December 26, 2021
We have all experienced wounds and pain. The Mysteries of the Rosary are an opportunity to spend time with the Holy Family. And to let the Holy Spirit bring healing to the different stages of our life.
- The rosary reaches out to all the goodness and all the problem we have inherited.
- One of the graces of the rosary is by coming closer to Jesus on the cross to help us forgive and to be able to forgive.
- The rosary is an opportunity to spend time living with the Holy Family in which we will see God’s love.
- The rosary is an opportunity to come and spend some time with our Blessed Mother, St. Joseph and Jesus and learn about the life of Jesus.
- One of the graces of the rosary is that it takes us beyond the seen to what is unseen and to what is lasting so that we do not despair by what we see.
- To pray the rosary is to hand over our burdens to the merciful heart of Christ and His Mother.
In the rosary, we have the opportunity to spend time with the Holy Family. Our Blessed Mother was offering us when she gives us the Rosary, a simple, easy way of spending time with the Holy Family.
The rosary is like an opportunity to come, spend some time with our Blessed Mother, with Saint Joseph, with Jesus, learning about the life of Jesus. Jesus is God made flesh, made man and who lived the fullness of human life, from conception to death, and resurrection. And so, it’s an opportunity for us to bring our own life into contact with Jesus’ life, so He can heal all the different stages of our life. So, His grace can flow with healing into all the different stages of our life, from beginning to eternity. To pray the rosary is to hand over our burdens which accumulate each day, to Jesus and Mary. He who can make all things new and fill all the deepest longings of our hearts.
When they saw Him, they were astonished. And his mother said to Him, “Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been looking for you anxiously.” Remember that Joseph knew that it was just a few years before that the leaders of Jerusalem had been trying mobilize troops to kill their son and many, many babies had been massacred at that time. So, it’s hard to imagine the anxiety that Joseph and Mary were feeling. And so even in the Holy Family, there was this pain, and this lack of comprehension. It says they did not understand what He was saying to them. And it wasn’t because of their sin, that they had done something wrong. But it was because of God’s mysterious plan for that family. Each one of us have an experience of family, the family that we came from, the families or relationships that we’re developing. And also, spiritual families, like this little Mission of Divine Mercy is like a little spiritual family, part of the great spiritual family, which is the Church. And so, in families, we experience both joys and sorrows. And the decades especially that we’ve been living, since original sin, but even more in these past decades, have become a very toxic environment for families. And so, a lot of the problems in families are not your fault, or so and so’s fault. But a lot of it is because of this whole environment that we’re living in. And so, there’s great blessings in families and also great wounds. And great wounds, because there’s such a deep yearning in our soul for a family. And so, when we don’t find our family it’s not all that our heart is seeking, that’s a very, very, very painful, painful wound. What if we could spend some time with the Holy Family of Nazareth? What’s the word we always hear with families? Dysfunctional, Right? Dysfunctional, dysfunctional, dysfunctional? Well, the Holy Family is not a dysfunctional family. It’s a family that is, I don’t want to say functional, but it’s a family, which is fully a family. What if you could spend some time with the Holy Family? A family that’s so united, where there’s so much warmth, and love, respect, joy, fidelity, generosity? What if you could spend some time with the Holy Family? Because the Holy Family, in the Holy Family we see God’s love, God who was Trinity. But we see this love made visible, made real, lived out in this world that we’re living in. And how many Grace’s, how much healing would come from living with this family, from being able to be part of this family. And so today, I wanted to speak about the Rosary but maybe the Rosary in a little bit of a new way. The Rosary as an opportunity to spend time living with the Holy Family. Because we can easily see the Rosary as an obligation that we kind of rush through. Instead of seeing it as an opportunity, as an invitation to spend time with the Holy Family. What a privilege to be able to spend time with the Holy Family. And I think that’s what our Blessed Mother was offering us when she gives us the Rosary in a simple, easy way of not just rattling through prayers, but of spending