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Room

The Seven Day Bible Rosary

Second Edition

Copyright © 2005, 1993 John F. Kippley  (jfkippley@NFPandmore.org)
 

CONTENTS

Introduction
The Preparation Mysteries
The Luminous Mysteries
The Public Life Mysteries
The Parables
The Last Supper Mysteries
The Passion and Death Mysteries
The Church Mysteries
The Glorious Mysteries

 

INTRODUCTION

1. How The Seven Day Bible Rosary developed

In the mid-1960s a newspaper columnist asked a Catholic celebrity if she still prayed the Rosary. She replied that she didn't because she didn't want to bore God. When I read this, my first thought was that she was confused about the difference between God and herself. My second reaction was that she was pointing to problems that many of us have experienced—boredom and distractions. It occurred to me that an expanded version of the Rosary might help some of us to overcome these difficulties.

When praying the rosary in the usual way, not infrequently my mind wanders all over the place. Having a verse of Sacred Scripture before each Hail Mary does not completely eliminate my distractions, but it certainly helps me to focus my mind and imagination on the subject of the mystery. If you are an easily distracted soul like myself, you may find it helpful too.

In the traditional manner of praying the Rosary, the same mystery is repeated two or three times per week.  I find that it is easier to think or meditate about a particular mystery if I don't repeat the same meditation quite as often. The Seven Day Bible Rosary offers eight sets of meditations, one for each day of the week plus an alternate.

I was also concerned that the traditional form omits the entire public life of Jesus. In October 2002, Pope John Paul II expressed the same concern in his apostolic letter, Rosarium Virginis Mariae (n. 19). After the traditional fifth Joyful mystery of the finding of Jesus in the temple at the age of twelve, the next traditional meditation is on the agony of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemani. The gospels' emphasis on his public life is not retained in the traditional 15-decade form of the rosary. According to Pope John Paul II, the rosary "is at heart a Christocentric prayer" and can be called a "compendium" or concise summary of the gospel (n. 2). The Seven Day Bible Rosary provides a weekly review of certain events and themes of the gospel.
 

2.  Possible outcomes

Our Lady of Fatima never told us that we had to enjoy praying the rosary, and many people who do not really enjoy praying the rosary continue to do so simply because Our Lady told us that if we want peace, we must pray the rosary. On the other hand, if various techniques can help you or me to pray the rosary with fewer distractions and greater devotion, then let us use them.

A personal hope of mine is that some parents will find this form of the rosary helpful in praying the family rosary with their children. It is not uncommon for outspoken children to say they think it's boring to say the rosary. As indicated previously, some adults have the same reaction. Pope John Paul II has given formal recognition to this problem. "If this repetition [of the Hail Marys] is considered superficially, there could be a temptation to see the Rosary as a dry and boring exercise" (Rosarium Virginis Mariae, n. 26). In response, he has suggested additional meditations on the public life of Jesus and has given us suggestions on how to pray the rosary with greater thoughtfulness. Perhaps the combination of a wider series of meditations, the scripture verses, and a variety of ways to pray The Seven Day Bible Rosary will prove helpful to children as well as to adults. 

It's also possible that weekly meditation on the importance of priests and their vocation to administer the sacraments and to preach the Word of the Lord may stimulate vocations. Perhaps weekly meditation of the permanence of marriage may have beneficial long-term effects on Christian married couples. 

I make no claim that this form of praying the rosary is "better" than the usual method. It is more complete because it provides more of the events in the life of our Lord for meditation.  I can say only that some people find it helpful. 
 

3. A short history of the rosary

The currently "traditional" method of praying the rosary has not always been traditional. In fact, The Seven Day Bible Rosary is closer to the way the rosary was prayed in former centuries than the current "traditional" rosary.

The earliest rosary was an outgrowth of the monastic practice of praying the 150 psalms weekly. Around the beginning of the ninth century, the laity began praying 150 Our Fathers as a substitute for the monks' Psalter, and soon they were using strings with 150 or 50 knots or pieces of wood.

The practice of saying Hail Marys began to develop in the eleventh century. However, for perhaps two hundred years, only the Angelic salutation, the first part of the Hail Mary, was said.  It was not until about the middle of the thirteenth century that the present form of the Hail Mary came into common use. "It is certain that in the course of the twelfth century and before the birth of St. Dominic (1170-1221), the practice of reciting 50 or 150 Ave Marias had become generally familiar" (Andrew J. Shipman, "The Rosary," The Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. XIII, ed.Charles G. Herbermann et al., New York: Robert Appleton Co., 1912, 185).

The current practice of dividing the Hail Marys into decades—groups of ten plus an Our Father and a Glory Be—was not yet developed when St. Dominic began promoting the rosary to defeat the Albigensian heresy in the thirteenth century. This was a heresy that taught that all material things including the human body were created by an evil spirit and were therefore evil. The Albigensians denied that Christ took on our full human nature with a genuine body, and that was a denial of the Incarnation. "Probably what St. Dominic did was this: at the command of the Blessed Virgin he urged the people to recite often and fervently the salutation which the Archangel Gabriel uttered to Mary" (Isidore O'Brien, O.F.M., The Drama of the Rosary, Paterson, NJ: St. Anthony Guild Press, 1948, 5).

This amounted to a frequent and fervent act of faith in the reality of the Incarnation—the second Person of the Blessed Trinity taking on our full human nature, and in the presence of the people's proclamation of faith, the Albigensian heresy withered away.

Perhaps because of the promotion of this prayer by St. Dominic, a variety of laymen's Psalters developed so that by the end of the thirteenth century there were four different forms: "the 150 Our Fathers, the 150 Angelic Salutations, the 150 praises of Jesus, and the 150 praises of Mary" (Scriptural Rosary, Chicago: Scriptural Rosary Center, 1961, 11).

During the fourteenth century, "chains of 50, 100, or 150 phrases . . . were attached to the recitation of the Aves, one phrase to each Ave" (W. A. Hinnebusch, "Rosary," New Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. XII, New York: McGraw Hill, 1967, 669).

In the late fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries, the division into decades and the combination of an Our Father and ten Hail Marys occurred for the first time (Hinnebusch, 669).

The consolidation to the present tradition began in the late fifteenth century. "In 1483, a Rosary book written by a Dominican, Our Dear Lady's Psalter, cut down the 150 points [of meditation] to 15 all of which, except for the last 2, corresponded to the present mysteries. The Coronation was combined with the Assumption, and the Last Judgment was the 15th mystery" (Hinnebusch, 669).  The Seven Day Bible Rosary follows this 15th century practice for the Glorious mysteries. 

The first book to use the term "mysteries" to refer to the Rosary meditations was written by a Dominican in 1521 and retained the old series of 150 thoughts or meditations  (Hinnebusch, 669), but "during the 16th century the Rosary of 15 mysteries gradually prevailed" (Hinnebusch, 669).

The decline of the "150 special thoughts" rosary was partially caused by technology. About the beginning of the 16th century, the printing press made it possible to reproduce woodcuts with relative ease, but economics made it more attractive to reproduce just one picture for each decade rather than one for each bead—15 instead of 150. That set the style for the contemporary tradition of the fifteen "traditional" mysteries of the rosary. 

In the twentieth century there has been a revival of the medieval form of the rosary with several publications of special thoughts for each Hail Mary.  In 1961 the Scriptural Rosary popularized the idea of reciting a verse of Sacred Scripture before each Hail Mary (Scriptural Rosary, 11).

 In 1973, the National Council of Catholic Bishops issued a pastoral letter on Mary in which they noted the following: "Besides the precise rosary pattern long known to Catholics, we can freely experiment. New sets of mysteries are possible. We have customarily gone from the childhood of Jesus to his Passion, bypassing the whole public life. There is rich matter here for rosary meditation, such as the wedding feast of Cana and incidents from the public life where Mary's presence and Mary's name serve as occasions for her Son to give us a lesson in discipleship: 'Still more blessed are they who hear the word of God and keep it' (Luke 11:28)" (Behold Your Mother—Woman of Faith: A Pastoral Letter on the Blessed Virgin Mary, Washington: NCCB, 1973, n. 97). The revised version of The Seven Day Bible Rosary with the Luminous Mysteries now includes the miracle at Cana.

Pope John Paul II has also promoted the idea of an expanded rosary. "I believe… 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…" (n. 19, italics in original).

He then introduced the Luminous Mysteries (or Mysteries of Light) in this way: "Consequently, for the Rosary to become more fully a 'compendium of the Gospel,' it is fitting to add…a meditation on certain particularly significant moments in his public ministry (the mysteries of light). This addition of these new mysteries, without prejudice to any essential aspect of the prayer's traditional format, is meant to give it fresh life and to enkindle renewed interest in the Rosary's place within Christian spirituality as a true doorway to the depths of the Heart of Christ, ocean of joy and light, of suffering and of glory" (n.19).

Thus, The Seven Day Bible Rosary is not a radical or unapproved form of praying the rosary. It combines elements from the medieval forms, from the traditional form of recent centuries, from the recent practice of the scriptural rosary, and the gift from Pope John Paul II—the Luminous Mysteries. To use the words of Pope John Paul II, it is an effort to make "the Rosary to become more fully a 'compendium of the Gospel'" and "to give it fresh life and to enkindle renewed interest in the Rosary's place within Christian spirituality" (n.19).
 

4. What's in The Seven Day Bible Rosary?

1) The first thing you will notice is that The Seven Day Bible Rosary has eight sets of mysteries. There is some overlap between the Luminous mysteries and the Public Life and Last Supper mysteries since the latter two date back to the 1993 edition of this booklet. I retained the Last Supper mysteries because there is so much richness to that central event in the life of Christ. I suggest the following sequence, but you are free to make your own schedule. You need to make a choice on Tuesday or Wednesday or pray a second rosary.

Monday: The Preparation
Tuesday: The Luminous Mysteries or the Public Life
Wednesday: The Public Life or the Parables
Thursday: The Last Supper
Friday: The Passion and Death
Saturday: The Church
Sunday: The Glorious Mysteries.

