Jesus and his mother give us hope and encouragement: meditations and prayers.
In a series of articles in Madonna magazineUploaded as part of the Daily Prayer Resource, we invited readers to review the Rosary. Through biblical reflections on each of the mysteries of joy, Sadness and light, we have encouraged this to be seen as a prayer of contemplation. The words of each prayer become a mantra on our lips and in our hearts.
Our contemplation of every biblical event in the glorious mysteries leads to two gentle invitations to continue venerating Mary, Mother of Jesus – she who mothered us with her strength and encouragement when we invoke her name.
In the first glorious mystery of Jesus’ resurrection, we are drawn to grace to meet our risen Lord. The events of His resurrection function as scenes that we can enter with our imagination, memory, and willpower. As St. Ignatius would urge us, we can enjoy the experience with all our senses. When we become participants or dedicated observers, our God leads us to see everything that is happening and enjoy His presence in prayer and in life.
This encounter with our risen Lord invites us to move forward with trust, for grace upon grace. As we watch Jesus ascend to heaven and the outpouring of the Holy Ghost on the disciples gathered at Pentecost, we think about how we will feel when we are called. By staying close to Mary, our mother, we are well placed to listen, distinguish, and respond.
Below are some reflections on the Five Magnificent Mysteries
Resurrection. When Mary Magdalene mistook him for the gardener, Jesus called her by name: “Mary!” (John 20: 11-18).
When the doors were closed for fear, Jesus came in peace (Jn 20: 19-25).
When Thomas did not believe, Jesus came to him, open to being touched (Jn 20: 26-31).
When Cleopas and his friend were desolate on the way to Emmaus, Jesus went with them and brought them to his home (Luke 24: 13-35). In all these situations, when hope faded and despair lurked, Jesus restored his friendship to us. To him be the honor.
Ascension (Luke 24: 50-53; Mark 16:19). Jesus leaves the disciples in Bethany – a place of rest, healing and life from death – and lifts his hands and blesses them.
If he withdraws and is carried to heaven, how can they not worship? How can they not be filled with joy? How can you not bless the God of Jesus Christ?
And the invitation is addressed to us: how can we not revere him? This wonderful God gave us everything. Jesus paved the way for us to come to life in our day. Certainly kindness and kindness will follow.
Pentecost (Acts 2,1-11). Gathered in one place, the surprise of a remarkably gracious encounter with the Holy Spirit was poured out on everyone.
Bringing out a mighty sound, tongues of fire came to affirm each one in his calling.
The consolation of this experience should stay with every student for a lifetime. This event sent everyone on the mission with understandable words and an amazingly compelling message.
No wonder everyone was amazed at their testimony: a believable and inspiring message of “God’s mighty acts” that everyone experienced personally.
Assumption Day. Mary’s yes has had a huge impact on human history.
All of her deeds praised the Lord: her generosity in accepting the angel’s invitation, her joy with her cousin Elisabeth, her song of thanks, her courage in pregnancy and childbirth, her attention as Jesus grew, her wisdom in Cana when he did his public service began to show her bond with him in death and (as Ignatius invites us to consider) her participation in him in the resurrection.
When Jesus named her mother of John, he called her to the mother of the church, a church that celebrates her entry into heaven.
Coronation of Mary. Jesus overthrew the order of power and authority in the world: good news for the poor, release for prisoners, freedom for the oppressed (Luke 4: 18-19).
His mother paved the way for this ministry by singing in her Magnificat that her Lord “took the mighty from their thrones and exalted the lowly” (Luke 1:52).
When we say that Mary is crowned Queen of Heaven, we mean that the kingdom of God follows not only the life of Jesus but also that of his mother: a poor young woman called to a mighty mission.
This article first appeared in the spring 2019 edition of M.adonna magazine.
James O’Brien is an editorial assistant at Jesuit Communications.