The Second Joyful Mystery
Luke 1: 39-45
495 Called in the Gospels "the mother of Jesus," Mary is acclaimed by Elizabeth, at the prompting of the Spirit and even before the birth of her son, as "the mother of my Lord." In fact, the One whom she conceived by the Holy Spirit, who truly became her son according to the flesh, was none other than the Father's eternal Son, the second person of the Holy Trinity. Hence the Church confesses that Mary is truly "Mother of God"(Theotokos).
496 From the first formulations of her faith, the Church has confessed that Jesus was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary, affirming also the corporeal aspect of this event: Jesus was conceived "by the Holy Spirit without human seed." The Fathers see in the virginal conception the sign that it truly was the Son of God who came in a humanity like our own. Thus St. Ignatius of Antioch at the beginning of the second century says:
"You are firmly
convinced about our Lord,
497 The gospel accounts understand the virginal conception of Jesus
as a divine work that surpasses all human understanding and
possibility: "That which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit," said
the angel to Joseph about Mary his fiancee. The Church sees here the fulfillment
divine promise given through the prophet Isaiah: "Behold, a virgin
conceive and bear a son."
The Third Joyful Mystery
"Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those upon whom his favor rests."
When the angels went
away from them to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let
us go, then, to Bethlehem to see this thing
Luke 2: 6-19
To the shepherds, the angel announced the birth of Jesus as the Messiah
promised to Israel: "To you is born this day in the city of David
a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." From the beginning he was "the
one whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world", conceived
as "holy" in Mary's virginal womb. God called Joseph to "take
Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy
Spirit", so that Jesus, "who is called Christ", should
be born of Joseph's spouse into the messianic lineage of David.
526 To become a child in relation to God is the condition for entering the kingdom. For this, we must humble ourselves and become little. Even more: to become "children of God" we must be "born from above" or "born of God." Only when Christ is formed in us will the mystery of Christmas be fulfilled in us. Christmas is the mystery of this "marvelous exchange":
The Fourth Joyful Mystery
Master, you may let your servant go
child's father and mother were amazed at what was said about him; and
blessed them and said to Mary his mother "Behold, this child is
destined for the fall and the rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will
be contradicted (and you yourself a sword will pierce) so that the thoughts of
many hearts may be revealed." There was also a prophetess, Anna, the
daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years,
having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage, and then as a
widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple, but worshipped night and
day with fasting and prayer. And coming forward at that very time, she gave
thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were awaiting the
redemption of Jerusalem.When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions of the law
of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. The child grew
and became strong, filled with wisdom, and the favor of God was
Jesus' circumcision, on the eighth day after his birth, is the sign
of his incorporation into Abraham's descendants, into the people of the
covenant. It is the sign of his submission to the Law and his deputation
to Israel's worship, in which he will participate throughout his life.
This sign prefigures that "circumcision of Christ" which is
The Fifth Joyful Mystery
He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them;
and his mother
kept all these things in her heart. And Jesus advanced in wisdom and age
and favor before
God and man.
He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart. And Jesus advanced in wisdom and age and favor before God and man.
Luke 2: 41-52
531 During the greater part of his life Jesus shared the condition of the vast majority of human beings: a daily life spent without evident greatness, a life of manual labor. His religious life was that of a Jew obedient to the law of God, a life in the community.From this whole period it is revealed to us that Jesus was "obedient" to his parents and that he increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man."
Jesus' obedience to his mother and legal father fulfills the fourth commandment
perfectly and was the temporal image of his filial obedience to his
Father in heaven.
The everyday obedience of Jesus to Joseph and Mary both
home of Nazareth is the school where we begin to understand the life
Jesus--the school of the Gospel. First, then, a lesson of silence.
May esteem for silence,
that admirable and indispensible condition of mind, revive in us...A
lesson on family
life. May Nazareth teach us what family life is, its communion of
austere and simple beauty, and its sacred and
of Jesus in the temple is the only event that breaks the silence
of the Gospels about the hidden years of Jesus.
Here Jesus lets us catch a glimpse of the mystery of his total consecration
mission that flows from his divine sonship: "Did you not know that
I must be
about my Father's work?" Mary and Joseph did not understand these
but they accepted them in faith. Mary "kept all these things in her
during the years Jesus remained hidden in the silence of an ordinary
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April 15, 2006