2) Three sets of mysteries incorporate the three traditional sets of mysteries but with some slight changes. The Mysteries of the Preparation correspond to the Joyful Mysteries, and the differences are these: 1) The name is changed to reflect the reality that these events were the preparation for the public life of Jesus. 2) The Presentation and the Finding in the Temple have been combined since they both illustrate a similar lesson in discipleship, namely, religious obedience. 3) A meditation on John the Baptist has been added to reflect this final step in the divine preparation for the public preaching and teaching of Jesus.

The Mysteries of the Passion and Death correspond to the Sorrowful Mysteries. Two of the traditional mysteries—the Scourging and the Crowning with Thorns—have been combined since they are so closely related. Attention is drawn to the trials and witness of Jesus by the addition of "Jesus bears witness to the truth of his divinity and is condemned to die."

The Glorious Mysteries have retained the same name. The traditional mysteries of the Assumption and the Coronation have been combined into one meditation because they are so closely related. Attention is focused on the Second Coming and Last Judgment by the addition of "Jesus will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead."

The other five sets are practically self-explanatory from their names. The Luminous mysteries concentrate on five special events in the public ministry of Jesus. The Public Life mysteries focus on five more events or broad themes in the life and teaching of our Lord. The Parables also illustrate important themes in the public teaching of Jesus.

The Mass ought to be the high point in the weekly life of a good Catholic. Thus it is fitting to meditate regularly on the events of the Last Supper, realities that we celebrate at each Mass, including the Lord's special prayer for unity.

Because the Church itself is so important in the life of an active Catholic, it seems prudent to meditate weekly on some of the things Jesus has done for his Church and the vocations He has created. 

 If you pray two or three five-decade rosaries a day, you might want to use the meditations on the Last Supper and the Church as your regular second or third rosaries of the day. You might also use these thoughts on Holy Thursday and when you make a Holy Hour.

3) Each mystery is preceded by a short meditation and then has a verse from Sacred Scripture (with a few exceptions) before each Hail Mary.

4) The translation is mixed. I wanted a fairly literal translation but also one that would be good for oral reading in the Catholic home. I generally followed the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) version of 1941 that is in the public domain and familiar to many Catholics. However, where the translation of the Revised Standard Version, Catholic Edition (RSVCE) of 1965 was, in my opinion, more clear, I used it. Moreover, in many cases, I made changes to get away from archaic words or usages or to express the thought more briefly or in language that better conveyed the thought to the reader of today. If you are concerned about which translation is used for any particular verse, you will have to check the sources, and you will find that the CCD and RSV translations are identical in some cases. Obviously, in many cases, it was necessary to abbreviate the scriptural accounts in order to convey the overall lesson or event within the space of ten verses. References are given at the end of each mystery so you can read the complete account in your own Bible. Words in brackets [such as this] are words I inserted, usually to clarify certain transitions of place, time or speaker.

5) Quotation marks. You will see that some quotation verses end with quotation marks and others do not. When a quotation verse does not end with quotation marks, it means that the next verse is a continuation of the same text. When a verse ends with a quotation mark and the next verse begins with a quotation mark, it means that the second verse is not a direct continuation of the previous one. 

Acknowledgement is gratefully given to the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. for permission to use verses from the Revised Standard Version Bible, Catholic Edition, copyrighted 1952, 1965 and 1966.  I want to extend many thanks also to a devoted disciple of Christ through our Lady of the Rosary. He encouraged me to produce a second edition, offered many helpful suggestions, and donated the first printing.
 

5. How to pray The Seven Day Bible Rosary

Pope John Paul II offers several suggestions to improve the way we pray the Rosary. 

IntroductionHe notes that "in different parts of the Church, there are many ways to introduce the Rosary. In some place, it is customary to begin with the opening words of Psalm 70, 'O God, come to my assistance, O Lord, make haste to help me.' …In other places, the Rosary begins with the recitation of the Creed…" (n. 37).

Announce each mystery.  "Announcing each mystery…is…to open up a scenario on which to focus our attention" (n. 29).

Use the Bible. "In order to supply a Biblical foundation and greater depth to our meditation, it is helpful to follow the announcement of the mystery with the proclamation of a related Biblical passage, long or short, depending on the circumstances… It is not a matter of recalling information but of allowing God to speak" (n. 30).

Use silence. "Listening and meditation are nourished by silence. After the announcement of the mystery and the proclamation of the word, it is fitting to pause and focus one's attention for a suitable period of time on the mystery concerned, before moving into vocal prayer" (n. 31).

Realize what you are saying when you pray the Our Father, the Hail Marys, and the Gloria (n. 32-34).

Make specific intentions for each mystery. "…the contemplation of the mysteries could better express their full spiritual fruitfulness if an effort were made to conclude each mystery with a prayer for the fruits specific to that particular mystery" (n. 35). I think the same can be said about starting each mystery with such a prayer.

Understand the symbolism of the Rosary beads. They "converge upon the Crucifix, which both opens and closes the unfolding sequence of prayer. The life and prayer of believers is centered upon Christ" (n. 36).

Conclusion.  The Holy Father suggests several prayers to conclude the Rosary. "The Rosary is then ended with a prayer for the intentions of the Pope, as if to expand the vision of the one praying to embrace all the needs of the Church" (n. 37). He also suggests praying the Salve Regina (Hail Holy Queen) and to pray that by meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary we may come to "imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise" (n. 35). (See "The Prayers of the Rosary.")

Allow me to make several more suggestions for praying The Seven Day Bible Rosary, especially in your family setting. 

VarietyNot only children but also some adults experience restlessness with the rosary, so you may find it helpful to introduce a certain amount variety into your family rosary. For example, one week you may want to read everything. The next week you might omit the meditations. Another week you may want to spend a few minutes discussing one mystery, read the verses for just that one mystery, and announce only the title, an intention, and a selected Bible verse for the others.

However you choose to use The Seven Day Bible Rosary, I suggest that you always announce the mystery, read at least one key Bible verse, and state the intention. This combination will help to keep your mind and heart engaged. 

Our Lady's requestI suggest that you always start your rosary by specifically praying it in response to Mary's request at Fatima. For example:

"Dear Blessed Mother, we pray our rosary today for world peace, for the conversion of Russia and for the conversion of sinners throughout the world as at Fatima you asked us to pray."

In the family rosary setting, that makes it clear to everyone why you are praying the rosary as a family: it's not your idea; it's our Lady's.  

Prayer intentions. I suggest making several other intentions that are of universal importance—a stop to abortion, a rebirth of chastity, and authentic reform and renewal within the Church. Perhaps you will want to pray also for other large-scale intentions such as the conversion of Islam, the conversion of the Jews, peace in the Holy Land and the rest of the Middle East, the missionary work of the Church, the conversion of those who oppose the Church, and the conversion of the nation in which you live. Then mention your special family intentions and invite each family member to join in—perhaps with at least one prayer of thanksgiving and one of petition.

* * *

May you find The Seven Day Bible Rosary helpful in your personal fulfillment of our Lady's request that we pray the rosary every day. I hope that if you use The Seven Day Bible Rosary as your family rosary, you will find it helpful for aiding your children to walk more closely with the Lord, for that is the ultimate purpose of all Marian devotion—to Jesus through Mary.

--John F. Kippley

 

How to use rosary beads

The traditional rosary beads are a set of five groups of ten beads, called a decade, with a single, usually larger, bead between each decade. Where the decades are joined, there is another chain of five beads and a crucifix.

At the crucifix, pray the Apostles' Creed. 
At the first bead, pray the Our Father.
At the set of three beads, pray three Hail Marys.
At the last single bead, pray the Glory Be.

Suggestion: Pray the Our Father, the three Hail Marys and the Glory Be for the intention of the Holy Father this month and for an increase in faith, hope and love.

At the decades, pray the Our Father and the first Hail Mary on the first bead, then a Hail Mary on each of the nine remaining beads, and conclude with the Glory Be on the single bead between the decades.

Many Catholics recite the Fatima prayer after the Glory Be.
 

The prayers of the rosary

Introductory intentions
 

The Apostles' Creed

(This version uses the new practice of "descended to the dead" instead of "descended into hell" because we all know that the place or state to which Jesus went was not the place of eternal punishment.)

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead; the third day He rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. From thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the Communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.
 

The Lord's Prayer

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.
 

The Hail Mary

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
 

The Glory Be

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
 

The Fatima Prayer

O my Jesus, forgive us our sins. Save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls to heaven, especially those most in need of thy mercy.

 

Customary concluding prayers

Salve Regina (Hail Holy Queen)

Hail, holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, hail, our life, our sweetness, and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears. Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.

Pray for us, O holy Mother of God;
That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. 

Let us pray: O God, whose only-begotten Son, by his life, death, and resurrection, has purchased for us the rewards of everlasting life, grant, we beseech You, that, meditating upon these mysteries of the most holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
 

Prayer to St. Michael

Saint Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, cast into hell Satan and all evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen. 
 

Conclusion

Queen of the most holy rosary, Pray for us.
Queen of Apostles, Pray for us.
Our Lady of Fatima, Pray for us.
Our Lady of Guadalupe, Pray for us.
Queen of Peace, Pray for us. 

 

THE PREPARATION MYSTERIES

The first mystery of the Preparation

Mary consents to be the Mother of the Christ

God has a universal will for all of us that is contained in the Ten Commandments, the Great Commandment of Love, and the moral teaching of the Church.

God also has a special will for each one of us. For Mary, God's special will was that she should be the Mother of the Messiah. Her acceptance is the model for every Christian. We need her help to say "yes" to God's unique plan for each of us.

We pray for the grace to accept God's special will for us.

