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Praying the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary
"Moving on from the infancy and the hidden life in Nazareth to the public life of Jesus our contemplation brings us to those mysteries which may be called in a special way 'mysteries of light,'" explains Pope John Paul II in his apostolic letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae.
American Life League's Crusade for the Defense of Our Catholic Church celebrates the pontiff's inspiring devotion to our Blessed Mother and her Son by heeding his call to "confidently take up the Rosary once again." More specifically, we are taking up the mysteries of light, which have been affectionately called "the pope's mysteries." One of the key missions of the Crusade is to spread the light of the fullness of truth within the Catholic Church and to defend her against her assailants. What better way to accomplish this than to promulgate the mysteries of the One who is "the light of the world" (John 8:12) with the hopes of shining that light "to those who live in darkness and the shadow of death"? (Luke 1:79)
First Luminous Mystery:
Baptism of Our Lord in the Jordan
[Mt 3:13, Lk. 3:21, Mk 1:9]
Through baptism, we are all adopted sons and daughters of God and therefore His servants. We must serve Him by working to help save the millions of our brother and sisters who are being killed by the culture of death.
We are all called to die to ourselves and live for our neighbor through the sacrament of baptism. Hence, as Matthew's account tells, we must do "all that righteousness demands." St. John the Baptist stood up to the most powerful political leader in all of Judea, in the name of righteousness, and lost his head because of it. What can be more righteous than to stand up to the powerful politicians of our day in defense of the helpless preborn?
Second Luminous Mystery:
Wedding at Cana
St. John describes the wedding at Cana for various reasons; first, to illustrate how God betrothed Himself to mankind through His Son; second, to sanctify marriage and to eventually elevate it to a sacrament; and third, to prefigure the institution of the Eucharist by Jesus changing water into wine, only to change wine into His Most Precious Blood.
What is the result of the wedding at Cana? "He let his glory be seen, and his disciples believed in him." How did this come about? His mother's request! "Do whatever he sells you" speaks directly to us. She leads us to Him, then she pleads for us to Him. Mary is the Mother of God and our mother. In the perilous battle for life, we must seek her intercession.
Third Luminous Mystery:
Proclamation of the Kingdom of God
[Mt 4:17, Mk 1:14, Lk 17:20]
The proclamation of the Kingdom of God fulfills the prophet who said, "The people that lived in darkness has seen a great light" (Isaiah 8:23). Christ is the light, and it is our mission to proclaim that truth. The mystery is Proclamation of the Kingdom of God, and there is no salvation for those who are involved in the culture of death. By proclaiming the truth Who is Christ, we are reaching out to those in need of healing. Instead of pointing the finger at the "people of this nation," since that includes us, we are better served to say that each of us is called to repent and to be his willing servants that others may see by our actions the joy of proclaiming the Kingdom of God.
Fourth Luminous Mystery:
[Mt 17:1-9, Lk 9:23, Mk 9:2-8]
Right before Christ reveals His divinity to Peter, James and John, he explains the conditions for discipleship: "If anyone wants to be a follower of mine; let him renounce himself... For if anyone in this adulterous and sinful generation is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when he comes in the glory of his Father." Therefore, if we want to reveal the splendor and beauty of the divinity of Christ, as fully possessed by the Catholic Church, we must never be ashamed of Christ nor His glorious Word. This may seem like a terrifying task, especially in a world so hostile to the truth, but Christ comforts the three apostles after the Transfiguration, "Stand up, do not be afraid"!
Fifth Luminous Mystery:
Institution of the Eucharist
[Mt 26:26-29, Mk 14:22-25, Lk 22:19-20, Jn 6, 1 Cor 11:23-25]
"My flesh is real food and my blood is real drink." Jesus left His bride, the Church, with the most precious gift imaginable-His very self! The battle for life is never easy; however, we have a fountain of mercy and strength that is inexhaustible.! The more we go to the supreme sacrifice of the Mass, the more we unite our lives with the passion of our Lord, and the more we adore Christ truly present in the Holy Eucharist the sooner attacks of human personhood will end.
And so we ask the Lord, through the intercession of His Blessed Mother Mary, to be with us in this struggle, to renew us in His love.
May we be so bold as to end our reflection in the same manner Pope John Paul II ended Evangelium Vitae:
And as we, the pilgrim people, the people of life and for life, make our way in confidence toward "a new heaven and a new earth" (Rev 21:1) we look to her who is for us a "sign of sure hope and solace."
O Mary, bright dawn of the new world, Mother of the living,
To you do we entrust the cause of life:
Look down, O Mother,
upon the vast numbers
of babies not allowed to be born,
of the poor whose lives are made difficult,
of men and women
who are victims of brutal violence,
of the elderly and the sick killed
by indifference or out of misguided mercy.
Grant that all who believe in your Son
may proclaim the Gospel of life
with honesty and love
to the people of our time.
Obtain for them the grace
to accept that Gospel
as a gift ever new,
the joy of celebrating it with gratitude
throughout their lives
and the courage to bear witness to is resolutely,
in order to build,
together will all the people of good will,
the civilization of truth and love,
to the praise and glory of God,
the Creator and lover of life.