Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Luminous Mysteries

This beautiful stained glass window is a recent addition to St. Francis of Assisi Church in Centerville, Ohio. The window shown here includes the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary. I have come to love these recent additions to the Rosary, which include the Baptism of Jesus, the Miracle at the Wedding Feast of Cana, the Proclamation of the Kingdom, the Transfiguration, and the Institution of the Eucharist.

One can view all of the Luminous Mysteries as having Eucharistic implications.

The baptism of Jesus shows the cleansing from Original and personal sin through the waters of Baptism. The Eucharist cleanses us from venial sin. In addition, water is mixed with the wine prior to the Consecration, representing the pouring of water and blood from Jesus' heart after being pierced by the lance. See Tiber Jumper's post at his blog, Crossed the Tiber, where he quotes St. John Chrysostom on the connection between baptism and Eucharist.

The miracle of the wedding feast at Cana shows the transubstantiation of water into wine, prefiguring the transubstantiation of wine into blood and bread into flesh of the Eucharist.

The proclamation of the Kingdom indicates both the word of God in the Scriptures and the Word of God in the Second Person of the Trinity. As Fr. John Corapi often says, the Good News is not some thing; the Good News is some One.

The Transfiguration is about Jesus appearing in His glory, revealing His divinity which was veiled in His humanity. In a similar way, Jesus' body and blood is veiled in the appearance of bread and wine in the Eucharist.

The institution of the Eucharist is Jesus' great gift to us so that He could be with us "until the end of the age" (Matthew 28:20).

Pope John Paul II set out the new Luminous Mysteries in his apostolic letter, Rosarium Virginis Mariae (2002). See especially sections 19 and 21.

The Rosary is such a wonderful prayer, and it can deepen our love for Jesus in the Eucharist. It is a fitting prayer during Eucharistic adoration, since it is a contemplation of Jesus' life. In the future I will also look at a set of prayers for the Rosary with a Eucharistic focus which I have come across.

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