Our Father

1. The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth;

Hail Mary

2. To a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph of the house of David, and the virgin's name was Mary.

Hail Mary

3. And the angel said to her: "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee."

Hail Mary

4. When she heard him, she was troubled at his word, and wondered what sort of greeting this might be.

Hail Mary

5. And the angel said to her: "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.

Hail Mary

6. "Behold, you shall conceive and give birth to a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.

Hail Mary

7. "He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Most High; and his kingdom shall have no end." 

Hail Mary

8. Mary replied to the angel, "How can this be since I know not man?"

Hail Mary

9. The angel said to her: "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you."

Hail Mary

10. And Mary said: "Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done unto me according to your word."

Hail Mary

Glory be

Reference: Luke 1:26-38

 

The second mystery of the Preparation

Mary goes to help her cousin Elizabeth

Mary has just been given the greatest honor of the human race—the Motherhood of the Messiah, the Motherhood of the God-Man, Jesus. At the same time she is told that her cousin Elizabeth is with child.

Mary does not expect to be waited upon because of the honor God has given her. Instead, she promptly leaves home—with Jesus—to help her older cousin. 

It is noteworthy that in this first example of Christian service, help is extended to a member of Mary's own family. How peaceful will be the Christian family inspired by this spirit of being helpful to others.

We pray for the grace to bring Christ to others by serving their needs.

Our Father

1. "Behold, your cousin Elizabeth has conceived a son in her old age;

Hail Mary

2. "She who was called barren is now in her sixth month, for nothing is impossible with God."

Hail Mary

3. Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country to a town of Judah, and she entered the house of Zachary and greeted Elizabeth.

Hail Mary

4. When Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb.

Hail Mary

5. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and cried out with a loud voice—

Hail Mary

6. Saying: "Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.

Hail Mary

7. "And how have I deserved that the mother of my Lord should come to me?

Hail Mary

8. "The moment I heard your greeting, the babe in my womb leaped for joy.

Hail Mary

9. "Blessed is she who believed that the things promised her by the Lord would be fulfilled."

Hail Mary

10. And Mary said: "My soul shows forth the greatness of the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior."

Hail Mary

Glory be

Reference: Luke 1:36-47

 

The third mystery of the Preparation

Jesus is born in Bethlehem

The angels announced the birth of the Savior as "good news of great joy." In taking on our human nature, God the Son poured himself out for us, and from this we learn that joy comes from the giving of self.

Another message of the angels is that joy comes from personal acceptance of Jesus as our Savior. The proud can never experience this joy, for they refuse to admit their need for salvation; or they pursue a futile quest for joy in pleasures and possessions.

We give thanks that the Son of God came to save us.

Our Father

1. [While Joseph and Mary were in Bethlehem for the census,] the time came for her delivery.

Hail Mary

2. And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes.

Hail Mary

3. She laid Him in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn.

Hail Mary

4. There were shepherds in the same region, living in the fields and keeping watch over their flocks at night.   

Hail Mary

5. And behold, an angel of the Lord came to them, and the glory of God shone round about them, and they were very much afraid.

Hail Mary

6. The angel said to them: "Do not be afraid for I bring you good news of a great joy which shall be to all the people.

Hail Mary

7. "Today in the town of David there has been born to you a Savior who is Christ the Lord;

Hail Mary

8. "And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger."

Hail Mary

9.  Suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God,

Hail Mary

10. And saying: "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men of good will."

Hail Mary

Glory be

Reference: Luke 2:1-14

 

The fourth mystery of the Preparation

The Holy Family fulfills the law

It is common to be tempted to think that we are above the law. Almost anything suffices for this temptation—a bit of excellence in athletics, the arts, or education; personal achievement, political office, or honors. These can feed the germ of false pride that can lead us to think we are above God's laws instead of giving humble thanks for whatever gifts we have received.

Joseph and Mary knew that they were very special, unique in the history of mankind.  Yet they did not think they were above the law.

We pray for an increase in religious obedience.

Our Father

1. When the time came for her purification according to the Law of Moses, they took Jesus to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord.

Hail Mary

2. There was in Jerusalem a just and devout man named Simeon, looking for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.

Hail Mary

3. When the parents of the child Jesus brought Him into the temple, Simeon took Him into his arms and blessed God—

Hail Mary

4. Saying: "Now you are letting your servant go in peace, O Lord, according to your word, because my eyes have seen your salvation."

Hail Mary

5. And he said to Mary: "Behold, this child is destined to be a sign which is rejected ...and your own soul a sword shall pierce."

Hail Mary

6. When Jesus was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem for the Passover as was the custom.

Hail Mary

7. After the feast was over and they were returning, the boy Jesus remained in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it.

Hail Mary

8. After three days, they found Him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions; and all who heard Him were amazed at his understanding and his answers.

Hail Mary

9. And He said to them: "Why did you look for me? Did you not know that I must be about my Father's business?"

Hail Mary

10. And He went down with them to Nazareth and was obedient to them, and his mother kept all these things in her heart.

Hail Mary

Glory be

Reference: Luke 2:22-52

 

The fifth mystery of the Preparation

John the Baptist prepares the way for Jesus

The last event in the divine preparation for the public ministry of Jesus was the preaching of John the Baptist. He was led by the Holy Spirit to preach the call to repentance, to a real change of heart and behavior—as Jesus would also do. He also witnessed to the permanence of marriage and the evil of adultery, and for this he paid the price of martyrdom.

St. John the Baptist is the first adult martyr of the New Testament. He is the only person in the Bible to die specifically for his witness to the marriage bond.

We pray for the gifts of repentance and respect for true marriage.

Our Father

1. John the Baptist was in the wilderness of Judea, preaching: "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."

Hail Mary

2. The people went out to him and were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins.

Hail Mary

3. Then he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism.

Hail Mary

4. He said to them: "Brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

Hail Mary

5. "If you are repentant, bring forth the right kind of fruit."

Hail Mary

6. [Later], Herod seized John and bound him in prison because Herod had married Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip.

Hail Mary

7. John had told Herod, "It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife."

Hail Mary

8. Herodias wanted to kill John, but she could not because Herod feared John, knowing he was a just and holy man.

Hail Mary

9. But Herod said to the daughter of Herodias after her dance: "Ask me for whatever you want, and I will grant it."

Hail Mary

10. She asked her mother, "What shall I ask for?" and she said, "The head of John the Baptist."

Hail Mary

Glory be

References: Matthew 3:1-12; Mark 6:14-29 

 

THE LUMINOUS MYSTERIES

The first Luminous Mystery

Jesus is baptized by John

John had been giving a baptism of repentance to sinners, and thus he was surprised to see Jesus. Though He was sinless, Jesus underwent John's baptism as a sign of His taking on the sins of the world. The heavens opened, the image of the Holy Spirit descended, and the voice of the Father bore witness to Jesus.

The baptism of Jesus was truly luminous because it was the first event in his public life that revealed Him as the Messiah. It was also the first revelation of the Trinity, three Persons—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—in One God.

We pray: Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

Our Father

1. [John said:] "I indeed baptize you with water, for repentance.

Hail Mary

2. "But he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry.

Hail Mary

3. "He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire."

Hail Mary

4. Then Jesus came from Galilee to John, at the Jordan, to be baptized by him.

Hail Mary

5. John was for hindering Him, and said, "I ought to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?"

Hail Mary

6. But Jesus said to him, "Let it be so now, for thus it becomes us to fulfill all righteousness." Then John consented.

Hail Mary

7. And when Jesus had been baptized, He immediately came up from the water.

Hail Mary

8. And behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and coming upon Him. 

Hail Mary

9. And lo, a voice from the heavens said, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

Hail Mary

10. Jesus, Light of the world, have mercy on us.

Hail Mary

Glory be

References: Matthew 3:11-17 and parallels; Rosarium Virginis Mariae, n. 21.

 

The Second Luminous Mystery

Jesus first manifests his power at Cana

The wedding at Cana sheds light on several aspects of God's plan in Christ. The presence of Jesus, Mary and his disciples at the wedding affirms the basic goodness of marriage. We see the special relationship between this mother and her Son. We learn the power of her intercession.

Mary's faith led her to ask Jesus for this favor, and the miracle then opened the hearts of the disciples to faith.

The servants at the wedding had real wisdom. They followed Mary's advice: "Do whatever He tells you." We need to do likewise.

We pray: Mary, Mother of good counsel, help us always to be wise and do what your divine Son tells us to do through his word and his Church.

Our Father

1. Jesus, his mother, and his disciples were invited to a marriage at Cana of Galilee. 

Hail Mary

2. When the wine ran short, the mother of Jesus said to Him, "They have no wine."

Hail Mary

3. And Jesus said to her, "What would you have me do, woman? My hour has not yet come."

Hail Mary

4. His mother said to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you."

Hail Mary

5. Six stone jars were standing there, each holding twenty or thirty gallons.

Hail Mary

6. Jesus said to them, "Fill the jars with water." And they filled them to the brim.

Hail Mary

7. And Jesus said to them, "Draw some out now, and take it to the chief steward." And they took it to him.

Hail Mary

8. When the chief steward tasted the water now become wine and did not know where it had come from, he called the bridegroom.

Hail Mary

9. "Every man serves the good wine first and then, when men have drunk freely, the wine that is poorer. But you have kept the good wine until now."

Hail Mary

10. Jesus worked this, the first of his signs, at Cana of Galilee; and he manifested his glory, and his disciples believed in him.

Hail Mary

Glory be

References: John 2: 1-11; Rosarium Virginis Mariae, n. 21.

 

The Third Luminous Mystery

Jesus proclaims the Kingdom of God with a call to faith and to a change of heart

The gospel is summarized by the simple message with which Jesus begins his public preaching: "The kingdom of God is at hand; undergo a change of heart and believe in the gospel."

We know from our own experience that having a change of heart is not just a one-time thing. We need continual conversion so that we can walk with the Lord on the narrow path that leads to eternal life.

Our Lord challenges us to live by faith and to trust that if we seek first the kingdom of God, He will take care of the rest.

We pray for continued conversion and to live by faith.

