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THE ROSARY Your face, O Lord, I seek.

(Psalm 27:8)
Reflecting, upon the mysteries of the Rosary is contemplation of the face of Jesus. Pope John Paul ll, in his recent writings, has a recurrent theme. In the Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio Ineunte, the contemplation of the face of Christ precedes any pastoral planning for evangelization in the Third Christian Millennium. In the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia in Asia, the face of Jesus in Asia. Maryy face is also Asian. In the Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae, the contemplation of the face of Christ is with Mary. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun. (Matthew 17:2). Seeing the face of the Son of God in all radiance and glory is the beatific vision. Praying the Rosary then is aspiring for the heavenly vision. MEDITATING ON THE MYSTERIES OF JOY WITH MARY It is with great joy that the much awaited Messiah has arrived. The Majestic Divine Plan of the Incarnation needed the instrumentality of a human cooperator. The Creation by the Triune God was an act purely by the Divine initiative. But the redemption of the humanity needed a human vessel to carry the all-holy, ever-pure Divine Person. The history of humanity before God is largely one of infidelity and disobedience. The human participant has to be very unique, and indeed Mary was exceptional in a preeminent way. Mary was a disciple of fervent obedience. With, grace, she prepared and disposed herself to be open to the wonders that would unfold in her life. In the Joyful Mysteries from the conception of Jesus up to the time he reached the age of twelve Mary was pondering in her heart the meaning of these events. Mary is always seeking to understand the greeting of the Archangel, the exaltation of Elizabeth, the testimony of the shepherds, the prophecy of Simeon, and finally, the mission statement of her Son in the Temple. She was learning from the infant and growing Son the value of caring for the Divine Will. As mother, she has always meditated on the lovable face of her infant Son. She has been keen and observant in noticing his smiles and various facial expressions. She has thanked God for the supreme blessing of seeing the cute face of God, hearing His baby voice, holding His fragile body. She felt the overshadowing divine goodness as she has kissed her child, the child of God, too. Pope John Paul ll, in his Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae, speaks about the gaze of Mary in the Mysteries of Joy. The way Mary looks at Jesus is our way of contemplating the face of Jesus. At the Annunciation, the eyes of her heart were turned towards him, the new life in her womb. At the Visitation and during the months of her pregnancy, she was sensing his presence and imagining his features. At the Nativity, her eyes were gazing tenderly on the face of her Son as she wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger (Luke 2:7). At the Presentation in the Temple, Mary continued with her gaze of adoration and wonder when spoke prophetic words concerning her Son. At times, at the Finding in the Temple, she had a questioning look: Son, why have you

treated us so? (Luke 2:48). In this mystery also is Christs self-awareness. In his face already is a serene certainty that he has a unique relationship with God. The Mysteries of Joy point towards the deeper meaning of Christian joy. The Person of Jesus Christ is the source of the evangelion the Good news of joy. Mary is an associate who bears and carries the Good News. Mary is Cause of our Joy. She brings to an afflicted world the Joy who is her Son. The Christian rejoices because the Incarnation opens the opportunity of reconciliation with the Father, and Mary aids us in realizing in gratitude the importance of his second chance accorded to humanity. The Joyful Mysteries of Christ are also the joyful mysteries of man. Just as Marys presence was there in the mysteries of joy of Jesus, she is likewise accompanying her childrens own mysteries of joy in life. MEDITATING ON THE MYSTERIES OF LIGHT WITH MARY The public ministry of Jesus is the proclamation of the Reign of God. The proclamation began with a call to repentance. He came to call sinners. Jesus is the Light of the World, and He came to dispel the darkness of sin. The public ministry would lead to the Paschal Mystery. The salvation of humanity would entail the Passion, Death and Resurrection of the Lord. The public ministry was by means of words and deeds, by preaching and healing. Jesus preached by means of parables. He cured the sick, the lame and the blind. Jesus as Light is seen in his compassionates search for sinner in the parables of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost or prodigal son. Jesus as Light is seen in his holistic restoration of persons. Healing meant forgiveness. Get up and walk! also meant Your sins are forgiven. The light of the forgiving Christ conquers the d arkness that is sin. Jesus also formed his disciples in his public ministry. The disciples would later continue the work of Jesus. The servant is observant of what the Master says and does. Mary is a disciple par excellence. She was present in Cana. She kept in her heart the words of her Son that to be his mother meant doing the will of God. She was present at the foot of the cross, with John and the other women who followed closely the ministry of Jesus. She was part of the Pentecost Community. In this early Christian community, there was the teaching of the apostles, the breaking of bread, fellowship and communal prayer. Hence, Mary in the early Church joined the Apostles and other followers in meditating on the important events of the ministry of Jesus. The gaze of Mary at Cana was a penetrating gaze. It was a gaze capable of deeply understanding Jesus, even to the point of perceiving his hidden feelings and anticipating his decisions. Mary showed compassion for a newly wedded couple in distress; she trusted in the heart of her Son as she interceded for the couple. Although Mary was not present in all the mysteries of light of Jesus, Pope John Paul ll says: the role she assumed at Cana in some way accompanies Christ throughout his ministry. It becomes the great maternal counsel which Mary addresses to the Church of