time with the Holy Family. The Rosary can be said in a lot of different ways. St. John Paul, towards the end of one of those final documents, wrote a beautiful document on the Rosary. And there he introduced the idea of the Luminous Mysteries. But today I want to speak of, with our limited time, just the traditional 15 mysteries, the Joyful, the Sorrowful, and the Glorious Mysteries, and how they’re an opportunity to, because what is the Rosary? It’s like walking through the life of Jesus. There’s one person who was present for the whole life of Jesus, from His very beginning, from His conception, throughout all His growth, then through the apostolic ministry, then through the suffering, then through the death, and resurrection, and glory, into heaven. And that’s, of course, our Blessed Mother. And so, this gospel says, Mary kept all these things in her heart. And that’s true for the whole life of Jesus. So, the Rosary is like an opportunity to come, spend some time with our Blessed Mother, with Saint Joseph, with Jesus, learning about the life of Jesus. Jesus is God made flesh, made man and who lived, the fullness of human life, from conception to death, and resurrection. And so, it’s an opportunity for us to bring our own life into contact with Jesus’ life, so He can heal all the different stages of our life. So, His grace, can flow with healing into all the different stages of our life, from beginning to eternity. So, let’s look briefly at those three parts. The joyful, which is speaking about the beginning of His life, the joy, though it’s also already mixed with sorrow. So, the Annunciation, which speaks of His conception, and so in with the Annunciation with us also, there’s a whole tradition, a whole heritage, which led to our life. We have our parents, our grandparents, all our ancestors, which are part of what led to us and so that this whole heritage, living heritage, that is part of our life. And that encompasses our land, and our country. So, the Rosary also reaches out to all, all the heritage, with all the goodness that we’ve inherited, and also all the problems, and that can be inherited, and that can affect us. So, the Rosary is also reaching out to all of that. And then those, the life of our grandparents, our parents, and then then the conception, and the time we spend in our mother’s womb, our birth, which we don’t remember, but which have such a big impact on our life, which are so fundamental to our childhood. And then we come to the mystery that we read about in the gospel today, Jesus in the temple at 12 years old, which was the age in which a Jewish young man was entering into adulthood. And so, there’s all the stages of growing up, of adolescence, as we say, today, teenager. Teenagers is a modern term, but all that stage and then of course, it says that they didn’t understand. And that’s a very particular case. But we know that it’s a lot, especially at that age, there’s a lot of trouble today for parents and teenagers to understand each other, a lot of conflict. And then entering into adult life, as a person begins to discover, Jesus is referring to the mission that the Father has given Him. And so, this is also the stage of discovering for each person, the personal mission, the personal vocation, that each one has received. And then beginning the new relationships of adulthood. For many that will lead to marriage and beginning their own family. For others the path they’re called to different paths. Then also the work, the work that a person will be doing in their adult life. So, there’s all of that present in this first stage, the Joyful Mysteries, all that part in our life. And then the Rosary, the traditional Rosary, goes to the Sorrowful Mysteries. The Rosary is very realistic. And I come back to that point so often because so often we have the idea that the ideas presented to us of religion as mythical, as a fairy tale is all rosy. There’re few things which are less rosy than the Rosary. And a sense that the Rosary speaks so strongly of the realism of pain and sorrow in our life, the Rosary is so truthful about that. The pain that we can experience and the pain that we can cause can be even more painful. And then the Rosary speaks of the scourging of Jesus and the crowning of thorns, and both physically. But also, there has a spiritual sense of all the things which can cause us pain and all the humiliations and mental and emotional struggles that we can experience. And then carrying of the cross, the heavy, difficult times that we can live through, which can sometimes last a long, long time. And then the death on the cross. That moment in which Jesus crucified is experiencing so much utter weakness, unable to move, tortured, brokenhearted, and praying. At that moment in which the devil wants him to lash out with bitterness, and revenge and rage, the way so