Our Father

1. After John the Baptist was imprisoned, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God.

Hail Mary

2. [And He was] saying: "The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand. Undergo a change of heart and believe in the gospel."

Hail Mary

3. "No one can serve two masters; you cannot serve God and money."

Hail Mary

4. "Do not be anxious saying, 'What shall we eat and drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'

Hail Mary

5. "Unbelievers seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.

Hail Mary

6. "But seek first the kingdom of God and his justice, and all these things will be given you besides."

Hail Mary

7. "Enter by the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many follow that way.

Hail Mary

8. "For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few."

Hail Mary

9. "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven,

Hail Mary

10. "But he who does the will of my Father shall enter the kingdom of heaven."

Hail Mary

Glory be

References: Mark 1:14-15; Matthew 6:24-33; 7:13-21

 

The Fourth Luminous Mystery

In the Transfiguration, the Glory of God gives hope

After Simon Peter had made his act of faith in Jesus as the Messiah, our Lord began to teach the mystery of the cross and resurrection. He would suffer, die and then rise from the dead. To share the glory of Christ, a disciple will carry his cross. 

A week later, Jesus gave to Peter, James and John a foretaste of the final outcome. "The glory of the Godhead shines forth from the face of Christ as the Father commands the astonished Apostles to 'listen to Him' " (RVM, n.21)

We thank God for revealing the glory of the Transfiguration that gives us hope for life everlasting.

We pray to keep in our hearts the vision of Christ in resurrected glory, especially when our cross feels heavy.

Our Father

1. After six days Jesus took Peter, James and his brother John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. 

Hail Mary

2. He was transfigured before them. His face shone as the sun, and his garments became white as snow. 

Hail Mary

3. And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah talking together with Him.

Hail Mary

4. Then Peter said to Jesus: "Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, let us set up three tents here, one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah." 

Hail Mary

5. As he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them;

Hail Mary

6. And behold a voice out of the cloud said, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; listen to Him."

Hail Mary

7. On hearing it the disciples fell on their faces and were exceedingly afraid.

Hail Mary

8. Jesus came near and touched them, and said to them, "Arise, and do not be afraid."

Hail Mary

9. Lifting up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.

Hail Mary

10. As they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus cautioned them, saying, "Tell the vision to no one, till the Son of Man has risen from the dead."

Hail Mary

Glory be

References: Matthew 17:1-9 and parallels; 2 Pet 1:17-18.

 

The Fifth Luminous Mystery

Jesus institutes the Holy Eucharist

At the Last Supper, Jesus offered to the Apostles, under the signs of bread and wine, his own body and blood that He would sacrifice on Calvary the next day. 

So great is this gift that St. Paul reminds us that "whoever eats this bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord."

In the Eucharist, our Lord strengthens us so we can walk the narrow way with Him. Receiving Holy Communion is also a sign of unity with our Savior and with the teaching of his Church—one, holy, Catholic and apostolic.

We give thanks to God for the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.

Our Father

1. "The bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world." They said to Him, "Lord, give us this bread always."

Hail Mary

2. "I am the living bread that has come down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread he shall live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh."

Hail Mary

3. "Amen, amen I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you.

Hail Mary

4. "He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has life everlasting and I will raise him up on the last day…

Hail Mary

5. "He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in Me and I in him."

Hail Mary

6. Many of his disciples said, "This is a hard saying…" and no longer walked with Him. Jesus said to the Twelve, "Will you also go away?"

Hail Mary

7. Simon Peter answered, "Lord, to whom shall we go?  You have the words of everlasting life."

Hail Mary

8. While they were at supper, Jesus took bread, and blessed and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, and said, "Take and eat: this is my body."

Hail Mary

9. And taking a cup, he gave thanks and gave it to them, saying, "All of you drink of this. For this is my blood of the new covenant, which is being shed for many unto the forgiveness of sins."

Hail Mary

10. "Greater love than this no one has, that a man lay down his life for his friends."

Hail Mary

Glory be

References: 1 Corinthians 11:27; John 6:33-59,15:13; Matthew 26:26-28

 

THE PUBLIC LIFE MYSTERIES

The first mystery of the Public Life

Jesus is tempted in the wilderness

The Savior of the world experienced and overcame the temptations that all of us experience—the temptations to materialism, presumption, and the temptation to do evil in order to accomplish something good.

The last temptation may have been this: to worship Satan in exchange for the souls of the rest of mankind. This would have been the greatest possible temptation since Jesus had come to save each one of us. In his answer, Jesus teaches us that we may never do what is wrong even to accomplish some good purpose. He clearly teaches us that the end does not justify the means.

We pray for the grace to overcome all temptations.

Our Father

1. Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.

Hail Mary

2. And after He fasted forty days and forty nights, He was hungry.

Hail Mary

3. The tempter said to Him: "If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread."

Hail Mary

4. But Jesus answered: "It is written, 'Not by bread alone does man live but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.' "

Hail Mary

5. Then the devil took Him into the holy city and set Him on the pinnacle of the temple.

Hail Mary

6. He said: "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, 'He will give his angels charge of you, and on their hands they will bear you up lest you strike your foot against a stone.' "

Hail Mary

7. Jesus said to him: "It is also written, 'Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.' "

Hail Mary

8. The devil took Him to a high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.

Hail Mary

9. "All these things I will give you if you will fall down and worship me."

Hail Mary

10. Jesus said to him: "Be gone, Satan! For it is written, 'The Lord thy God shall you worship and Him only shall you serve.' "

Hail Mary

Glory be

Reference: Matthew 4:1-11

 

The second mystery of the Public Life

Jesus teaches us the way to true happiness.

In the Beatitudes, Jesus challenges us today just as He challenged his listeners some 2000 years ago.  People are still inclined to think that they will be happy if they are rich and powerful. Most of us want others to speak well of us.

Sometimes we think that the Beatitudes refer only to pious people living in convents and monasteries. On the contrary, Jesus teaches all of us that real happiness comes only from being detached from things, by seeking justice and peace for others, and by purity of heart.  The challenge of this teaching is to apply it to ourselves.

We pray to think with the mind and heart of Jesus.

Our Father

1. "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Hail Mary

2. "Blessed are the meek, for they shall possess the earth.

Hail Mary

3. "Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

Hail Mary

4. "Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for justice, for they shall be satisfied.

Hail Mary

5. "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.

Hail Mary

6. "Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God.

Hail Mary

7. "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.

Hail Mary

8. "Blessed are they who suffer persecution for the sake of justice, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 

Hail Mary

9. "Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and falsely utter all kinds of evil against you on my account.

Hail Mary

10. "Rejoice and be glad because your reward is great in heaven; for so did they persecute the prophets who were before you."

Hail Mary

Glory be

References: Matthew 5: 1-12; see also Luke 6:20-26

 

The third mystery of the Public Life

Jesus teaches us to love our enemies and each other

The phrase about hating your enemy is not in the Old Testament. It may have been a way of saying you had fewer obligations to love your enemy; or perhaps it meant you could be indifferent to foreigners.

Jesus changes that. He teaches us that we must love our enemies. And St. John reminds us that we must love each other.

Love is frequently difficult, a challenge to our inclinations. If it was easy to love as God wants us to love, our Lord would not have to command us to do so.

We pray for the grace to love those who persecute us—and to work for their conversion.

Our Father

1. "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.'

Hail Mary

2. "But I say to you: Love your enemies, and do good to those who hate you.

Hail Mary

3. "Pray for those who persecute you and tell lies about you.

Hail Mary

4. "Do so in order to be children of your Father in heaven; for He makes his sun rise on the good and evil, and He sends rain on sinners and saints alike.

Hail Mary

5. "If you love those who love you, what reward shall you have? Do not even the tax collectors do that?

Hail Mary

6. "If you greet only your friends, what more are you doing than anyone else? Don't even unbelievers do that much?

Hail Mary

7. "You are called to be perfect even as your heavenly Father is perfect."

Hail Mary

8. [And St. John wrote:] If anyone says, "I love God" and hates his brother, he is a liar.

Hail Mary

9. The man who does not love his brother whom he does see cannot love God whom he does not see.

Hail Mary

10. This commandment we have from the Lord, that he who loves God should love his brother also.

Hail Mary

Glory be

References: Matthew 5:43-48; 1 John 4:20-21

 

The fourth mystery of the Public Life

Jesus teaches us about marriage and a right heart

God knows that husbands and wives are subject to the temptation to take each other for granted, to feel sorry for themselves, and even to imagine occasionally that life might be better with someone else. So Jesus reaffirms the original reality that marriage is truly permanent.

The Lord also knows our human weaknesses and our tendency to use other people, so he reminds us that lust is not love.

Chastity is the spiritual energy that enables us to place our sexuality at the service of authentic love. Marital chastity entails self-mastery and fidelity in both thought and deed.

We pray for all married couples—that they will be faithful to God and to each other.

Our Father

1. Pharisees came to test Him by asking, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?"

Hail Mary

2. Jesus said to them: "From the beginning of creation, God made them male and female.

Hail Mary

3. "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife, and the two shall become one.

Hail Mary

4. "So they are no longer two but one flesh. What God has joined together, let no man put asunder."

Hail Mary

5. His disciples asked Him about this again, and He said: "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her;

Hail Mary

6. "And if the wife divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery."

Hail Mary

7. "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery.'

Hail Mary

8. "But I say to you that anyone who looks at a woman with lustful intention has already committed adultery with her in his heart."

Hail Mary

9. "Out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, every form of sexual immorality, stealing, lying, and slander, and these defile you."

Hail Mary

10. "Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God."

Hail Mary

Glory be

References: Mark 10:2-12; Matthew 5:8, 27-28; 15:19

 

The fifth mystery of the Public Life

In his miracles, Jesus shows us his divine power at work in the world

In curing the paralytic, Jesus added something not found in most of his miracles. He noted that this miracle was a sign of his divine power to forgive sins, a sign that people should believe that He was sent by God and that his words were true.

