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Saturday, 25 October 2014

Holy Rosary Month - Day 25: Glorious Mysteries 1

 Holy Rosary Month - Day 25: Glorious Mysteries 1

The resurrection of Jesus from the dead: In the first glorious mystery we meditate on the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Our journey is now reaching its final destination after going through mixed experiences of joy, light, and sorrow. Did you notice that it was actually a replica of our own daily life? Let us go ahead with increased joy and hope. We know that disciples were afraid of the Jews who searched for them to threaten as well as to persecute. Therefore, “the disciples were gathered together behind locked doors.” (Jn 20:19) However, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were rushed to the tomb after Sabbath, as Sunday morning was dawning, (Mt 28:1) since they couldn’t pay the last homage to Jesus on the burial day since it was approaching Sabbath. Both utter fear and pure love beautifully prepare the background for the resurrection of Jesus. If we call to our minds the annunciation of Jesus’ birth to the shepherds by the angels, (Lk 2:8-15) it will be more interesting; everything has been turned upside down today. Gospel of Mathew says, “Suddenly there was a violent earthquake; an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled the stone away, and sat on it. His appearance was like lightening, and clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid that they trembled and became like dead men.” (Mt 28:2-4) But the angels on both occasions gave both the shepherds and the women the message, “Don’t be afraid!” (Lk 2:10; Mt 28:5) and the good news: “This very day in David’s town your Savior was born; Christ the Lord!” and “He is not here; he has been raised, just as he said.” (Lk 2:11; Mt 28:6) The resurrection proves that the Savior born in the manger is the Lord of all; even of death. Let us together with St. Paul proclaim, “Death is destroyed; victory is complete! O Death, where is your victory? O Death Where is your power to hurt?” (1Cor 15:55) Let us be anchored on this foundation of our faith; “If Christ has not been raised from the death, then we have nothing to preach and you have nothing to believe.” (1Cor 15:14) “But the truth is that Christ has been raised from death, as the guarantee that those who sleep in death will also be raised.” (1Cor 15:20) Therefore, let us not be desperate and lead a life of courage and hope, “what we suffer at this present time cannot be compared at all with the glory that is going to be revealed to us.” (Rom 8:18) 
                   
Prayer: Oh Mary, queen of heavens! We come to you today for your special maternal help and protection. Mary, our mother and guide; help us to believe in the resurrection of Jesus and understand the meaning of keeping our body pure in view of our own resurrection. In this holy mystery we specially pray for all those who have lost the fact of the sanctity of life and lead immoral life. Let them be given the gift of eternal light and discernment. May Mother Mary, who was kept immaculate, intercede for them, and be with us always! Amen! 

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

Friday, 24 October 2014

Holy Rosary Month - Day 24: Sorrowful Mysteries 5

Holy Rosary Month - Day 24: Sorrowful Mysteries 5

The crucifixion and death of Jesus on the cross: In the fifth sorrowful mystery we meditate on the crucifixion and death of Jesus on the cross. After a long period of preparation, both physically and mentally crushed, it is the time for the sacrifice of the Lamb of God; the sacrifice for the whole world. His birth announcement itself had given the message that he would be the redeemer for all; “Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” (Lk 2:10) On his way to the fulfillment of the will of the father, (it is very useful here to remember the significance of the Lucan theology of the way found in cc 9:51-19:27) everyone was included unto him even the marginalized; Samaritans, publicans, the poor, tax collectors, sinners, and widows and so on. Therefore, Jesus’ sacrifice on the mount Calvary is for each and every one of us. He has promised us saying, “When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to me.” (Jn 12:32) Cross and crucifixion were very familiar to the people of those days; a symbol of cursed life and punishment. By giving this punishment to Jesus, the Son of God, they proved themselves how much they hated Jesus. But the teacher who taught to love even one’s enemies prayed to God the father from the cross, “Forgive them, father! They don’t know what they are doing;” (Lk 23:34) and blessed the penitent abundantly, “I promise that today you will be in paradise with me.” (Lk 23:43) The passion of Christ, especially on the cross, didn’t make him deny his father’s will, but made him strong enough to complete his mission and pray, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” (Lk 23:46) How can a man die like this? The centurion couldn’t believe it; he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God.” (Mk 15:39) Cross, the symbol of curse now became the centre of early Christian proclamation. St. Paul says, “When I came to you, brothers, proclaiming the mystery of God, I did not come with sublimity of words or of wisdom. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” (1Cor 2:1, 2) Am I proud of Jesus’ cross?  Do I believe in its abundant salvific and sanctifying power?   
                
 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 of cross and its redemptive in our life. In this holy mystery we specially pray for all those who have lost their lives for their strong faith in Jesus. Let them be given the gift of eternal abode and peace; and give us the courage and strength to witness to Jesus even at danger of death. May Mother Mary, who followed Jesus faithfully to Calvary and even after, intercede for them, and be with us always! Amen! 


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

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!