very age: Do whatever he tells you (John 2:5). This counsel is a fitting introduction to the words and signs of Christs public ministry and it forms the Marian foundation of all the Mysteries of Light. This advice of the Virgin for all generations of the faithful could be discerned in the other four Mysteries of Light in the public ministry of Jesus. At the Baptism in the Jordan River, the Father declares: This is my beloved Son with whom I am well pleased. (Matthew 3:17). The Marian counsel affirms the heavenly declaration. One is called to know who the Son is so as to follow Him in pleasing the Father. At the Proclamation of the Kingdom of God with His Call to Conversion, Jesus preached: Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand (Matthew 4:17). The Marian counsel is an advice to change ones sinful ways. In the Transfiguration, the Marian counsel is similar to the assertion of the heavenly voice, the same voice that spoke at the Baptism: This is my chosen Son; listen to him (Luke 9:35). The face of Jesus was a face as radiant as the sun. In the Institution of the Eucharist as the Sacramental Expression of the Paschal Mystery, Jesus offered his body and blood: Do this in memory of me. ( Luke 22:19). Jesus also enjoined the apostles: I give you a new commandment: love one another. (John 13:34). The Marian counsel becomes a counsel to love and be a person of the Eucharist. Mary collaborates in the work of salvation. She aids, praying for sinners till the hour of death. She is actively involved, interceding that the events in the lives of her children be also mysteries of light. She prays for fidelity to the baptismal promises for renewal of marital love, for commitment to the Gospel values, for configuration into Christ and devotion to the Eucharist among the children of humanity entrusted to her by the Trinity. MEDITATING ON THE MYSTERIES OF SORROW WITH MARY Jesus Christ suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. The salvation of all humanity hinged on the Paschal Mystery of the cross and resurrection. Because by your holy cross, you have redeemed the world. Was it not necessary that Christ suffer these things and enter into His glory? The death of Jesus is redemptive. The public ministry of Jesus would lead to the road going to Jerusalem. He intimated to His disciples that He would be handed over to the chief priests, that he would suffer and die, but that on the third day, he would rise again. When he preached the forgiveness of sins, he met opposition who would later plot his death. His adversaries countered, Who can forgive sins but God alone? (Mark 2:7) Jesus was sign of contradiction. Either he was blaspheming as a man who made himself Gods equal or he was speaking the truth that He was the Son of God. He died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures. Mary is Mater Dolorosa. Since Jesus was an infant whose life was threatened by Herod, since the prophecy of Simeon in the temple, Marys heart was ever productive and ever anxious about the Sons future and fate. True, Mary is an associate in the salvific work of suffering humanity. But her maternal nature already gave her the inner solicitude to feel the pain, to undergo compunction, to be in solidarity with those in grief, anguish and suffering. Mabrys supportive presence at the foot of the cross is the testimony of her