often happens for much, much less offenses. And Jesus responds so powerfully, “Father, forgive them.” And so, in any family, there’s such a need for forgiveness, constant need for forgiveness. That’s one of the graces of the Rosary by coming close to Jesus on the cross, He helps us to forgive, to be able to forgive. And though there was not apparent at the time, His death was life giving. A death, which was life giving, and which is preparing us for our own death. You know, that was very traditional among Catholics, maybe we don’t do it as much today, was a meditation on death. How important it is to think about the end of our life on earth. Because there’s a good chance that it’s going to happen, right? I mean, there’s a good chance that that’s going to happen someday, that we all have a mortal illness. And so, it’s good for us to be aware of that. But His death was life giving. St. Paul says, “For a while we live,” and I love these words of St. Paul, again, I think they are so realistic, “for while we live, we are always being given up to death.” While we live, we are always being given up to death. How’s that for motivational speech, right? You want to put that on your mirror, so you can see that everyday right when you get up? While we live, we are always being given to death. St. Paul is speaking about his experience. He is not saying it’s all rosy. It’s, you know, is talking about how painful it is. But he doesn’t end there. He says get “given up to death, for Jesus’ sake,” for Jesus’ sake. That is this, as he said, “this is united to Jesus’ own life.” And then he says, “so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh, so that our body can participate in the dying of Jesus which is a life giving death,” as St. Paul’s gradual death through so many sacrifices, was life giving. So, there’s the Sorrowful Mysteries. But the Rosary doesn’t end there and that’s so important for us. Because oftentimes, when we see people’s life on Earth, we see it ends, we see other bodies slowly, or sometimes quickly dying, and dying often in pain. We often see, not always because sometimes there’s manifestations of joy and peace, but it’s still often that the end is often a difficult one. But that’s also one of the keys of the Rosary, that while it’s very realistic about the pain, it’s showing us that that is not the end. Then came the Glorious Mysteries, for all those who trust in the Lord then opens up this whole eternity. You know that we have five Glorious Mysteries, but we could have anything in a Glorious Mysteries, because it would take a long time to pray, right. So, we don’t do it that way. But that’s what it is, it opens up this so that the Sorrowful Mysteries are limited. But the Glorious Mysteries go on, for all eternity. And so that gives us the true perspective on our family life, on marriage and family life, that the cross is present, but the sorrow is passing. So, St. Paul goes on to say this is in that same part of II Corinthians, four, he says, “so we do not lose heart,” even though we have this experience of continuously dying, he says, “we do not lose heart, though our outer man is wasting away.” And as we get older, we experienced that more and more. Our outer man is wasting away, but our inner man is being renewed every day. Our inner man, the inner reality, that the mystery of the human heart and soul, “for this slight momentary affliction, is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison. Because we look not to the things that are seen, but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” That’s very hard, because naturally, we’re always caught up in what is seen. And so, St. Paul, that’s one of the graces of the Rosary is to take us beyond the seen to what is unseen, to what is lasting, so that we not despair by what we see. Because there’s what is eternal. And the Rosary, like today is a very foggy day, so you can’t see the sun. That’s the way life is often on this earth. And so, the Rosary is like by faith helping us to go beyond the fog and realize the sky, the sun, that is there. The eternal light that is hidden by the fog, the triumph that we can’t yet see, the resurrection. And so even our poor, of the glorified bodies, even our bodies, which are now wasting away, as Saint Paul says, but which will if we were faithful to the Lord, which will share in His eternal glory forever, our bodies too, not just our inner man, but our bodies, the glorified body. And as the book of Revelation says, “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes,” every tear, no more sad reminders, memories, “and thus shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former things of all passed away.” All that is sad and painful will pass away. And He sat upon the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” New, that is God said, “I make all things new.” So