Mid-19th century Europe was wounded by lack of faith. Skeptics denied the reality of miracles. God answered them with the miracles at Lourdes, the same sort of unexplainable healings that Jesus worked in his public life. It is good to thank God both for his continuing signs and wonders and for the gift of faith.

We thank Jesus for his works, and we pray for increased faith in all that He taught.

Our Father

1. As He preached to them, four men brought a man who was paralyzed.

Hail Mary

2. Since they could not get near Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof and lowered the paralytic on his pallet.

Hail Mary

3. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, "My son, your sins are forgiven."

Hail Mary

4. Some of the scribes questioned in their hearts: "Why does this man speak this way? That's blasphemy! Who can forgive sins except God alone?"

Hail Mary

5. Jesus immediately knew in his spirit that they were questioning within themselves.

Hail Mary

6. So He said to them: "Why are you arguing this way in your hearts?

Hail Mary

7. "Which is easier? To say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven you'? or to say, 'Arise, pick up your mat and walk'?

Hail Mary

8. "So that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins" — He said to the paralytic: "I say to you, arise, pick up your mat, and go home."

Hail Mary

9. Immediately he arose, took up his mat, and walked out in the sight of all.

Hail Mary

10. The people were all amazed and glorified God saying, "We have never seen anything like this."

Hail Mary

Glory be

Reference: Mark 2:1-12

 

THE PARABLES

The first mystery of the Parables

In the Parable of the Sower, Jesus teaches us to respond to the word of God

Our Lord and Savior comes to each one of us, asking for our response and pointing out the common things that hinder that response.

It is food for an examination of conscience. If I say I believe but I am not being fruitful in his service, is it because I have not truly taken his message to heart? Is it because I have no deep spiritual roots? Or is it because I have let the pursuit of money and other worldly cares preoccupy me?

And if I am already serving God, how can I do better?

We pray to be fruitful in his service.

Our Father

1. "Behold, the sower went out to sow, and some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up.

Hail Mary

2. "Other seeds fell on rocky ground, and they sprang up at once because they had no depth of soil, but they withered away in the heat of the sun because they had no roots.

Hail Mary

3. "Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them.

Hail Mary

4. "And other seeds fell upon good ground and yielded fruit, some a hundred-fold, some sixty, and some thirty-fold."

Hail Mary

5. "When anyone hears the word of the kingdom but does not take it to heart, the evil one snatches away what was sown in his heart; this is the seed sown on the path.

Hail Mary

6. "The seed sown on rocky ground—that is he who receives the word right away with joy.

Hail Mary

7. "But he has no root; he lasts for a while, but when trouble and persecution come because of the word, he quickly falls away.

Hail Mary

8. "The seed sown among thorns—that is he who listens to the word; but the cares of this world and the deceit of money choke the word, and he is fruitless.

Hail Mary

9. "The one sown upon good ground—that is he who hears the word and takes it to heart;

Hail Mary

10. "He bears fruit and yields in one case a hundred-fold, in another sixty-fold or thirty-fold."

Hail Mary

Glory be

Reference: Matthew 13:1-23

 

The second mystery of the Parables

In the Parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus teaches us about our neighbor

The lawyer had just been praised by Our Lord for his proper answer about what must be done to inherit eternal life. "You shall love the Lord thy God with all your heart and with your whole soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself." That prompted his question: "And who is my neighbor?"

The answer of Jesus is universal. My neighbor is the person who needs my help.

The test of love is my response here and now to the unexpected need for help and care.

We pray to be compassionate to those in need.

Our Father

1. A lawyer, seeking to justify himself, said to Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"

Hail Mary

2. Jesus answered, "A certain man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho.

Hail Mary

3. "And he was attacked by robbers who beat him and left him half dead.

Hail Mary

4. "A priest went down the same way, and when he saw him, he passed by. So also a Levite who saw him and passed by.

Hail Mary

5. "But a Samaritan who traveled that road saw him and was moved with compassion.

Hail Mary

6. "He went up to him and bound up his wounds, brought him to an inn, and took care of him.

Hail Mary

7. "The next day he paid the innkeeper to care for him and said, 'Whatever more you spend, I will repay you on my way back.'

Hail Mary

8. "Which of these three, in your opinion, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?"

Hail Mary

9. He said, "He who took pity on him."

Hail Mary

10. And Jesus said to him, "Go and act in like manner."

Hail Mary

Glory be

Reference: Luke 10:25-37

 

The third mystery of the Parables

In the Parable of the Talents, Jesus teaches about using the gifts He has given us

Most of us do not regard ourselves as being among the world's highly talented. Therefore, we would like to tell ourselves that we can let others who are more gifted do what is needed for building up the kingdom of God.

In this parable, however, Jesus teaches that each one of us, no matter how small in the eyes of the world, has some gift to use in building up his kingdom.  Feeding the hungry, visiting the sick, volunteering our time, being thankful for help received, offering suffering as a prayer for others—all of these are talents to use in God's service.

We pray that we will use our abilities to build up the kingdom of God.

Our Father

1. "The kingdom of heaven is like a man going on a long trip, leaving his goods in the care of his servants.

Hail Mary

2. "To one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his ability."

Hail Mary

3. "He who had the five put them to work and gained five more. 

Hail Mary

4. "He who had the two put them to work and gained two more.

Hail Mary

5. "But he who had the one talent hid his master's money in the ground.

Hail Mary

6. "When the master finally returned, he called for an accounting of their stewardship."

Hail Mary

7. "To him who gained five talents, he said, 'Well done, good and faithful servant;

Hail Mary

8. " 'Because you were faithful over a few things, I will set you over much; enter the joy of your master.' "

Hail Mary

9. "The servant with the one talent said: 'I was afraid, so I hid your talent; here it is, unused.'

Hail Mary

10. "The master said, 'Cast out this lazy servant into the darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.' "

Hail Mary

Glory be

Reference: Matthew 25:14-30

 

The fourth mystery of the Parables

In the Parable of the Two Barns, Jesus teaches about the dangers of riches

The gospel of Luke shows that a major theme in the teaching of Jesus is the danger of seeking after wealth. In this parable, the man has achieved wealth and is satisfied to take it easy, eat, drink, and be merry. But God calls him a fool, for those things will be of no value when he meets his Maker.

Our Lord teaches that the antidote to selfishness is generous almsgiving that builds up a treasure in heaven. Money is a talent to be used in the service of God and our fellow man.

We pray for generosity in almsgiving.

Our Father

l. [Jesus taught them:] "Take heed and beware of all greed, for a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions."

Hail Mary

2. He told them this parable: "The land of a rich man yielded rich harvests.

Hail Mary

3. "And the man thought to himself, 'What shall I do since I have no room to store my crops?

Hail Mary

4. " 'This is what I will do: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones to store all my goods.

Hail Mary

5. " 'And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have many good things laid up for many years; take it easy, eat, drink, and be merry.'

Hail Mary

6. "But God said to him, 'You fool! This night your soul is required of you. Those things that you have stored up, whose will they be?'

Hail Mary

7. "So is he who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God."

Hail Mary

8. "Do not seek what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; your Father knows that you need these things.

Hail Mary

9. "But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be given you besides. Do not be afraid; sell what you have and give alms. 

Hail Mary

10. "Make yourselves purses that do not grow old, an unfailing treasure in heaven. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."

Hail Mary

Glory be

References: Luke 12:15-34; see also Matthew 6:19-34.

 

The fifth mystery of the Parables

In the Parable of the Prodigal Son, Jesus teaches us about the loving mercy of God toward repentant sinners

This Scripture gives hope to all of us. Like the parable of the Good Shepherd, the parable of the Prodigal Son teaches about God's desire to forgive sin and to embrace the sinner.

Jesus also gives us some challenges. In order to receive God's forgiveness, I must first accuse myself of my sins. I must also undergo a change of heart, put aside my sins, and I must firmly resolve to walk the narrow way with the Lord.  Finally, I must accept God's mercy on others, even public sinners. The parable of the prodigal son gives us firm hope and real challenges.

We pray for the conversion of sinners including ourselves.

Our Father

1. [Jesus told them this parable:] "A certain man had two sons, and the younger son asked for his inheritance."

Hail Mary

2. "When he received it, he soon left for a far country where he squandered his fortune in loose living.

Hail Mary

3. "After he spent everything, a great famine came over that country, and he began to suffer."

Hail Mary

4. "Finding a job on a farm, he longed to eat what he fed the pigs, but no one gave him anything.

Hail Mary

5. "Coming to his senses, he told himself, 'How many hired men in my father's house have plenty of bread to eat while I am starving here?

Hail Mary

6. " 'I will go to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and you;

Hail Mary

7. " 'I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me as one of your hired men.' "

Hail Mary

8. "When his father saw him coming, he was filled with compassion and ran to embrace him.

Hail Mary

9. "And the son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you.' But the father said, 'Fetch the best robe and prepare a feast;

Hail Mary

10. " 'This my son was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and is found.' "

Hail Mary

Glory be

Reference: Luke 15:11-32 

 

THE LAST SUPPER MYSTERIES

The first mystery of the Last Supper

Jesus washes the feet of his apostles

Jesus contrasts his teaching with the way of the world. The secular way of things is this: the strong become more powerful by using those who are weaker, the rich become richer by using the poor.

In contrast, our Lord teaches that those who have power and money and authority are to help those who don't. It is such a hard lesson that he dramatizes it by washing the feet of his apostles—and tells them to do likewise.

Jesus does not eliminate authority, but He wants to change the hearts of those who possess it.

We pray for the Christian spirit of service in leadership.

Our Father

1. Jesus rose from the supper table and wrapped a towel around his waist.

Hail Mary

2. Then He began to wash the feet of his disciples and to wipe them with his towel.

Hail Mary

3. After He had washed their feet, He said to them: "Do you know what I have done to you?

Hail Mary

4. "You call me Master and Lord, and you are right for so I am.

