the human mind would never be able to accept such an influx of love without some preparation. He would one day change bread and wine into His own Body and Blood. The same Power would multiply; the same minister would distribute from the same Source of Love-Jesus. - Mother M. Angelica 3. The Proclamation Of The Kingdom And The Call To Conversion
After John had been arrested, Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God: "This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel." (Mark 1:14-15)
Conversion. The Greek word for converting means: to rethink-to question one's own and common way of living; to allow God to enter into the criteria of one's life; to not merely judge according to the current opinions. Thereby, to convert means: not to live as all the others live, not do what all do, not feel justified in dubious, ambiguous, evil actions just because others do the same; begin to see one's life through the eyes of God; thereby looking for the good, even if uncomfortable; not aiming at the judgment of the majority, of men, but on the justice of God-in other words: to look for a new style of life, a new life. All of this does not imply moralism; reducing Christianity to morality loses sight of the essence of Christ's message: the gift of a new friendship, the gift of communion with Jesus and thereby with God. Whoever converts to Christ does not mean to create his own moral autarchy for himself, does not intend to build his own goodness through his own strengths. "Conversion" (metanoia) means exactly the opposite: to come out of self-sufficiency to discover and accept our indigence-the indigence of others and of the Other, his forgiveness, his friendship. Unconverted life is self-justification (I am not worse than the others); conversion is humility in entrusting oneself to the love of the Other, a love that becomes the measure and the criteria of my own life. - Pope Benedict XVI (Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger ) 4. The Transfiguration
While Jesus was praying His face changed in appearance and His clothing became dazzling white. And behold two men were conversing with Him, Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of His exodus that He was going to accomplish in Jerusalem." (Luke 9:28-31)
The event of the Transfiguration marks a decisive moment in the ministry of Jesus. It is a revelatory event which strengthens the faith in the disciples' hearts, prepares them for the tragedy of the Cross and prefigures the glory of the Resurrection. This mystery is constantly relived by the Church, the people on its way to the eschatological encounter with its Lord. Like the three chosen disciples, the Church contemplates the transfigured face of Christ in order to be confirmed in faith and to avoid being dismayed at his disfigured face on the Cross. In both cases, she is the Bride before her Spouse, sharing in his mystery and surrounded by his light. This light shines on all the Church's children. All are equally called to follow Christ to discover in him the ultimate meaning of their lives, until they are able to say with the apostle: 'For to me, to live is Christ' (Phil. 1:21). But those who are called to the consecrated life have a special experience of the light which shines forth from the Incarnate Word. For the profession of the evangelical counsels makes them a kind of sign and prophetic statement for the community of the brethren and for the world; consequently they can echo in a particular way the ecstatic words spoken by Peter: "Lord, it is well that we are here" (Mt. 17:4). These words bespeak the Christocentric orientation of the whole Christian life. But they also eloquently express the radical nature of the vocation to the consecrated life: How good it is for us to be with you, to devote ourselves to you, to make you the one focus of our lives! Truly those who have been given the grace of this special communion of love with Christ feel as it were caught up in his splendor: He is "the fairest of the sons of men" (Ps 45:2), the one beyond compare. -- Pope John Paul II March 1996 5. The Institution Of The Eucharist
"I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world." (John 6:51)
The other Sacraments give us grace, the Holy Eucharist gives us not only grace but the Author of all grace, Jesus, God and Man. It is the center of all else the Church has and does. As St. Mark records that, at the Last Supper, Jesus "took bread, blessed and broke it and gave it to them: "Take this, this is my Body" (Mk 14:22). That word blessed in Greek is eucharistesas, from which the Eucharist derives its name. Three of the four Gospels record the institution of the Holy Eucharist: Matthew 26:25-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:19-23. St. Paul also records it in First Corinthians 11:23-25. St. John's Gospels does not report this, presumably because he intended chiefly to fill in what the others had not written, for he wrote probably between 90 and 100 A.D. There are small variations in the words, but the essentials are the same in all accounts: This is my body... this is my blood. In John 6:53 Jesus said: "Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood you will not have life in you." Of course, He did not mean to cut off salvation from those who through no fault of their own do not know or grasp this truth. It is like the case of Baptism: one must receive it if one knows. The form, that is the words required for the Eucharist, are of course the words of institution. The matter is wheat bread (white or whole wheat) for the host, and natural wine (mixed with a very little water) for the chalice. Addition of a notable amount of other matter would make the material invalid. Jesus is present wherever the appearances (species) of bread and wine are found after the consecration. Hence He is found even when the host is divided. The substance of bread and wine is gone, only the appearances remain. The Church calls this change transubstantiation: change of substance. In John 6:47-67 Jesus did not soften His words about His presence even when so many no longer went with Him: had He meant only that bread and wine would signify Him, He could have so easily explained that, and they would not have left. The Church has always understood a Real Presence. For example, St. Ignatius of Antioch, who was eaten by the beasts in Rome around 107 A.D., wrote: "The Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ" (To Smyrna 7:1). St. Justin the martyr wrote around 145 A. D: "We have been taught that the food is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh" (Apology 1. 66. 2). The Council of Trent in 1551 defined that Jesus is really present in the Eucharist, body and blood,
soul and divinity. Obviously, this divine presence deserves our worship. Really, someone who believes in it should be much inclined to come before the tabernacle often. Benediction with the Blessed Sacrament seems to have started in the 15th century. The Church also promotes Forty Hours devotion. In some places there is perpetual adoration. - Fr. William G. Most
The Luminous Mysteries
