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Rosary: Luminous Mysteries with Scriptural Reflections

The Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary: Accompanying Scriptural Reflections

– Reverend Deacon Geoffrey Drew, Mount Saint Mary’s Seminary of the West, Cincinnati, Ohio

On October 16, 2002, the day marking the beginning of the twenty-fifth year of his pontificate, our Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, issued an Apostolic Letter, Rosarium Virginis Mariae (The Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary). In Rosarium Virginis Mariae, the Holy Father reaffirms and reminds us that the rosary, though clearly Marian in character, is at heart a Christ-centered prayer as we meditate on the events and mysteries of our Lord’s life. He writes in section nineteen of the letter:

“I believe, however, that to bring out fully the Christological depth of the Rosary it would be suitable to make an addition to the traditional pattern which, while left to the freedom of individuals and communities, could broaden it to include the mysteries of Christ's public ministry between his Baptism and his Passion… Consequently, for the Rosary to become more fully ‘a compendium of the Gospel,’ it is fitting to add - following a reflection on the Incarnation and the hidden life of Christ (the joyful mysteries) and before focusing on the sufferings of his Passion (the sorrowful mysteries) and the triumph of his Resurrection (the glorious mysteries) - a meditation on certain particularly significant moments in his public ministry (the luminous mysteries).”

The First Luminous Mystery – The Baptism of Jesus in the Jordan

Scriptural Verses before the Hail Mary:

Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by him. (Mt. 3:13)

John would have prevented him, saying, ‘I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?’ (Mt.3:14)

But Jesus answered him, ‘Let it be so now; for it is proper for us in this way to fulfill all righteousness.’ (Mt.3:15a)

Then John consented. (Mt.3:15b)

And when Jesus had been baptized, just as he came up from the water. (Mt.3:16a)

Suddenly the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. (Mt.3:16b)

And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased."(Mt.3:17)

In Christ, God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them. (II Cor.5:19)

So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us. (II Cor.5:20)

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (II Cor.5:21)

The Second Luminous Mystery – The Wedding Feast at Cana

Scriptural Verses before the Hail Mary:

On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. (Jn.2:1-2)

When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, "They have no wine."(Jn.2:3)

And Jesus said to her, "Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come." (Jn.2:4)

His mother said to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you."(Jn.2:5)

Now standing there were six stone water-jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. (Jn.2:6)

Jesus said to them, "Fill the jars with water." And they filled them up to the brim. (Jn. 2:7)

He said to them, "Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward." So they took it. (Jn.2:8)

When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom… (Jn.2:9)

The steward said to bridegroom, "Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now." (Jn.2:10)

Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him. (Jn.2:11)

The Third Luminous Mystery – The Proclamation of the Kingdom

Scriptural Verses before the Hail Mary:

Jesus went throughout Galilee.... (Mt.4:23a)

… He was teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and curing every disease and every sickness among the people. (Mt.4:23b)

Jesus said, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the good news."(Mk.1:15)

When Jesus came down from the mountain, great crowds followed him. (Mt.8:1)

They had come to him and to be healed of their diseases.... (Lk.6:18a)

… and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured. (Lk.6:18b)

And all in the crowd were trying to touch him… (Lk.6:19a)

… for power came out from him and healed all of them. (Lk.6:19b)

"If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them… (Jn.20:23)

… if you retain the sins of any, they are retained." (John 20:23b)

The Fourth Luminous Mystery – The Transfiguration

Scriptural Verses before the Hail Mary:

Jesus took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. (Lk.9:28)

And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white. (Lk.9:29)

Suddenly they saw two men, Moses and Elijah, talking to him. (Lk.9:30)

They appeared in glory and were speaking of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. (Lk.9:31)

Now Peter and his companions were weighed down with sleep; but when they were fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. (Lk.9:32)

Then Peter said to Jesus, "Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, we will make three tents here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah." (Mt.17:4)

While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them and from the cloud a voice said, "This is my beloved Son; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!" (Mt.17:5)

When the disciples heard this, they fell to the ground and were overcome by fear. (Mt.17:6)

But Jesus came and touched them, saying, "Get up and do not be afraid."(Mt.17:7)

And when they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus himself alone. (Mt.17:8)

The Fifth Luminous Mystery – The Institution of the Eucharist

Scriptural Verses before the Hail Mary:

When the hour came, he took his place at the table, and the apostles with him. (Lk.22:14)

He said to them, "I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer… (Lk.22:15)

… for I tell you, I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God." (Lk.22:16)

Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he said, "Take this and divide it among yourselves.... (Lk.22:17)

… for I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes."(Lk.22:18)

Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them.... (Lk.22:19a)

… "This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me." (Lk.22:19b)

And he did the same with the cup after supper.... (Lk.22:20a)

… "This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood." (Lk.22:20b)

For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. (I Cor.11:26)

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


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