Praying the Rosary in the Year of Faith: The Luminous Mysteries or Mysteries of Light
all the 'mysteries of light'. (Blessed John Paul II, RVM 21)"
It is no accident that the first miracle the Lord performed during his earthly ministry occurred in the context of a Wedding. The Nuptial mystery at the heart of marriage reveals the meaning of human existence. The Sacrament of Marriage is a sign of Christ's love for the Church which is His bride. It is also no accident that the first miracle of turning water into wine occurred at the request of the Mother of the Lord. The prayers of a Mother are powerful.
There is a nuptial meaning to life. Our destiny is prefigured prophetically in Christian marriage. God fashioned us out of love and for love. We have been created, - spiritually as well as physically - for the gift of ourselves to the other. Through that gift we also give ourselves to God in Christ - for the sake of the world.
This is why St Paul's letter to the Ephesians is such a fertile ground for instruction on Christian marriage. Its singular intent is to communicate the profound "mystery" of Christian marriage - God thought first of the spousal union of Christ and His bride, the Church, and He then made husband and wife look like it!
In the order of creation, something of this "plan hidden from the ages" (Ephesians 3:8-9) is revealed. However in Christian Marriage, through its participation in and with Jesus Christ, it is all elevated and transformed. The good of the human relationship of marriage becomes a real, substantial participation in Trinitarian Love! God's eternal plan is to "marry" the Church.
Christian Marriage is a model, a mystery and a mission. It reveals the unfolding of Gods plan for the entire human race. Nature is for grace and the order of creation is transformed by the order of redemption. The married couple lives their vocation now "in Christ" and participates in His very life and action with His bride, the Church. This is the great "mystery" Paul so profoundly alludes to in his text.
The nuptial mystery also lies at the heart of the Christian vocation to consecrated celibacy. But whereas the participation in this mystery called Christian Marriage is mediated through a spouse, in the life to come it will be unmediated! The Scriptures make it clear; there will be no specific marriages in heaven. Rather, we will be "like the angels." (St. Matthew 22:30)
Marriage is the eschatological destiny of all Christians, because we will be married to Christ. It is within this understanding that consecrated celibacy is a prophetic and eschatological participation in that eternal union. It is the "immediate" or "unmediated" spousal love of God, in Christ, made possible in the here and now by grace.
Third Luminous Mystery: The Lord Jesus Proclaims the Coming of the Kingdom
"The time has come," he said. "The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!" (Mk 1, 15) 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). (Blessed John Paul II, RVM 21)
Throughout the pontificate of Blessed John Paul II he called for a "New Evangelization." Pope Benedict XVI has made this a central pillar of his pontificate. He erected a Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization tasked with evangelizing countries where the Gospel was announced centuries ago, but where its presence in peoples' daily life seems to be all but lost.
When Blessed John Paul visited the Americas he wrote a letter "To the Church in America" in which we find these words: "The new Evangelization calls for a clearly conceived, serious, and well organized effort to evangelize culture. The Son of God, by taking upon Himself our human nature, became incarnate within a particular people, even though His redemptive death brought redemption to all people, of every culture, race and condition. The gift of His Spirit and His love are meant for each and every people and culture, in order to bring them all into unity after the perfect unity existing in the Triune God." (Pope John Paul II, Ecclesia in America, 70)
This call to New Evangelization invites each of us to live our baptismal vocation, no matter what our state in life, completely given over to the work of the Lord. It also calls each of us to proclaim the Gospel in word and deed. We continue the proclamation of Jesus to the world.Since the Second Vatican Council in the Catholic Church we ...
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Rosary, Holy Rosary, Mysteries, Blessed John Paul II, Mary, Marian, Hail Mary, Prayer, Holiness, Deacon Keith Fournier
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