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Thursday, 23 October 2014

Holy Rosary Month - Day 23: Sorrowful Mysteries 4

Holy Rosary Month - Day 23: Sorrowful Mysteries 4

Jesus carries the cross: In the fourth sorrowful mystery we meditate on Jesus’ carrying the cross. Immediate preparation for the sacrifice on the cross is already over; now the Lamb of God is taken to the altar. The city of Jerusalem seemed to be estranged as if it had forgotten everything what had happened on the previous Sunday; cry of joy and shouting of hosanna of the large crowd. Today as the lamb is led to the altar, instead of mourning and lamentation, what we see and hear aloud is the mixed voices of the soldiers; their whipping, yelling, and shouting. No question is heard, at any time of this procession, like, “Here are the fire and the wood, but where is the sheep for the holocaust?” (Gen 22:7) Because Jesus knew well that God the father  is not going to provide another lamb for sacrifice on the mount of Calvary since he is ‘God’s provided lamb;’ “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.” (Jn 1:29) Therefore, naturally he doesn’t want to be consoled but to console those who were following him, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep instead for yourselves and for your children;” (Lk 23:28) not to be understood but to understand the sorrow and remorse of those followed. He might have also thought of Simon in the same way for “As they led him away they took hold of a certain Simon, a Cyrenian, who was coming from the country; and after laying the cross on him, they made him carry it behind Jesus.” (Lk 23:26) In our prayers of the Stations of the Cross, we call Simon as “the happy and blessed” for he could carry the cross of Jesus, but Jesus would be more happy if we carry our crosses and follow him; Jesus says, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.” (Mk 8:34) He never compels anyone to follow him, but respect their freedom and free will. Being our Master and Lord, Jesus has set before us a model to be emulated. It is up to us whether to follow him or not, but those who follow him will be crucified, buried and raised from the dead. Am I ready to follow him on my own accord?  
                  
 Prayer: Oh Mary, mother of sorrows! We come to you today for your special maternal help and protection. Mary, our mother and guide; help us to understand the meaning and the importance of our call to discipleship. In this holy mystery we specially pray for all those who have decided to follow Jesus but find difficulties when faced with challenges. Let them be given the gift of courage and strength to take the cross of their daily life wholeheartedly. May Mother Mary, who followed Jesus faithfully to Calvary and even after, intercede for them, and be with them! Amen! 


Greetings:  Wish you all a nice and blissful Marian Thursday!  

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Holy Rosary Month - Day 22: Sorrowful Mysteries 3

Holy Rosary Month - Day 22: Sorrowful Mysteries 3

The Crowning with the thorns: In the third sorrowful mystery we meditate on the crowning with the thorns. It is more painful than the scourging at the pillar; the clouds are getting darker and darker. Most times, we know, mental suffering is more painful than the physical suffering. Prophet Simon said to Mary, “Sorrow, like a sharp edged sword, will break your heart.” (Lk 2:35) The psalmist prays, “My heart shudders, my strength forsake me; the very light of my eyes has failed. Friends and companions shun my pain; my neighbors stand far off;” (Ps 38:11, 12) “even the friend who had my trust, who shared my table, has scorned me.” (Ps 41:10) Yes, the mental agony is more painful than the physical pain. It is not the physical pain while crowing with thorn branches but their mocking that was more aching to Jesus. “They stripped of f his clothes and put a scarlet robe on him. Then they made a crown out of thorny branches and placed it on his head, and put a stick in his right hand; then they knelt before him and mocked him, ‘Long live, the King of the Jews!’” (Mt 27:26-29) After the miracle of feeding the five thousand people, they did want him to be their king (Jn 6:15) for they thought he could be the Messiah who would deliver them from their Roman political bondage. But now, it is not because that they wanted him to be their king rather to ridicule and make fun of him. Is it because that Jesus himself wanted to undergo the anguish and torture in its fullest sense? I do hope so, for physical suffering becomes unbearable once you are mentally weak too. Perhaps, this also could be for the fulfillment of all righteousness. The psalmist says, “Though he was harshly treated, he submitted and opened not his mouth; like a lamb led to the slaughter or a sheep before the shearers, he was silent and opened not his mouth.” (Is 53:7) Here, this silent one is the one who created the whole world and everything in it with his words. The psalmist again says, “Let them all praise the Lord’s name, for the Lord commanded and they were created.” The all powerful one becomes the weakest of all even at the moment of his humiliated suffering. 
                   
