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The Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary and the Eucharist

Have you ever heard of the Joyful mysteries of the Eucharist? I must admit I had not… until I read about them in a post on the Aleteia website.

In the context of the sometimes heated discussion about what Catholics believe today about the Eucharist, Tom Hoopes offered a wonderful reflection on the Eucharist through the lens of the Joyful Mysteries. See also a brief video delightfully explaining these insights.

I knew that …

  • The Joyful Mysteries mark the incarnation when the Son of God became a man.
  • The Luminous Mysteries tell when Jesus’ private life moves to a public ministry, and Jesus brought light to the world.
  • The Sorrowful Mysteries focus on the hardest moments in Jesus’ life: His persecution, suffering, crucifixion and death.

But I did not know how the Joyful Mysteries might help illuminate the Eucharist

Eucharist Through the Lens of the Joyful Mysteries?

The First Joyful Mystery: The Eucharist and the Annunciation

The Eucharist seems like just ordinary bread and Wine. But then Mary also appeared to be just an ordinary young girl. Think about it. The Annunciation is the moment that “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” We can learn from Mary’s attitude in Luke 1:26 what the moment of consecration should be like. Humble gratitude and awe.

The Second Joyful Mystery: The Real Presence and the Visitation.

We receive Jesus into our bodies and then are sent out into the world to do his work.

Mary is the supreme example of this. In her “Visitation” (Lk 1:39-56)to Elizabeth, Jesus Christ inside her animated her efforts to serve her cousin, and her cousin recognized the Lord present in her. Evangelization?

The Third Joyful Mystery: The Birth of Jesus and adoration.

At the incarnation grown men — and a host of angels — gather around a sleeping baby. And his Real Presence in the sacrament is enough to gather us around the tabernacle today. And to stand in awe of his presence today in the multitude of bodies Christ disguises himself today.

The Fourth Joyful Mystery: The Presentation and the Temple of our Bodies.

Paul reminds us that Our bodies are “temples of the Holy Spirit,” he says.

The Fourth Joyful Mystery focuses on Mary and Joseph’s solemn Presentation of Jesus in the temple of Jerusalem. Mary and Joseph take great care to do what their faith prescribed is a good lesson for us: We need to bring/recognize Jesus into the temple of our own bodies with the same care.

And once we do, we can have the same reaction Simeon had after his encounter with Jesus: “Now you may let your servant go in peace … for my eyes have seen your salvation.”

The Fifth Joyful Mystery: Finding Jesus in the tabernacle.

This is a perfect analogy for what the Eucharist is for us. When we can’t find Jesus in our lives, there is one place we can always find him: In the tabernacle. There he waits, ready to ask and answer questions just as he did so many years ago.

The Rosary can teach us to be Christlike

Many of our mother’s have preserved memories of us. Perhaps it was a report card, early pictures, favorite toy, etc.

Some memories made her happy.  Others caused her sadness.

In the mysteries of the Rosary, we are invited to see Christ’s life through Mary’s perspective, we learn to imitate her faith in God’s plan.

The goal of praying the Rosary is to better know Jesus Christ through the eyes and heart of his mother, Mary.

As we pray the Rosary, our words and thoughts unite with hers, and she invites us to understand Christ a little better each time.

In the mysteries of the rosary, we watch Christ in His early life, His days of ministry, His Passion, and His Resurrection. We can literally witness His actions and words and have a greater understanding of what it means to be Christlike.

Food for Thought

  • What is my attitude towards praying the Rosary?
  • Have I ever thought of the Rosary as way to deepen my understanding of putting on the mind of Christ?
  • Does thinking of the Eucharist while praying the Rosary make sense to me?

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