Thursday, 4 December 2008

Luminous Mysteries

The Luminous Mysteries are the most recent. For a number of centuries there were only 15 mysteries in the traditional Rosary, but during the time of Pope John Paul II, he added an additional five -- called the Luminous Mysteries or the Mysteries of Light.

The first one is "The Baptism of the Lord". Jesus, unlike the rest of us, did not need the cleansing waters of the baptism of St. John the Baptist, his cousin. John's baptism was a baptism of repentance for sin and, as Christians believe, Christ Jesus was totally sinless. So, when Jesus came to the Jordan to be baptized, John tried to prevent it and said: "I need to be baptized by you."

Jesus replied: "Let it be so for now for it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness."

The second Luminous Mystery is "The Wedding at Cana". Once Jesus had arrived with all his disciples, the wine began to run low!

As you may recall from my previous comments, the mother of Jesus told him that the young couple was about to be terribly humiliated because they were running out of wine. She then told the servants to do whatever Jesus told them to.

He told them to fill the jars with water and then to take some of the contents of the jars to the steward of the feast. The steward then exclaimed to the couple and their families "most people use the best wine first and save the poorer wine until later when people have had a bit to drink, but you have saved the best wine until last!"

The third Luminous Mystery is called "The Proclamation of the Kingdom".

The mystery is about Jesus proclamation of the coming of the Kingdom of God with the call to conversion and the forgiveness of sins.

In Mark's Gospel we read: "Now some of the scribes were questioning in their hearts: why does this man speak thus? It is blasphemy! Who can forgive sins but God alone?"

Christians believe that these scribes actually answered their own question -- God alone can forgive sins and Christ Jesus is both true God and true Man.

The fourth mystery is "The Transfiguration of Christ Jesus on Mount Tabor".

The Gospels tell us: "Jesus took with him Peter, James and John and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves; and He was transfigured before them -- and His face shone like the sun and his garments became white as light. Suddenly they saw two men, Moses and Elijah, talking to Him. They appeared in glory and were speaking of his [death and resurrection] which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem."

As you can see from the icon, Peter John and James were somewhat terrified by the whole experience!

The fifth Luminous Mystery is "The Institution of the Eucharist (or the Mass)".

In John's Gospel we read: "Jesus said to them, Truly, truly I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life within you; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life and I will raise him up at the last day."

And in I Corinthians, St. Paul says: "For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes."

So here you have the Luminous Mysteries. I was thinking about choosing another icon -- the one with Christ and the children -- for the proclamation of the Kingdom, but decided to go with the one of Jesus teaching the crowd.

Unlike the Joyful Mysteries, there is no need to vote on which one to use.

By the way, I ended up getting four votes regarding the icon to use for the Nativity (or birth) of Christ. The votes are all over the place so I guess I will have to make the final decision myself after all.

Peace be with you.

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