Hail Mary

5. "If I, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash the feet of one another.

Hail Mary

6. "I have given you an example; as I have done, you should do also."

Hail Mary

7. "The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those in authority are called benefactors.

Hail Mary

8. "But not so with you; let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and let the leader become as a servant."

Hail Mary

9. "Amen, amen, I say to you, no servant is greater than his master; nor is the one sent greater than he who sent him. 

Hail Mary

10. "If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them."

Hail Mary

Glory be

References: John 13:1-17; Luke 22:24-27

 

The second mystery of the Last Supper

Jesus commands us to love one another as He has loved us

Jesus teaches that we are his friends IF we do what He commands us. There is no question that God pursues us with unconditional love in order to obtain our conversion—that's the lesson of the Good Shepherd. But the other side of the coin is that we must undergo continual conversion; we must keep his commandments in order to be his friends.

This does not mean that we think we are saved just through good works. Keeping the commandments means believing and living the Faith.

The Great Commandment is the most difficult of all: to love each other with the self-sacrificing love of Jesus. 

We pray for the strength to keep his commandments.

Our Father

1. "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.

Hail Mary

2. "If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love,

Hail Mary

3. "Just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love.

Hail Mary

4. "These things I have spoken to you that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

Hail Mary

5. "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

Hail Mary

6. "Greater love than this no one has, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Hail Mary

7. "You are my friends if you do what I command you."

Hail Mary

8. "You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and be fruitful and that your fruit should remain.

Hail Mary

9. "So that whatever you ask the Father in my name, He may give it to you.

Hail Mary

10. "This I command you, to love one another."

Hail Mary

Glory be

Reference: John 15: 9-17.

 

The third mystery of the Last Supper

Jesus gives us his body and blood as our spiritual food and drink

In the Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist, Jesus remains with us, body and blood, soul and divinity. Under the appearances of bread and wine, He is personally and physically present in order to nourish us as we journey through life with Him.1

At each Mass we ought to pray in thanksgiving for all the teaching of Jesus, for his suffering and dying for us, for his resurrection and ascension, for his continued presence in his Church, and for his Real Presence in the Eucharist.

In prayerful adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, we can show and sometimes feel our love for our Savior.

We thank you, Jesus, for being with us in the Eucharist.

Our Father

1. "Amen, amen, I say to you, he who believes in Me has eternal life. I am the bread of life."

Hail Mary

2. "I am the living bread that has come down from heaven; if anyone eats of this bread he shall live forever;

Hail Mary

3. "And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh."

Hail Mary

4. "Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you.

Hail Mary

5. "He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has everlasting life, and I will raise him up on the last day."

Hail Mary

6. While they were at supper, Jesus took bread, and blessed and broke it and gave it to his disciples,

Hail Mary

7. Saying: "Take and eat, this is my body."

Hail Mary

8. And taking a cup, He gave thanks and gave it to them saying: "Drink of this, all of you;

Hail Mary

9. "For this is my blood of the new covenant which is being shed for many for the forgiveness of sins;

Hail Mary

10. "Do this in remembrance of Me."

Hail Mary

Glory be

References: John 6:47-65; Matthew 26:26-28; Luke 22:19

1. Personally and physically present: "The body and blood together with the soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ and therefore the whole Christ (totum Christum) is truly, really and substantially contained in the Sacrament of the most holy Eucharist," Council of Trent, 11 October, 1551.

"Under these [species], Christ whole and entire is there in his physical reality, indeed bodily present although not in the same way that bodies are present in a given place," Pope Paul VI, Mysterium Fidei, Enchiridion Vaticanum, #427. For a convenient English text: The Mystery of Faith, (Boston: St. Paul Editions, 1965) p. 20.

 

The fourth mystery of the Last Supper

Jesus promises that the Holy Spirit will guide the Church to teach the truth

The faith of Christians rests upon the promise of Jesus that He would send the Holy Spirit to lead the apostles and their successors into the fullness of the truth. When we profess our faith through the Creed at Sunday Mass, we affirm our belief that the Holy Spirit guided the Fathers of the Council of Nicea to proclaim the truth about Jesus—true God and true man, one in being with the Father.

Jesus is still keeping his promises to be with the Pope and the bishops in his Catholic Church.

We pray for all bishops—that they will bear witness to the truth in season and out of season.

Our Father

1. "If you love Me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father and He will give you another Advocate to be with you forever;

Hail Mary

2. "The Spirit of Truth whom the world cannot receive because it neither sees Him nor knows Him."

Hail Mary

3. "These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you.

Hail Mary

4. "The Father will send in my name the Counselor, the Holy Spirit;

Hail Mary

5. "The Holy Spirit will teach you all things and bring to mind all that I have told you."

Hail Mary

6. "When the Advocate has come, whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of Truth who proceeds from the Father, He will bear witness to Me.

Hail Mary

7. "And you also are witnesses because you have been with Me from the beginning."

Hail Mary

8. "I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now;

Hail Mary

9. "But when the Spirit of Truth comes, He will lead you into all the truth."

Hail Mary

10. "He will glorify Me, for He will take what is mine and declare it to you."

Hail Mary

Glory be

References: 2 Tim 4:2; John 14:15-26; 15:26-27; 16:12-15

 

The fifth mystery of the Last Supper

Jesus prays for unity among all those who believe in Him

Our Lord and Savior put it positively: perfection in unity among his disciples will be a sign to the unbelieving world of his own divine mission. However, the great divisions among Christians provide a stumbling block to non-believers to approach the saving message of Christ.

Problems within the Church sometimes obscure its essential unity, but the words of Jesus remain, "There will be one flock and one shepherd." Even after twenty centuries, the authentic Catholic faith remains undivided, and for those who search with an open heart, its unity of faith is still a sign of the divinity of its founder, Jesus Christ.

We join our prayer for unity to his.

Our Father

1. "Father ... I do not pray that You take them out of the world but that You keep them from evil."

Hail Mary

2. "Make them holy in the truth; thy word is truth.

Hail Mary

3. "Just as you sent Me into the world, so I have sent them into the world;

Hail Mary

4. "And for their sake, I consecrate myself so that they also may be consecrated in truth.

Hail Mary

5. "I pray not only for these but also for those who are to believe in Me through their word,

Hail Mary

6. "That they may all be one, even as Thou, Father, art in Me and I in Thee;

Hail Mary

7. "That they also may be one in Us, so that the world may believe that You have sent Me.

Hail Mary

8.  "The glory you have given Me, I have given to them, that they may be one, even as We are one:

Hail Mary

9. "I in them and You in Me; that they may be perfected in unity;

Hail Mary

10. "So that the world may know that you have sent Me, and that You have loved them just as you have loved Me."

Hail Mary

Glory be

Reference: John 10:16; 17:15-23

 

THE PASSION AND DEATH MYSTERIES

The first mystery of the Passion and Death of Our Lord

Jesus accepts his suffering in the garden of Gethsemane

Three times Jesus prayed about the possibility of not suffering. Three times He concluded, "Not my will but thine be done."

We do not understand the mystery of suffering. We do not understand why our salvation had to come through agony and pain. But one thing we do know: Jesus accepted suffering to be faithful to his Father. 

We can share in the redemptive work of Jesus by joining our pains and afflictions with his. On the other hand, the refusal to accept difficulties is the cause of much sin. The lesson is obvious. Jesus accepted suffering; so must his disciples. 

We pray to accept whatever suffering is necessary to be faithful to God's will.

Our Father

1. Jesus went with his disciples to Gethsemane and told them, "Sit here while I go yonder and pray."

Hail Mary

2. He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee with Him, and He became sad and very troubled.

Hail Mary

3. He told them: "My soul is sorrowful, even unto death. Wait here and stay awake with Me."

Hail Mary

4. And He withdrew from them about a stone's throw, and knelt down and prayed.

Hail Mary

5. "Father, if thou art willing, remove this cup from me; yet, not my will, but thine, be done."

Hail Mary

6. And there appeared to Him an angel from heaven to strengthen Him.

Hail Mary

7. And being in an agony He prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down upon the ground.

Hail Mary

8. Then He came back to the disciples and found them sleeping, and He said to Peter, "Could you not watch one hour with Me?

Hail Mary

9. "Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing but the flesh is weak."

Hail Mary

10. He went away a second time and a third time and prayed: "My Father, if this cup cannot pass away unless I drink it, thy will be done."

Hail Mary

Glory be

References: Matthew 26:36-46; Luke 22:39-46

 

The second mystery of the Passion and Death of Our Lord

Jesus bears witness and is condemned to die

On trial for his life, Jesus proclaimed that He is the Messiah, and He also referred to Himself as the Son of Man coming upon the clouds of heaven. The Jewish leadership recognized this as a claim to equality with God, and for this witness they condemned Him to death.

The Christian is called to bear witness to the person and the teachings of Christ by word and by example. This witness, no matter how tactful, may bring exclusion from some groups, rejection by some individuals, or even physical suffering.  If so, rejoice to be treated as Jesus was.

We pray for the courage always to bear witness to the truth of God's revelation.

Our Father

1. The high priest said to Jesus: "I order you by the living God: tell us whether you are the Christ, the Son of God."

Hail Mary

2. Jesus said to him, "You have said it.

Hail Mary

3. "I say to you, hereafter you shall see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the power and coming upon the clouds of heaven."

Hail Mary

4. Then the high priest tore his robes and said, "He has blasphemed . . . What do you think?"

Hail Mary

5. They answered and said, "He is liable to death," and they spat in his face and struck Him.

Hail Mary

6. [Then Jesus stood before Pilate who asked Him,] "Art Thou the king of the Jews?" Jesus said to him, "You are saying it."

Hail Mary

7. "My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my followers would have fought, but my kingship is not from here."

Hail Mary

8. Pilate said to Him, "Thou art then a king?" Jesus answered, "You are saying it. I am a king."

Hail Mary

9. "That is why I was born and why I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth."