oneness in the passion. This saddest of experiences was what the words and you yourself a sword will pierce meant. Marys gaze was a look of sorrow at the bloodied face of Jesus crowned with thorns. This was the face of the Savior in pain, shedding some tears, which Our Lady etched in her broken heart. This face of Jesus is a face of sorrow, writes Pope John Paul II in Novo Millennio Inuente. In the Agony in the Garden, Jesus gave his consent to the will of the Father. Not my will but yours be done. The yes of Jesus undid the no of Adam. The yes of Jesus is akin to the fiat of Mary. In the Scourging at the Pillar, his back absorbed the lashes of flogging; his back assumed the burden of sin. by his stripes, we were healed. (Isaiah 53:5) In the Crowning with Thorns, his head was pierced by sharp thorns; but his mind was set on the will of Father. They mocked his face, with blood flowing from the head: Hail, King of Jews! (John 19:3) There was in him no stately bearing to make us look at him, nor appearance that would attract us to him. (Isaiah 53:2) In the Carrying of the Cross, his shoulder carried the rough wood, his shoulder bore the responsibility of Redemption. But he was pierced for our offenses crushed for our sins. Upon him was the chastisement that make us whole. (Isaiah 535:) In the Crucifixion and Death, Mary was with John the Beloved and the other women who had been assisting in the ministry of Jesus. He said to his mother, Woman, behold your son. Then he said to the disciple, Behold your mother. John represented the apostles, the community of faith. At the cross, as Jesus takes leave of Mary, and Mary would now be a mother to the believers. Likewise, the Christian community in the person of the beloved apostle would consider themselves as children of the Blessed Virgin. The Mother of Jesus would also be the Mother of the Church. The Sorrowful Mysteries of the Crucified Lord are also humanitys tragic chapters. She, is most worthy of the bliss of heaven because of perfectly fulfilling the Fathers will in her, still sheds tears. Why? Because a baby is aborted, a child is molested, a youngster becomes a drug addict, a marriage is broken, a senior is uncared for. MEDITATING ON THE MYSTERIES OF GLORY WITH MARY O truly blessed night, which alone deserved to know the time and the hour when Christ rose from the realm of the dead! Thus, the Church sings the Exsultet in the Easter Vigil. The Paschal Mystery is the passage from the Passion and Death to the Victory of the Resurrection, the passage from Good Friday to Easter Sunday. He is alive! He is risen! He has appeared to Simon! This is the Good News. This is the Gospel. The Resurrection, the work of the Trinity, is the victory of the Son over sin and death. If Christ did not rise from the dead, our faith would be in vain. Christ appeared to the apostles and to others who were followers in his ministry. He stayed with them till he ascended into heaven. He promised to send the Holy Spirit, the Advocate, the Spirit of Truth to strengthen the Christian Community. These were days of glory, and Mary shared the joy of the apostles and other believers. Tradition holds that Jesus appeared to the Virgin Mary. Jesus appeared, made himself seen by persons associated with him in his ministry. Saint Ignatius of Loyola says

that Scriptures state that Jesus appeared to many others, and he asked, Are you also without understanding? Jesus is the bringer of the Good News and he has seen fit to remove the sorrows not only of a grieving mother but also of a devout disciple who has joined him in his Passion. She, would join him in glory. The glorious events of Jesus continue in the glorious events of Mary. Marys assumption into and coronation in heaven parallel the resurrection and ascension of Christ. Pentecost is an event of glory whereupon the Spirit of Jesus descends on the Virgin Mary. The face of Jesus is the face of the One who is Risen, writes Pope John Paul II in Novo Millennio Ineunte: Gazing on the face of Christ, the Bride contemplates her treasure and her joy: Dulcis Iesus memoria, dans vera cordia gaudia. How sweet the memory of Jesus, the source of the hearts true joy! The face of Jesus is radiant. However, the face of the Risen Christ is different. Mary Magdalene was not able to recognize Jesus. She mistook him to be the gardener; yet she recognize him by his voice. The disciples of Emmaus mistook him to be a resident of Jerusalem who was unaware of recent events. But they recognized him in the breaking of bread. The apostles of Galilee mistook him to be a bystander along the shore. But they recognized him in the miraculous catch of fish. Mary has likewise etched in her pondering heart the radiant and glorious face of her Son. The gaze of Mary is also a wonderful gaze, a gaze of splendor. Pope John Paul II describes her gaze: On the morning of Easter, hers would be a gaze radiant with the joy of the Resurrection and finally, on the day of Pentecost, a gaze afire with the outpouring of the Spirit. At the Resurrection, Mary is no longer the Mater Dolorosa but Mary, Regina Coeli, laetare, Alleluia! Her heart cannot contain the overflowing joy of the fulfillment of the Paschal Mystery. At the Ascension, she becomes more aware of her mission of becoming a mother to the other believers, of establishing that maternal bond with the disciples. At Pentecost, Mary is a bearer of the Spirit on the birth of the Church. She participates in the life of the early Christian community reflecting on the teaching of the apostles, celebrating the breaking of the bread, sharing a life of fellowship and having communal prayers. At the Assumption, she precedes the Church in the entrance into glory, body and soul. Her assumption is a celebration of hope for the Church. Her face now is the face of glory, splendor and radiance. At the Coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary as Queen of Heaven and Earth, Mary gazes on the face of the Triune God. This is heaven : to see God in the face, to completely feel Love Himself, to be with her Son forever. Mary is the prototype of the Church. Where she is, the Church hopes to be. Jesus is the glory of God. In total fulfillment of the divine will, Mary is the glory of humanity. It is Marys fervent prayer that the Mysteries of Glory in the life of Christ and the Church, in her life would be a sign of hope for all peoples of different cultures and races. Mary is the sign of humanitys glorification. His humble handmaid is the highest honor of humanity.
Feasts of San Cleto & San Marcelino 2013 Sto. Nio de Praga Parish Cordon, Isabela