how does God make it, when He makes all things new? Is He going to make it broken and painful? No, He’s going to make it glorious, with His love. I make all things new. So that’s what the Glorious mysteries are, leading us to, when God will make all things new. And so, you know, we have that old expression, rest in peace. But that the danger of that is we can think about people having a kind of sleeping, you know that they die and they go to sleep. But we’re never more active than when we’re in eternity. And that’s what the mystery of Pentecost shows is that Jesus doesn’t just go up to heaven, and fall asleep and take a nap. He goes up to send the Holy Spirit upon His Church. So, Jesus is ever more active, now that He’s in heaven, ever more active here on Earth, through the Holy Spirit, His action extends through all the earth. And then, since a family needs a mother, He brings His mother into the glory in heaven. And what is she doing in heaven? Was that the last mystery of the Rosary is the queenship of our Blessed Mother. Why is she queen? So, she can be ever more active, now she has so much authority, and so much power, that she can be so active, helping her children. That’s what she is as a mother. She’s the queen to be a mother to be more effectively a mother, not just limited as she was when she was here on earth, but able to be active and totally. The point I’m making here is our work doesn’t end here, our activity doesn’t end here on Earth. Heaven is the opportunity to do much more. The earth is just the beginning. The preparation for Heaven. So, we have all of heaven to be serving the Lord and serving others and being able to participate. There is in our heart, the selfishness, of course. But there also is a heart, our desire to be fruitful, to be generous, to be giving life and love and joy to others. And that’s what heaven will be. And so, heaven reminds us of the fullness of family life, when we will enter into the fullness of God’s family. But that won’t obliterate the human family bonds we have. Everything that is authentic, and that our human bonds here on earth, our human family bonds, will be present in heaven. And I think that’s when the reason Jesus brings His mother to Heaven, to show that all the authentic love of a family is not, as I say, not forgotten, but renewed and strengthened and glorified in heaven, as God gathers His whole family home. As I was mentioning at Christmas, and one of the most beautiful things about Christmas is when we can gather with family and loved ones, and share moments of joy and peace. And that’s not always easy, right? It doesn’t always happen, and that’s very sad and disappointing. But what we’re yearning for at Christmas, Heaven will realize that in fullness. So, the Rosary can be this great like therapy, of healing through the Rosary. St. Paul said today, “let the peace of Christ rule in your heart.” And that’s not easy for the peace of Christ to rule in the midst of so much turmoil. And so, the Rosary is an opportunity to help the peace of Christ begin to rule in our hearts. St. Paul also said today, “let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.” And the Rosary is an opportunity with our Blessed Mother who kept the words of Jesus like the Gospel says that she kept the words of Jesus like no one else. And so, the Rosary is an opportunity to come into her heart to meditate on the words of Jesus, that she teaches us to listen to, and meditate on the words and the life of Jesus. And so, whether the Rosary is prayed individually, or whether we pray it as a family, it’s an opportunity to bring our whole life, from our conception from our heritage, all the way up to our death, and then eternity, to bring all of that to the Lord. Again, the healing graces of the Holy Spirit can flow with all the joys and blessings of our life. And with the pain and sorrow too, which is what especially needs healing. I’ll read you this one passage from Saint John Paul in his document on the Rosary, he says, “it becomes natural to bring to this encounter with the sacred” so he’s talking about the Rosary, “as an encounter with a sacred humanity of the Redeemer. It begins natural to bring to this encounter all the problems, anxieties, labors and endeavors which go to make up our life,” bring all our problems, anxieties, labors and endeavors. As the Psalm says, “Cast your burden on the Lord,” and this still Saint John Paul saying this, “Cast your burden on the Lord and He will sustain you. To pray the rosary is to hand over our burdens to the merciful heart of Christ and His mother.” So, doesn’t that give you a very different perspective on a rosary? To pray the rosary is to hand over our burdens which accumulate each day to Jesus and Mary. He who can make all things new and fill all the deepest longings of our hearts? Jesus, we trust in you. Amen