Hail Mary

10. "Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice."

Hail Mary

Glory be

References: Matthew 26:63-67, 27:11; John 18:33-37

 

The third mystery of the Passion and Death of Our Lord

Jesus is mocked and scourged and crowned with thorns

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught that "if someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also," and in his passion He shows us his teaching in action. Ridicule may be one of the most painful experiences we will have to endure. In word and in deed Our Lord teaches us that we are not to respond to insults with vengeance.

Many of us find it difficult to deny ourselves any available pleasure. The scourging of the flesh of Jesus is a never-ending statement about the need for self-sacrifice in the life of Christian discipleship.

We pray for the gifts of humility and voluntary self-denial.

Our Father

1. Pilate saw that he was doing no good so he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd;

Hail Mary

2. Saying: "I am innocent of the blood of this just man; see to it yourselves."

Hail Mary

3. And all the people answered, "His blood be on us and on our children!"

Hail Mary

4. Then he released Barabbas, but Jesus he scourged and delivered to them to be crucified.

Hail Mary

5. Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the praetorium and gathered the whole cohort around Him.

Hail Mary

6. They stripped Him and put a scarlet cloak on Him, and they wove a crown of thorns and placed it on his head.

Hail Mary

7. They put a reed into his right hand, and bending the knee before Him they mocked Him, saying, "Hail, King of the Jews."

Hail Mary

8. And they spat on Him, and they took the reed and kept striking Him on the head.

Hail Mary

9. He was wounded for our iniquities; He was bruised for our sins.

Hail Mary

10. Upon Him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with his stripes we are healed.

Hail Mary

Glory be

References: Matthew 27:24-30, Isaiah 53:5

 

The fourth mystery of the Passion and Death of Our Lord

Jesus carries his cross to Calvary

How honored must have been Simon of Cyrene after the Resurrection. Yet on Good Friday, it was not a pleasant task that this man was forced to accept; it was carrying or helping to carry a cross. He did not know that it was the cross on which the Savior of the world would be crucified.

In his humanity, Jesus needed help to carry his cross, and so do we. Helping to carry the cross of Christ was undoubtedly a cause of salvation for Simon of Cyrene and his family, and it will be the same for us.

We pray for the gift of perseverance.

Our Father

1. And when they had mocked Him, they took off the cloak and put his own garments on Him.

Hail Mary

2. As they led Him away, they laid hold of a certain Simon of Cyrene who was coming in from the country;

Hail Mary

3. And upon him they laid the cross to carry it after Jesus.

Hail Mary

4. There was following Him a great crowd of the people and of women who were bewailing and lamenting Him.

Hail Mary

5. But Jesus turned to them and said, "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me but weep for yourselves and for your children.

Hail Mary

6. "The days are coming . . . when men will say to the mountains, "Fall on us," and to the hills, 'Cover us.'

Hail Mary

7. "If they do these things to the green wood, what will happen to the dry?"

Hail Mary

8. And they brought Him to the place called Golgotha, which means the place of the skull.

Hail Mary

9. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.

Hail Mary

10. Surely, He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows.

Hail Mary

Glory be

References: Matthew 27:31; Luke 23:26-31; Mark 15:22; Isaiah 53:3-4

 

The fifth mystery of the Passion and Death of Our Lord

Jesus suffers and dies for us upon the cross

Both in living and in dying, Jesus shows us how to love. In the Sermon on the Mount, He taught us to pray for our persecutors; on Mount Calvary He prays for those who have condemned and crucified Him. In the parables of the Good Shepherd and the Prodigal Son, Jesus taught us about God's love for repentant sinners; on the cross He forgives and saves the repentant thief.

Words cannot describe the great evil of sin, but the suffering and death of our Savior give us an insight into the damage caused by our disobedience.

We pray for an increased sense of sin and sorrow for sin.

Our Father

1. They crucified Him there, and the robbers, one on his right hand, the other on his left.

Hail Mary

2. And Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."

Hail Mary

3. One of the robbers mocked Him saying: "If you are the Christ, save yourself and us!"

Hail Mary

4. But the other said to Jesus, "Lord, remember me when You come into your kingdom."

Hail Mary

5. Jesus said to him, "Amen, I say to you, this day you shall be with Me in paradise."

Hail Mary

6. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to his mother, "Woman, behold thy son."

Hail Mary

7. Then He said to the disciple, "Behold thy mother."

Hail Mary

8. And about the ninth hour, Jesus cried out with a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commend my spirit."

Hail Mary

9. Knowing that all was now completed, Jesus said, "I thirst," in order to fulfill the scripture.

Hail Mary

10. And after taking the wine, Jesus said, "It is consummated"; and bowing his head, He gave up his spirit.

Hail Mary

Glory be

References: Luke 23:33-49; John 19:25-30

 

THE CHURCH MYSTERIES

The first mystery of the Church

Jesus calls all men to be his disciples

Each of us is called to be a disciple of Christ, and that means to be one who learns from and follows Him.  The reward of discipleship is eternal life, and the price of being a follower of Jesus is the daily cross. In turn, the cross is always bearable if it is accepted in the spirit of walking with the Lord. When we accept and carry our cross with the help of the Lord Jesus, then we find that his burden is light and that He gives rest to our souls.

We pray for all the missionary work of the Church.

Our Father

1. "Come to Me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.

Hail Mary

2. "Take my yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble of heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Hail Mary

3. "For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Hail Mary

4. For God so loved the world that He gave his only-begotten Son.

Hail Mary

5. So that those who believe in Him may not perish but may have everlasting life.

Hail Mary

6. And Jesus said to all, "If anyone wants to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.

Hail Mary

7. "For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.

Hail Mary

8. "For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but ruins or loses himself?"

Hail Mary

9. "Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Hail Mary

10. "And teach them to observe all that I have commanded you."

Hail Mary

Glory be

References: Matthew 11:28-30; 28:19-20; John 3:16; Luke 9:23-25

 

The second mystery of the Church

Jesus makes Peter the head of his Church

Jesus personally and historically established Peter as the head of his Church.

What Our Lord did to Simon is what Yahweh did to Abram, and in this we have another statement of the divinity of Christ. In response to Abram's act of faith, Yahweh changed his name to Abraham and made him the head of the Church of the Old Covenant. In response to Simon's act of faith, Jesus changed his name to Peter and made him the visible head of the Church of the New Covenant.

We pray for the Pope, for all his needs and for all his intentions.

Our Father

1. Jesus said to his disciples, "Who do you say that I am?"

Hail Mary

2. Simon Peter answered, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God."

Hail Mary

3. Jesus answered him and said: "Blessed are you, Simon bar Jona, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you but my Father Who is in heaven.

Hail Mary

4. "And I say to you, thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Hail Mary

5. "And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven.

Hail Mary

6. "And whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

Hail Mary

7. [At the Last Supper, Jesus said:] "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has wanted to have all of you apostles that he might sift you as wheat.

Hail Mary

8. "But I have prayed for you personally that your faith may not fail.

Hail Mary

9. "And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers."

Hail Mary

10. [After He was risen from the dead,] Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Feed my lambs . . . tend my sheep . . . feed my sheep."

Hail Mary

Glory be

References: Matthew 16:13-20; Luke 22:31-32; John 21:15-17

Verse 7: "all of you apostles" translates the Greek plural "you" referring to all the apostles.
Verse 8: "you personally" translates the Greek singular "you" referring to Peter.

 

The third mystery of the Church

Jesus continues his saving work through his priests, his sacraments and the preaching of his word

Christ has chosen specific, visible ways for us to receive his saving grace—the seven sacraments. In each sacrament, we meet Jesus in a slightly different way. In Baptism we meet Christ our Savior who brings us into his body. In Penance we encounter our Savior who forgives and reconciles us with his body, the Church.

Preaching faith in Christ, preaching both the cross and the resurrection, teaching us how the true faith should affect our lives—these are also the work of the priest.  Called by God to carry out his saving work, priests deserve and need our prayers and support.

We pray for all priests, that they remain faithful to their vocation.

Our Father

1. "Amen, amen I say to you, unless a man is born again of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."

Hail Mary

2. [Jesus said to his apostles,] "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, I also send you."

Hail Mary

3. Then He breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit; whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven; whose sins you shall retain, they are retained."

Hail Mary

4. [And St. Paul wrote:] How are men to call upon him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have not heard?

Hail Mary

5. And how are they to hear if no one preaches? And how can men preach unless they are sent?

Hail Mary

6. As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the Good News!"… Faith depends on hearing, and hearing depends upon preaching the word of Christ.

Hail Mary

7. [To Timothy he wrote:] I charge thee . . . preach the word, be urgent in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke and exhort, be unfailing in patience and in teaching.

Hail Mary

8. A time will come when people will not endure sound teaching.

Hail Mary

9. But having itching ears, they will gather for themselves teachers who will suit their own desires, and they will turn from the truth.

Hail Mary

10. But do thou be watchful in all things, bear suffering patiently, preach the gospel, and fulfill thy ministry.

Hail Mary

Glory be

References: John 3:5; 20:19-23; Romans 10:14-17; 2 Timothy 4:1-5

 

The fourth mystery of the Church

Jesus works through the members of his Mystical Body

Jesus calls each of us to bring his light to the world. The Second Vatican Council clearly teaches this. We are called "to explain and defend Christian principles, and to apply them rightly to the problems of our era" ... "God's plan for the world is that men should work together" to improve the culture in which they live. The laity must see the task of renewing their society as "their own special obligation."1 

We do not want to hear, "Because you are lukewarm ..., I will vomit you out of my mouth" (Rev. 3:16). We are obliged to use our gifts in God's service. 

We pray for the laity of the Church, especially those in positions of leadership.

Our Father

1. Just as all the members of the body, many as they are, form one body, so also it is with Christ.

Hail Mary

2. As it is, there are many members, yet one body… You are the body of Christ, member for member.

Hail Mary

3. "I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch of mine that bears no fruit, He takes away;

Hail Mary

4. "Every branch that does bear fruit, He prunes so it will bear more fruit."

