Wednesday, 18 March 2009
Final Selection -- Luminous
So, here are the five Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary. These are the final versions of these mysteries which I am planning on using in the book that I am working on. I apologize to those of you who have seen all these several times previously.
The first mystery (shown above) is "The Baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River by his cousin, St. John the Baptist (or Baptizer)." Remember, this was not the kind of baptism that Christians experience today. John was preaching in the wilderness near the Jordan River and those who came to listen to him were often moved to repentance. John would then baptize those who wanted to show, in some symbolic way, that they planned to change their behaviour and practice their Judaism more sincerely. This is why John said to Jesus when Our Lord came down to the water's edge: "you don't need to be baptized by me; rather, I need to be baptized by you". The only changes to this icon were minor finishing touches along the edges and in some of the rocks.
The second Luminous Mystery is "The Wedding at Cana" -- the Greek word at the top of the icon is wedding so what you are reading is Cana Wedding. How this couple was related to Blessed Mary is unknown, but she and Jesus were invited to the wedding. Of course Jesus arrived with all his disciples who immediately set about drinking a large share of the couple's wine. When Blessed Mary noticed that the wine was about to run out, knowing that the couple would be humiliated, she turned to Jesus. After discussing this with her son, Blessed Mary says what are to me some of the most significant words in this chapter. She said to the servants: "do whatever He tells you." I believe that she is still saying that to us today, every day. There were no changes to this icon from the original.
The third mystery is known as "The Proclamation of the Kingdom of God". Here we see Jesus proclaiming the coming of the Kingdom of God with the call to conversion and the forgiveness of sins. This activity is still ongoing in the world today through all of us who "proclaim the kingdom" with our lives. St. Francis of Assisi is noted for saying: "Preach the Gospel always and, if necessary, use words"! There were no changes to this icon from the original.
The fourth Luminous Mystery is "The Transfiguration. Jesus took with him Peter, James and John and going up to the top of Mt. Tabor (we think that was the right mountain), he was transfigured before them. That alone must have been terrifying for the disciples, but then they saw talking with Jesus were the two great prophets: Moses and Elijah. This sent them tumbling backward, I would think, in fear and trembling. For me there are at least two wonderful things about this mystery: one is that we were given some idea of what our glorified bodies will be like and the other is what the disciples heard the Father say of Jesus -- "this is my Son, the beloved, listen to Him". There were no changes to this icon.
The fifth mystery is "The Institution of the Eucharist" where Jesus changes bread and wine into His very Body and Blood. As a Catholic with a deep, deep love for Christ truly present in the Bread and Wine, this is one of my favourite mysteries. I know that many of my readers are either Protestants or not even Christians at all and I realize that you think very differently about these matters. But I respect your beliefs and know that you respect mine. Thank you for that.
When I get too Catholic about things, I will try to stop and make myself remember that this blog is really about my art work and while icons do need some explanation since they flow out of the Orthodox faith, I admit that I sometimes get a bit carried away!!
This fifth icon, by the way, has been lightened a bit as I found the original to be too dark.
May peace be with you all.