Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Glorious Mysteries of the Mass: Rosary Meditations

 The Glorious Mysteries of the Mass from

The Resurrection
For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and in the last day I shall rise out of the earth. And I shall be clothed again with my skin, and in my flesh I shall see my God.
And it came to pass, whilst he was at table with them, he took bread, and blessed, and brake, and gave to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew him: and he vanished out of their sight.                                                                                  - Job 19:25-26, Luke 24:30-31

After the Resurrection, Jesus appeared to the disciples walking on the road to Emmaus. He spoke with them while they walked and explained the Scriptures. This Gospel account is a mirror image of my life.  I, like the disciples, get discouraged and downhearted on my walk through life.  Promises and ideas that once filled my heart with joy have been cast into the shadows of my mind. The coming of the Lord appears to be far off and sadness and despair creep into my life. I often make my way through the week with my head down kicking stones. 
However, I must remember that Jesus walks with me even though I may not recognize Him.  My life changes when I make the Mass a part of my walk toward Christ.  At Mass Jesus opens the Scriptures to me and my heart begins to burn with love. Even though I may not always recognize Him in the Scriptures, in the breaking of the bread my eyes are opened. I may not see Him in a physical human form but He is there in the breaking of the bread.  In fact He is the Bread.  Once I recognize Him I am able to "rise up that same hour" and say to the world, "The Lord is risen indeed!"
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be, Etc.
Additional clause: ...of thy womb, Jesus,
who is present in the breaking of the bread.

The Ascension
Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.
God is ascended with jubilee, and the Lord with the sound of trumpet.
- Matt 28:19-20, Psalm 46:6

Jesus ascended into heaven yet He remains with us. How can this be? With God all things are possible. He has indeed ascended and sits at the right hand of the Father. He has ascended in His human body. However, He remains with us "even until the end of the age." He remains with us most fully at Mass. He is truly present in the people, the Scriptures, His priest, and most especially in the Eucharist.
God fed His people in the desert wilderness with manna each and every day. He fed them with bread from heaven and sustained them throughout their journey. I too am on a journey toward the land promised to my fathers for generations. On this pilgrimage through the desert, the time between Christ's Ascension and Return, I am sustained by the true Bread come down from heaven. I am sustained by the heavenly manna, the Bread of Life, given to me at each Mass.
Lord, I know you will return in the same way as you left. Therefore, whenever I eat this
Bread and drink this Cup, I will proclaim your death Lord Jesus, at every Mass, until You come in glory. Maranatha, Come Lord Jesus.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be, Etc.
Additional clause: ...of thy womb, Jesus,
who feeds me on my journey.

The Descent of the Holy Spirit
And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a mighty wind coming, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them parted tongues as it were of fire, and it sat upon every one of them: And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they began to speak with divers tongues, according as the Holy Ghost gave them to speak. Now there were dwelling at Jerusalem, Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. But others mocking, said: These men are full of new wine.
...since you are eager for manifestations of the Spirit, strive to excel in building up the church.                                                               - Acts 2:2-5, 13, 1 Corinthians 14:12(RSV)

The reaction of one who is not Catholic to the events of the Mass is oftentimes the same reaction exhibited by those who were outside the Upper Room during Pentecost. The inability to see the power of the Mass can confuse and offend many. Each Mass is a miniature Pentecost. There is a gathering of the followers of Christ in one place and, like the apostles, they are committing themselves to prayer being of one mind. The power of the Holy Spirit courses through the priest and the people as they celebrate the Eucharist.
I need to be more like Peter and proclaim the Gospel with wild abandon and not abandon the Gospel as I exit the Church door. My zeal should cause people to accuse me of being drunk because I am inebriated with the Truth I have received at Mass. When I finally realize the power of the Mass people will be coming and asking what they should do in order to be saved. 
Lord, give me a fuller outpouring of the Spirit so that I may give fearless witness to Your Gospel. Help me to realize the full power of the Mass and take that power into my home, my community, and the world. "It is no longer I that live but Christ that lives in me."

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be, Etc.
Additional clause: ...of thy womb, Jesus,
who sends the Holy Spirit at Mass.

The Assumption of Mary
And there were given to the woman two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the desert unto her place, where she is nourished for a time and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.
All the glory of the king's daughter is within in golden borders, Clothed round about with varieties. After her shall virgins be brought to the king: her neighbours shall be brought to thee.
They shall be brought with gladness and rejoicing: they shall be brought into the temple of the king.                                                                  - Revelation 12:14, Psalm 44:14-16

I cannot move towards God unless He moves toward me first. It is His grace that calls me to love Him. At the beginning of the Eucharistic prayer during Mass we say, "we lift them [our hearts] up to the Lord." This is in response to the Lord's invitation through His priest to, "lift up your hearts."
Mary's Assumption into heaven is a wonderful grace won for her by her Divine Son so that her body might not see the corruption of the grave but instead enjoy eternal life. In Scripture Mary is often seen as a symbol or sign of the Church. In the Assumption I see the Mass. I see the assumption of the Church into heaven. Because the Church is composed of imperfect people it can only "lift up her heart". In response to this "offering" heaven comes to earth on the altar. On the altar of sacrifice at every Mass there is an assumption. The Church is assumed by the power of God into heaven. For as St. Paul says, this is "the plan to be carried out in Christ, in the fullness of time to bring all things into one in Him, in the heavens and on the earth."
Through Him, with Him, in Him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit the Church is assumed at each Mass to the glory and honor of the Almighty Father forever and ever. On the altar, heaven and earth embrace. Mercy and truth have met each other: “justice and peace have kissed.”

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be, Etc.
Additional clause: ...of thy womb, Jesus,
who lifts me up to the Lord.

The Coronation of Mary
And a great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars
One is my dove, my perfect one is but one, she is the only one of her mother, the chosen of her that bore her. The daughters saw her, and declared her most blessed: the queens and concubines, and they praised her.                                                   - Revelation 12:1, Song of Songs 6:8

The Blessed Virgin Mary is a symbol and sign of the Church. In this meditation I see not only Mary as Queen of Heaven and Earth but also the Church as Queen of Heaven and Earth. I also see the Church as mother here on earth. Like a natural mother she nurtures and feeds her offspring from her own body. She feeds her offspring most fully at the Mass. Her children are fed with the very word of God in the Liturgy of the Word. They are fed with her very body, that is, Christ in the flesh, in the Liturgy of the Eucharist.
I must remember that when I am assisting at Mass I am in the womb of my mother, the Church. I am being nourished on the word, scripture, and the Word made flesh, the Eucharist, so that I may emerge, born anew in spirit to bring light and life to the world.
In order for me to be a true son of the Father and a brother of Christ I must love and respect my mother the Church. Christ gives me help in learning to love the Church by giving me His own Mother to love. In loving Mary I will learn to love the Church. In loving Mary I will learn to love the Mass. Queen of Heaven and Earth, pray for us.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be, Etc.
Additional clause: ...of thy womb, Jesus,
who gave me His Mother and the Church.

- More free meditations can be found here

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Mother's Day Weekend.