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Rosary: Luminous Mysteries and Sacraments

The Mysteries of Light and the Sacraments

(Rosary: Luminous Mysteries and Sacraments)

– Carol Svisco

The Luminous Mysteries, as proposed by Pope John Paul II in his Apostolic Letter "Rosarium Virginis Mariae," include the baptism of Jesus, the wedding feast at Cana, the proclamation of the Gospel (a call to repentance), the Transfiguration, and the institution of the Eucharist. These mysteries also speak to and provide ample space for meditation on the sacraments which Jesus left with His followers as signs of His life among us.

1. The baptism of Jesus, obviously, points to our own Baptism. He came and gave us the example of humanity in need of belonging to a family, not just a physical family but a spiritual one as well. We are bound together in God's family through the sacrament of Baptism. However, the baptism of Jesus, also initiated His public ministry. For us, the sacrament of Confirmation does that. We become soldiers for Christ and begin a lifetime of service to God and His Church and all people.

2. The wedding feast of Cana obviously points to the sacrament of Matrimony. Two become one, and the Lord blesses the union and wants it to be fruitful. He provides for the abundance of living through this union. He provides and makes the ordinary and the common, extraordinary and miraculous. He takes the water of two individuals and gives them the wine of growth and new life to be a reflection of the love God Himself is.

3. The Proclamation of the Gospel is a call to repentance, a call to be reconciled, a call to change. It is the sacrament of Reconciliation put before us as a means to mend our ways and climb back up on the lap of our loving Father. It is a means to make things right again and live in His love with grace and purity. It is the cleansing that makes us whole again, fortified to continue on our path to live with Him forever.

4. The Transfiguration is an invitation to be in the presence of Jesus and in His glory. It is the hope of our own share in His glory. The sacrament of the sick can give us that same hope. The hope of healing and reunion with the One who created us and who calls us to Himself is made available. It's a way of seeing the Law and Prophets in the light of the Person of Jesus in glory. In this sacrament we become a part of Christ's transfiguration, in the flesh, yet renewed and fully alive. Our earthly body is only part of the whole picture yet important enough for our Savior to redeem it as well as our souls. In this sacrament we pray for healing: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. Past and present.

5. Finally, the institution of the Eucharist, the commemoration of the Last Supper, is obviously a mystery that speaks of the sacrament of Eucharist. It speaks of our receiving the glorified, risen Jesus as food and drink to nourish us on this earthly journey. It also speaks of the sacrament of Holy Orders. Who but the priest can take bread and wine and provide for us Jesus, body and blood, soul and divinity? By the grace of the sacrament, we are given those who will provide for us the Bread come down from heaven to sustain us on our journey to heaven.

Yes, the Luminous Mysteries are Mysteries of grace - grace through the sacraments. Yes, the Luminous Mysteries are mysteries of life. Jesus' life stands as an example for our lives, lighting our way as we follow His way.

In recognition of the Year of the Rosary, October 2002 - October 2003

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