 Prayer: Oh Mary, mother of sorrows! We come to you today for your special maternal help and protection. Mary, our mother and guide; help us to understand the meaning and the importance of suffering even at the moment of utter humiliation in our lives. In this holy mystery we specially pray for all those who are belittled and humiliated by others. Let them be given the gift of real healing of forgiving their enemies. Let Mother Mary, who prayed for the coming of the Holy Spirit over the disciples who betrayed and left alone his beloved son, be with them and intercede for them. Amen! 


Greetings:  Wish you all a nice and blissful Marian Wednesday!  

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Holy Rosary Month - Day 21: Sorrowful Mysteries 2

Holy Rosary Month - Day 21: Sorrowful Mysteries 2
The Scourging at the pillar: In the second sorrowful mystery we meditate on the scourging at the pillar. Jesus’ teaching was very hard for the followers, especially to believe in his saying that his body would be given as the food of the world for he is ‘the manna’ from heaven. (Jn 6:51-58) Therefore, many of them turned back and did not follow him anymore nor did he call them back. (Jn 6:60-67) He already knew that Judas would betray him in recent future, (Jn 6:70, 71) yet he did not send him away from his community. The turning away of his disagreeing followers as well as the decision of Judas to continue to stay with did not make any difference in Jesus. He was busy with preparing himself to be the sign of God for both believers and non believers; for those ‘from above’ and those ‘from below.’ As the time for ‘the lifting up’ came, Jesus declared, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to receive great glory. I am telling you the truth: a grain of wheat remains no more than a single grain unless it is dropped into the ground and dies. If it does die, then it produces many grains.” (Jn 12:24) Yes the immediate preparation of this sign has begun with the agony at the Gethsemane (Lk 22:41-44) and continues in the scourging at the pillar. (Mt 27:26) The grain is dropped into the ground and it is time to break the outer shell so that it may join the earth. Prophet Isaiah centuries back prophesying on Jesus says, “Here is my servant whom I uphold, my chosen one with whom I am pleased… Not crying out, not shouting, and not making his voice heard in the street;” (Is 42:1, 2) “I gave my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who plucked my beard; My face I did not shield from buffets and spitting.” (Is 50:6) Before carrying the cross and crucifixion Jesus is given the punishment of 40 whipping. Suffering after suffering; it is unbelievable. But Jesus is silent and obedient unto God the father till his death on the cross (Phil 2:8) like the suffering servant of Yahweh revealed through prophet Isaiah. Are we aware of this fact of salvific preparation in and our sufferings and difficulties of life? 
                         
 Prayer: Oh Mary, mother of sorrows! We come to you today for your special maternal help and protection. Mary, our mother and guide; help us to understand the meaning and the importance of suffering in our lives and submit ourselves to the will of God. In this holy mystery we specially pray for all those who are sick and bedridden. Let them be given the gift of real healing and peace of Jesus through doctors and those who attend on them. Mother Mary be with them and intercede just as you were at the foot of the cross. Amen! 


Greetings:  Wish you all a nice and blissful Marian Tuesday!  

