This morning I was in the perpetual adoration chapel at my parish and praying the Rosary. Since it’s Thursday, I prayed the Luminous Mysteries. As I prayed, I realized how much these particular mysteries shed light on what this summer is about for me, and more importantly, what that means for others.
What are the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary?
The Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary come from Scripture and they focus on significant events in Jesus’ ministry. They aren’t representative of all the important events of His ministry, but they illuminate in ways that others may not.
The 1st Luminous Mystery – Jesus’ Baptism in the Jordan River (Mt 3:1-17)
Reflecting on John the Baptist, I imagine it must have been quite a thing to finally see Jesus coming his way. He prepared for that day by training himself in asceticism and preparing the way for the Lord by preaching repentance to crowds of people. His life was a mission. He had no illusions about his purpose. John took his role seriously. He embraced it and got to work. We remember him for it.
The 2nd Luminous Mystery – The Wedding Feast at Cana (Jn 2:1-11)
Maybe others have thought about this, but it hit me for the first time today… Mary is one strong, confident woman! I think about the way she is portrayed in movies or cartoons. She is so quiet. She’s almost timid. It’s the same with the retelling of apparitions. Her voice is so soft and calming, it could almost lull you to sleep. Perhaps these are aspects of the Blessed Mother, but they are not the traits we see in her at Cana in Galilee! She identifies a problem. She instructs and directs with a sure and steady hand. There is a need and she takes action.
The 3rd Luminous Mystery – The Proclamation of the Kingdom (Lk 4:16-21)
The Proclamation of the Kingdom is a mystery represented by many separate episodes in the life of Christ, but this one is the one I favor. Here, Jesus engages in the toughest ministry, which is ministry to those who know you (or at least think they do). Clichés are repeated for a reason, and this is one of them… “familiarity breeds contempt.” “Though He was in the form of God…” His own people rejected Him and His message of truth and love. He preached anyway, and He continued His work until it was “finished.”
The 4th Luminous Mystery – The Transfiguration (Mt 17:1-9)
We take for granted that Jesus is Who He is. To us, He is fully God/fully man. The apostles had no such insight at the time of the Transfiguration, but they learned as they went. There, Peter, James, and John were given a glimpse of Jesus – unveiled – such as nobody had ever seen before. The Transfiguration revealed the glory Jesus necessarily hid in His day-to-day life on earth, but which was always there.
The 5th Luminous Mystery – The Institution of the Eucharist (Mt 26:19-30)
Jesus offered them, as He now offers us, His Body and Blood. He offers Himself for us and to us. Jesus feeds and nourishes us with something of such value as can only be given when a person gives everything he has for the benefit of others.
What does this have to do with the Summer of Dreams?
- John the Baptist teaches us that anyone can identify his/her role, embrace it, act on it, and fulfill their purpose.
- Mary shows that a confident person can identify a need and step up to meet that need without asking anyone’s permission to do so.
- Jesus reminds us that everyone is most challenged by those closest to them, but this need not deter them from accomplishing the work they are meant to do.
- Like the Transfiguration, individuals have the glory of the image of God inside them, and they need to lift the veil.
- Finally, people everywhere are hungry for something, and we can feed them with our own particular gifts.
That’s what my summer’s been about in a nutshell and it’s been the joy of my life thus far. There’s no reason it can’t be yours too!