(Click here for Spanish Version) In Marialis Cultus (1974), Pope Paul VI proposed principles for the renewal of Marian devotion, speaking at length on the Rosary. Since that time, practical suggestions have come from a number of groups. The German Liturgical Institute was eventually asked its opinion about instituting a fourth series of Rosary mysteries, The Public Life of Jesus. A Marian group in Leutsdorf, Germany then requested permission to officially institute a fourth series of mysteries that had been suggested by Rev. Benno Mikocki of Vienna, the head of the Rosary/Reparation Way of the Cross movement. The letter of the Liturgical Institute noted that an attempt had been made to promote these mysteries over twenty years ago in the national German prayerbook, Gotteslob. This attempt had found little echo from the people. The letter indicated that such devotions have to come from among the people rather than "from the top down." Dr. Elmar Nubold, director of the Liturgical Institute, commented that the three sets of mysteries, with their concise formulations, had proven effective over the years. Nevertheless, new suggestions should be taken into account. Rev. Josef Schultheiss concluded from the Liturgical Institute's response that it was now up to the individual communities and movements to do what they could to further this intention in order to achieve their aim over a longer period of time. In Rosarium Virginis Mariae (2002), John Paul II proposed the Luminous mysteries below as an "addition to the traditional pattern." (RVM, 19) The mysteries of light are placed between the Joyful and sorrowful mysteries. Each one of the Luminous mysteries sheds light on an important aspect of Christ's mission: He is son of the Father, the miracle worker, announcer of the Kingdom, the transfigured Son of god, and living bread or Eucharistic presence. He is God's light for this world. These new mysteries are extensively treated in John Paul II's letter on the rosary. The Baptism of the Lord in the Jordan Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. John tried to refuse him with the protest, "I need to be baptized by you, and yet you come to me!" Jesus answered him, "Give in for now; we must do this if we are to fulfill all of God’s demands." So John gave in. After Jesus was baptized, he came directly out of the water. Suddenly, the sky opened and he saw the Spirit of God descend like a dove, and hover over him. With that, a voice from the heavens said, "This is my beloved Son. My favor rests on Him." The Baptism in the Jordan is first of all a mystery of light. Here, as Christ descends into the waters, the innocent one who became 'sin' for our sake (cf. 2Cor 5:21), the heavens open wide and the voice of the Father declares him the beloved Son (cf. Mt 3:17 and parallels), while the Spirit descends on him to invest him with the mission which he is to carry out. (RVM, 21)
The Self-revelation of the Lord at the Wedding Feast of Cana The second mystery of light is the first of the signs, given at Cana (cf. Jn 2:1- 12), when Christ changes water into wine and opens the hearts of the disciples to faith, thanks to the intervention of Mary, the first among believers. He reveals himself as Lord and miracle worker. In the mystery of light, apart from the miracle at Cana, the presence of Mary remains in the background. The Gospels make only the briefest reference to her occasional presence at one moment or other during the preaching of Jesus (cf. Mk 3:31-5; John 2:12), and they give no indication that she was present at the Last Supper and the institution of the Eucharist. Yet the role she assumed at Cana in some way accompanies Christ throughout his ministry. The revelation made directly by the Father at the Baptism in the Jordan and echoed by John the Baptist is placed upon Mary's lips at Cana, and it becomes the great maternal counsel which Mary addresses to the Church of every age: "Do whatever he tells you." (Jn 2:5) This counsel is a fitting introduction to the words and signs of Christ's public ministry and it forms the Marian foundation of all the 'mysteries of light'. (RVM, 21) The Lord Jesus Proclaims the Coming of the Kingdom After John's arrest, Jesus appeared in Galilee proclaiming the good news of God. "This is the time of fulfillment. The reign of God is at hand! Reform your lives and believe in the Gospel!" Another mystery of light is the preaching by which Jesus proclaims the coming of the Kingdom of God, calls to conversion (cf. Mk 1:15) and forgives the sins of all who draw near to him in humble trust (cf. Mk 2:3-13; Lk 7:4748): the inauguration of that ministry of mercy which he continues to exercise until the end of the world, particularly through the Sacrament of Reconciliation which he has entrusted to his Church. (cf. John 20:22-23) (RVM, 21) The Transfiguration of Our Lord About eight days after saying this, he took Peter, John, and James, and went up onto a mountain to pray. While he was praying, his face changed in appearance and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly two men were talking with him, Moses and Elijah. They appeared in glory and spoke of his passage, which he was about to fulfill in Jerusalem. Peter and those with him had fallen into a deep sleep; but awakening, they saw his glory and likewise saw the two men who were standing with him. When these were leaving, Peter said to Jesus, "Master, how good it is for us to be here. Let us set up three booths, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah." (He did not really know what he was saying.) While he was speaking, a cloud came and overshadowed them, and the disciples grew fearful as they entered it. Then from the cloud came a voice which said, "This is my Son, my Chosen One. Listen to him." When the voice fell silent, Jesus was there alone. The disciples kept quiet, telling nothing of what they had seen at that time to anyone. The mystery of light par excellence is the Transfiguration, traditionally believed to have taken place on Mount Tabor. The glory of the Godhead shines forth from the face of Christ as the Father commands the astonished Apostles to 'listen to him' (cf. Lk 9:35 and parallels) and to prepare to experience with him the agony of the Passion, so as to come with him to the joy of the Resurrection and a life transfigured by the Holy Spirit. (RVM, 21)
The Institution of the Eucharist During the meal Jesus took bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to his disciples. "Take this and eat it," he said. "This is my body." Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them. "All of you must drink from it," he said, "for this is my blood, the blood of the covenant, to be poured out in behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink this fruit of the vine from now until the day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s reign." Then, after singing songs of praise, they walked out to the Mount of Olives. A final mystery of light is the institution of the Eucharist, in which Christ offers his body and blood as food under the signs of bread and wine, and testifies 'to the end' his love for humanity (Jn 13:1), for whose salvation he will offer himself in sacrifice. (RVM, 21)
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