Reflections on the Joyful Mysteries
First Joyful Mystery – The Annunciation of the Angel Gabriel to Mary
The angel Gabriel is sent by the Father with a message to a young woman of Nazareth named Mary. Yes an angel. And this should remind us that each of us has the awesome gift of our very own guardian angel.
The Message from the Angel Gabriel is profound and yet so simple. The Heavenly Father asks Mary to usher in our salvation into human history by saying Yes to God’s eternal Word. All of creation and history has pointed to this moment and yearns to hear Mary’s reply. Mary humbly asks a question of how this will come about. After hearing the answer from the angel that this will happen by the power of the Holy Spirit, she gives her loving consent to be the mother of our Savior Jesus Christ.
Jesus is our Savior and Redeemer, but He waits to hear Mary’s fiat; her yes to bring this about. God does not force his mercy and love, but always extends an invitation to open our hearts and minds, with the help of His grace. May each of us, imitate Mary and always be open and ready to give our Yes to God in our daily life.
Second Joyful Mystery – The Visitation of Mary to her cousin Elizabeth
In the Scriptures, we read that after the Annunciation, Mary went in “haste” to visit her cousin Elizabeth who was with child. Mary could not contain herself, as she was filled with “joy” and the love of Jesus. Mary could not keep the “good news” of the Incarnation to herself. She also felt the natural need to care for Elizabeth who was in need, which made Mary an angel of mercy, in her concern for others. Mary lives the beatitudes.
Mary felt compelled to bring the “good news” to others. Mary did not delay as we might tend to do. She did not check her computer schedule, her appointment calendar, or her busy plans. She trusted in Divine Providence. She knew that God is in charge, and there will be time to do the right things. It was time to go, and she went in “haste”.
The word haste is so important. So also, Mary whispers to each of us to go in “haste” to care for others in need, and to bring the Good News, Jesus to others in our everyday life. We especially are called to do this in the simple and common things of life. It need not be the spectacular or eye catching events which would make the news at night. This Visitation to and for others was the life of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
May Our Lady escort each of us daily, as we also go in “haste” to bring Jesus to those we live with, then to others we encounter in the simple things of every day life. May Our Lady help us to see Jesus in others and care for them, as if we are caring for Jesus Himself.
Third Joyful Mystery – The Birth of Jesus
At Christmas, we all celebrate the birth of a newborn baby. There is such joy, excitement and preparation for this birthday, and this is rightly so since the babe is the Divine Infant Jesus. But good friends, this should be the same
for all new life that comes from the breath of God’s love. As we all know too well, this is not the case in modern culture.
Men and women have so often focused on selfishness and rejected the gift of human life. It is now 31 years since the Supreme Court has legalized the killing of unborn babies. The numbers are staggering and overwhelming; 46 million little lives which cry out to us for compassion, love and help have been deprived of the light of day. We must and will not ignore this ongoing act of terrorism in our land. Good friends, there is hope! Christmas shows us this. Jesus came to give us life. He came to show us the way that is himself. He came to exchange the crib for a cross of redemption. On the cross, he thirsted for us and cried out to all that is finished. But our part is not completed, until we each breathe our last and return to him, after having persevered in the faith. To be a follower of Jesus means to go the journey with him and not go by the world’s ways. So, we each must find we have knees to pray on. We find we have legs to walk for Christ. We have words of mercy and compassion for those who have no voice.
Fourth Joyful Mystery – The Presentation of the Child Jesus in the Temple
Joseph and Mary bring the baby Jesus to the Temple to consecrate Him to the Father While they are there, Simeon approaches them and takes the Child in his arms. Simeon declares this newborn Child to be the glory of Israel, the Light to the Gentiles; and then says those words which pierce the heart of Mary and Joseph. The Child will be a sign of contradiction and a sword will pierce Mary’s heart.
This Joyful moment in the Temple is contrasted with a glimpse of the Cross. This Child came into the world to give us joy, but this will happen only as a result of His cross and Passion.
So, we imitate Mary and present ourselves and offer all that we have each day to the Heavenly Father. We give it all to Him. And we journey through our lives with our own crosses and walk with Jesus, with Mary at our side, not only to the Calvary of our lives, but to the incomprehensible joy of the Resurrection.
Fifth Joyful Mystery – The Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple
Jesus is now 12 years old when He celebrates the Passover in Jerusalem with Joseph and Mary. Unknown to Mary and Joseph, Jesus does not return to Nazareth but remains in the Temple.
For three days, Joseph and Mary search for the Child Jesus. Their hearts must have been seared with pain. They return to Jerusalem and finally find Him in the Templeamidst the teachers. Jesus, when asked why, tells Mary, that He must be in His Father’s house.
How often, modern men and women of all ages, young and older search for joy and contentment Fulfillment, material things, careers, money and worldly pleasures are sought and found to be wanting.
It is Jesus where true peace and joy are found. Yes, we can find Jesus in so many diverse ways. Scripture, personal prayer, good works for people, the Church, and the Sacraments. By far the most excellent and perfect finding of Jesus is where He told Mary and Joseph some 2000 years ago. In the Temple! In the tabernacles of His Church in the Holy Eucharist! He is here waiting for each of us as if you are the only person. Go and find Him there; and joy and peace will fill your soul and heart! And then take Jesus home with you in your heart.