Monday, 20 October 2014

Holy Rosary Month - Day 20: Sorrowful Mysteries 1

Holy Rosary Month - Day 20: Sorrowful Mysteries 1

The Agony in the garden of Gethsemane: In the first sorrowful mystery we meditate on the agony of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane. After the themes of joy and light we enter now into the new the mystery series of sorrow. After the Passover meal Jesus went up to the Mount of Olives with his disciples and there he prayed to his father, “If you will, Father, take this cup of suffering away from me. Not my will, however, but your will be done.” (Lk 22:42) Why did Jesus make this prayer at this moment of extreme suffering? For during his public ministry we find Jesus making the disciples aware of his passion, death, and resurrection on the third day (Mk 8:31; 9:31; 10:33, 34) and if someone goes against these predictions, he was corrected (Mt 16:23) without any hesitation. Why then? Is it because of that Jesus was afraid of his passion and death? Was he totally disappointed at this moment? Certainly not! One who has declared that ‘his food is to do the will of the father and complete his work,’ (Jn 4:34) will not be afraid or ashamed of sufferings and death. And I do hope that it was not for him rather it was for each one of us who believe in him and wants to follow his ways. For St. John says, “Whoever says that he remains in union with God should live just as Jesus Christ did.” (1Jn 2:6) That how Jesus faces this situation, would be an example and model for all his believers. In the first mystery of luminous mysteries we have already seen that Jesus received baptism from John, not because that he needed it but it was for the fulfillment of all righteousness. (Mt 3:15) Here also Jesus does the same. Before and after his prayer at Gethsemane we find that Jesus is exhorting his disciples as to pray that they may not fall into temptation. (Lk 22:40, 46) He had already warned them of what is going to happen to them, “I have told you this, so that you will not give up your faith. You will be expelled from the Synagogue, and the time will come when anyone who kills you will think that by doing this he is serving God.” (Jn 16:1, 2) After the model of Jesus, am I ready to submit myself to the will of God even at the moment of my suffering and death?                   
 Prayer: Oh Mary, mother of sorrows! We come to you today for your special maternal help and protection. Mary, our mother and guide; help us to understand the meaning and the importance of suffering in our lives and submit ourselves to the will of God. In this holy mystery we specially pray for all those who are afraid of sufferings and problems in their lives. Let them understand that Jesus has answered well to all the problems and questions of their lives and follow what Mother Mary wants them do; ‘whatever Jesus tells them to do.’ (Jn 2:5) Amen!
 

Greetings:  Wish you all a nice and blissful Marian Monday!  

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Holy Rosary Month - Day 18: Luminous Mysteries 5

Holy Rosary Month - Day 18: Luminous Mysteries 5

The institution of the Holy Eucharist: In the fifth luminous mystery we meditate on the institution of the Holy Eucharist.  The theme of life and light is of course in its culmination in the fifth luminous mystery. The Emmaus story of Luke beautifully ends with the narration, “He sat down to eat with them, took the bread, said the blessing, broke the bread, and then gave it to them. Their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he disappeared from their sight.” (Lk 24:30) The moment of breaking of the bread was the moment of the revelation of Jesus Christ, Immanuel; the holy Eucharist gives you the presence of Jesus the son of God. Once we understand the relation between our daily life and holy Eucharist and its importance in our life, this luminous mystery will become the heart of our life not part of our life. Certainly it gives light and life to our life; it is the meeting point of Jesus’ (who is bread of life Jn 6:48; the light of the world Jn 8:12) offering his person (Jn 10:11) and the people who are in need of light and life. Let us thank God that he has given us an everlasting memorial in this holy Eucharist. The action of Jesus in breaking bread, giving it, and pouring wine, during the Last Super, realizes in advance the gift of his body and blood for nourishing our life. And because this action is a meal, that is, something that one can have again, with food that one can eat, by reenacting this meal we can assimilate the very person of Jesus, given over to death and rise again. Therefore, this is not an ordinary meal; Paul says, “Every time you eat this bread and drink from this cup you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.” (1Cor 11:26) It sheds light into our Christian life; as Vatican II puts, “Holy Eucharist is the source and summit of Christian life.” If we understand the reward of the holy Eucharist we will never miss it; it gives us eternal life, resurrection on the last day, and a living together with God the father and the son. (Jn 6:55, 56) Do I realize the importance of holy Eucharist in my Christian life? 
                            
 Prayer: Oh Mary, mother of Jesus! We come to you today for your special maternal help and protection. Mary, our mother and guide; help us to understand the meaning and the importance of the holy mass in our lives and live a Eucharistic life. In this holy mystery we specially pray for all those who participate in the holy Eucharist but unable to understand the meaning of full and conscious participation and receiving the Holy Communion. Let those who are away from holy Eucharist may come back and experience its everlasting fruits through the intercession of Mary, “the woman of the holy Eucharist.” Amen! 


Greetings:  Wish you all a nice and blissful Marian Saturday!