Hail Mary

5. "Abide in Me and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it remains on the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.

Hail Mary

6. "I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him is the one who bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing."

Hail Mary

7. "In this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and thus prove to be my disciples."

Hail Mary

8. "You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden.

Hail Mary

9. "Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel basket but on a lamp-stand to give light to all in the house.

Hail Mary

10. "Even so, let your light shine before men so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven."

Hail Mary

Glory be

References: 1 Corinthians 12:12, 20, 27; John 15:1-11; Matthew 5:14-16

1. Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity, Sections 6 and 7, November 18, 1965.

 

The fifth mystery of the Church

Jesus intends his Church to be a symbol of truth and love in the midst of a sinful and unbelieving world

The Lord Jesus continues to teach his truth through his Body, the Church, and his goodness and truth attract all people of good will.

On the other hand, the sins and failings of individual members of the Church are an obstacle to seeing Christ in his Church. Thus we are in this dilemma. We are members of the Church because we admit our sinfulness and our need for forgiveness and the sacraments; and yet our weaknesses obscure the truth and goodness of God's Church.

The traditional saying, "The Church is always in need of reform," doesn't refer to doctrine; it means us.

We pray for authentic reform and renewal in the Church, in ourselves, and in our families.

Our Father

1. Jesus said to them, "I am the light of the world.

Hail Mary

2. "He who follows Me does not walk in the darkness but will have the light of life."

Hail Mary

3. "If you remain in my word, you are truly my disciples and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free."

Hail Mary

4. "I am the way and the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me."

Hail Mary

5. "You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall its saltiness be restored?

Hail Mary

6. "It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trodden underfoot by men."

Hail Mary

7. Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; love is not arrogant or rude.

Hail Mary

8. Love does not insist on its own way; love is not irritable or resentful.

Hail Mary

9. Love does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth.

Hail Mary

10. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.

Hail Mary

Glory be

References: John 8:12, 31-32; 14:6; Matthew 5:13; 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7

 

THE GLORIOUS MYSTERIES

The first Glorious mystery

Jesus is risen from the dead

Our Christian faith is not a philosophy of ideas with which we happen to agree. Rather, it is based upon the person of Jesus Christ and upon his teaching, his death and his resurrection. So crucial is the resurrection that St. Paul wrote, "If Christ is not risen, your faith is in vain and you are still in your sins" (1 Corinthians 15:17).

The saving death and resurrection of the Lord are the foundations of our faith.  They are also the reasons for our being faithful to our Savior in the everyday things of life.

We pray for an increase in faith and in daily fidelity to Jesus.

Our Father

1. After the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the sepulcher.

Hail Mary

2. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and rolled back the stone and sat upon it.

Hail Mary

3. His appearance was like lightning and his clothing white as snow.

Hail Mary

4. For fear of him, the guards were terrified and became like dead men.

Hail Mary

5. The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid; for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified.

Hail Mary

6. "He is not here; for He has risen, as He said. Come, see the place where He lay.

Hail Mary

7. "Go quickly and tell his disciples that He has risen from the dead.  He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him."

Hail Mary

8. They departed quickly from the tomb in fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples.

Hail Mary

9. "I am the resurrection and the life.

Hail Mary

10. "He who believes in Me, even though he die, yet he shall live."

Hail Mary

Glory be

References: Matthew 28: 1-10; John 11:25

 

The second Glorious mystery

Jesus ascends into heaven to prepare a place for us

Christian hope is different from presumption. It is presumption to think that just because you are no worse than the average secular person, you will go to heaven when you die.

It is Christian hope to believe the promise of Jesus that if we walk with Him now, He will save us. That means that if we live by faith, keep the Commandments to love God and neighbor, and confess our sins, we will live with Him for all eternity.

The teaching of our Lord and Savior that He has prepared a place for us gives us firm hope. 

We pray that we will walk with Jesus in this life so as to be with Him in heaven forever.

Our Father

1. [At the Last Supper Jesus said:] "In my Father's house there are many mansions. If there were not, I would have told you because I go to prepare a place for you.

Hail Mary

2. "And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself so that where I am, you may also be."

Hail Mary

3. [Before his ascension,] Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and earth has been given to Me.

Hail Mary

4. "Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit;

Hail Mary

5. "Teach them to observe all that I have commanded you.

Hail Mary

6. "I am with you always, even unto the consummation of the world."

Hail Mary

7. And when He had said these things, He was lifted up before their eyes, and a cloud took Him out of their sight.

Hail Mary

8. And while they were gazing up to heaven as He went, behold, two men in white garments stood by them.

Hail Mary

9. "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up to heaven?

Hail Mary

10. "This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will come in the same way as you have seen Him going up to heaven."

Hail Mary

Glory be

References:  John 14:2-3; Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:9-11

 

The third Glorious mystery

The Holy Spirit descends upon the apostles

For ten days after the Lord ascended into heaven, the apostles prayed and reflected on the promise of Jesus to send the Holy Spirit. Finally, on the feast of Pentecost, the promise was fulfilled.

The Holy Spirit filled them with love and with great zeal for souls. The Holy Spirit empowered them to overcome their fears and to preach the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ. That same Holy Spirit is working in the Church today among those who open the door to their hearts.

We pray for the courage to witness to Christ in our daily lives.

Our Father

1. [And Jesus said to the apostles,] "You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.

Hail Mary

2. "And you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and even to the ends of the earth."

Hail Mary

3. When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place.

Hail Mary

4. Suddenly there came a sound from heaven, like a mighty wind blowing; and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.

Hail Mary

5. There appeared to them tongues as of fire, separating and settling on each of them.

Hail Mary

6. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues as the Spirit prompted them to speak.

Hail Mary

7. Now there were staying at Jerusalem devout Jews from every nation under heaven; …and all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, "What does this mean?"

Hail Mary

8. Peter said to them, "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins;

Hail Mary

9. "And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."

Hail Mary

10. Those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.

Hail Mary

Glory be

References:  Acts 1:8; 2:1-13, 38-41

 

The fourth Glorious mystery

Mary is taken into heaven and crowned as Queen

Like her divine son before her and as another promise of our own future on the last day, Mary "was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory and exalted by the Lord…"1 She reigns as Queen of Heaven and Mother of the Church.

Like her divine son, Mary was a sign of contradiction. Pledged to a life of dedicated virginity, she was yet called to be the mother of the Messiah and remained a virgin. She gave birth to the Lord of the universe—in the humble surroundings of a cave.

In her God has truly exalted the lowly.

We pray for a greater devotion to Mary throughout the Church.

Our Father

1. And Mary said, "My soul shows forth the greatness of the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God, my Savior.

Hail Mary

2. "Because He has looked with favor on the lowliness of his handmaid, henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.

Hail Mary

3. "He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.

Hail Mary

4. "His mercy is from generation to generation on those who fear Him.

Hail Mary

5. "He has shown strength with his arm; He has scattered the proud in the conceit of their hearts.

Hail Mary

6. "He has put down the mighty from their thrones and has exalted the lowly."

Hail Mary

7. "And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon was under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars."

Hail Mary

8. When St. Bernadette asked the most blessed Mother her name, Mary replied, "I am the Immaculate Conception."

Hail Mary

9. To the three children at Fatima, Mary said: "Pray the rosary every day to bring peace to the world…"

Hail Mary

10. Mary, Queen of heaven, pray for us.

Hail Mary

Glory be

References: 1: Munificentessimus Deus (1950); Luke 1:46-52; Rev. 12:1.

 

The fifth Glorious mystery

Jesus will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead

The Church prays, "Come, Lord Jesus!" (Revelation 22:20). But do we sometimes softly add, "but not quite yet"? If we are not ready, is it not time to get ready? For we know not the day nor the hour of his return.

In one sense we can say that the mission of the Church is to prepare mankind for the return of the Lord. Jesus asks whether He will find faith when He returns. Our answer can be "Yes!" if we put our faith to work, if we serve the needs of others, and if we help them to get ready for his return.

We pray that the entire Church will be ready to meet the Lord when He returns.

Our Father

1. [And Jesus said,] "When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?"

Hail Mary

2. [And St. James wrote:] What will it profit, my brothers, if a man says he has faith but does not have works? ... Faith without works is dead.

Hail Mary

3. [In Matthew 25, Jesus said:] "When the Son of Man shall come in his majesty, he will sit on the throne of his glory, and before Him will be gathered all the nations."

Hail Mary

4. "Then the king will say to those on his right hand, 'Come blessed of my Father, take possession of the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

Hail Mary

5. " 'For I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you took me in, naked and you clothed me, sick and you visited me, in prison and you came to me.'

Hail Mary

6. "Then the just will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you; or thirsty and give you drink?'"

Hail Mary

7. "The king will say to them, 'Amen I say to you, as long as you did it for one of the least of my brethren, you did it for me.'

Hail Mary

8. "Then He will say to those on his left hand, 'Depart from me, accursed ones, into the everlasting fire that was prepared for the devil and his angels.

Hail Mary

9. "'For I was hungry and you gave me no food; I was thirsty and you gave me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not welcome me ... sick and in prison and you did not visit me.'"

Hail Mary

10. We profess our faith: He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.

Hail Mary

Glory be

References: Luke 18:8; James 2:14, 26; Matthew 25:31-46; Nicene Creed 

 

Permission to Publish was granted by:
†Most Rev. Daniel E. Pilarczyk
Archbishop of Cincinnati
March 22, 2005

Permission to Publish is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free from doctrinal or moral error. It does not imply that those who granted the Permission to Publish agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.

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Copyright © 2017 Presentation Ministries
3230 McHenry Ave.
Cincinnati, OH 45211
Phone: (513) 662-5378
www.presentationministries.com

Published by: Presentation Ministries, 3230 McHenry Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45211, (513) 662-5378, www.presentationministries.com

 

 

 
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