The Luminous Mysteries

The Mysteries of Light were first introduced by Saint John Paul II in 2002. They are also perfect meditations for the post- Easter Period. You can see them illustrated on the Rosary Basilica in Lourdes.

Let us Begin

1. The Baptism of Jesus

“As soon as Jesus was baptized he came up from the water, and suddenly the heavens opened and he saw the spirit of God descending like a dove and coming down on him. And a voice spoke from heaven, ‘This is my Son, the beloved; my favour rests on him’.”

(Matthew 3: 16-17)

Baptism placed you in this blessed state. God did not wait till you should do some good thing before He blessed you. No! He knew you could do no good thing of yourself. So He came to you first; He loved you before you loved Him; He gave you a work which He first made you able to do. He placed you in a new and heavenly state, in which, while you remain, you are safe. He said not to you, ‘Obey Me, and I will give you a kingdom;’ but ‘Lo I give you a kingdom freely and first of all; now obey Me henceforth, if you can, and you shall remain in it’; not ‘Obey Me and I will then give you the Holy Spirit as a reward’; but ‘l give you that great gift in order that you may obey Me.’ He First gives, then commands; He tells us to obey Him, not to gain His favour, but in order not to lose it.

(Parochial and Plain Sermons VIII, 4)

Pause and Imagine you are with Jesus

Then, Pray One Our Father, One Hail Mary, One Glory Be

2. The Marriage Feast of Cana

“Three days later there was a wedding at Cana. The mother of Jesus was there, and Jesus and his disciples had been invited. When they run out of wine, since the wine provided for the wedding was all finished, the mother of Jesus said to him, they have no wine.”

(John 2: 1-12)

May we not say that our Lord had commenced His ministry, that is, bade farewell to His earthly home, at a feast? For it was at the marriage entertainment at Cana of Galilee that He did His first miracle, and manifested forth His glory. He was in the house of friends, he was surrounded by intimates and followers, and he took a familiar interest in the exigencies of the feast. He supplied a principal want which was interfering with their festivity. It was His contribution to it. By supplying it miraculously He showed that He was beginning a new life, the life of a Messenger from God.

(Sermons on Subjects of the Day, 3)

Pause and Imagine Yourself with Jesus

Then, Pray One Our Father, One Hail Mary, One Glory Be

3. The Proclamation of the Kingdom

Jesus said:

“What can we say the kingdom of God is like? What parable can we find for it? It is like a mustard seed which at the time of its sowing in the soil is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet once it is sown it grows into the biggest shrub of them all and puts out big branches so that the birds of the air can shelter in each shade.”

(Mark 4: 30-32)

Since the Christian Church is a Heaven upon earth, it is not surprising that in some sense or other its distinguishing privilege or gift should be glory, for this is the one attribute which we ever attach to our notion of Heaven itself, according to the Scripture intimations concerning it. The glory here may be conceived of by considering what we believe of the glory hereafter. Next, if we consider the variety and dignity of gifts ministered by the Spirit, we shall, perhaps, discern in a measure, why our state under the Gospel is called a state of glory. It is not uncommon, in the present day, to divide the works of the Holy Ghost in the Church into two kinds, miraculous and moral. By miraculous are meant such as He manifested in the first ages of the Gospel, marvels out of the course of nature, addressing to our senses; such as the power of healing, of raising the dead, and like; or, again, such as speaking  in tongues or prophecy. On the other hand, by moral operations or influences are meant such as act upon our minds, and enable us to be what we otherwise could not be, holy and accepted in all branches of the Christian character; in a word, all such as issue in Sanctification, as it is called. These distinct works of the Holy Spirit, in their effects, are commonly called extraordinary and ordinary, or gifts and graces…

(Parochial and Plain Sermons III, 18)

Pause and Imagine yourself listening to Jesus

Then, Pray One Our Father, One Hail Mary, One Glory Be

4. The Transfiguration

“The Word was made flesh
He pitched his tent amongst us,
And we saw his glory,
The glory that is his as the only Son of the Father, Full of grace and truth.”

(John 1:14)

Then, ‘after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them into a high mountain apart, and was transfigured before them. And as He prayed the fashion of His countenance was altered, and His raiment was white and glistening. And His face did shine as the sun, and His raiment was white as the light …And behold there talked with Him two men, which were Moses and Elias, who appeared in glory… But Peter and they that were with him were heavy with sleep; and when they awake, they saw his glory’(Matt 17.1 etc ….); Christ the centre of it, His glory the light of it, the Just made perfect His companions, and the Apostles His witness to their brethren. It realises what the ancient Saints saw by glimpses- Jacob at Bethel, Moses on Sinai.

(Parochial and Plain Sermons III, 18)

Pause and Imagine you are with Jesus on the mountain.

Then, Pray One Our Father, One Hail Mary, One Glory Be

5.  The Institution of Eucharist

“Now as they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and when he had said the blessing he broke it and gave it to the disciples. ‘Take it and eat’; he said ‘this is my body’. Then he took a cup, and when he had returned thanks he gave it to them. ‘Drink all of you from this‘, he said ‘for this is my blood, the blood of the covenant, which is to be poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins'”.

(Matthew 26:26-28)

We are allowed to draw near, to ‘give, take, and eat’ His Sacred Body and Blood, as truly as though like Thomas we could touch His hands and thrust a hand into His side. When He ascended into the Mount, ‘His face did shine as the sun and His raiment was white as the light’ (Matt.17.2). Such is the glorious presence which faith sees in the Holy Communion, though everything looks as usual to the natural man. Not gold or precious stones, pearls of great price or gold of Ophir, are to the eye of Faith so radiant as the lowly elements which He, the Highest, is pleased to make the means of conveying to our hearts and bodies His own gracious self.

(Parochial and Plain Sermons IV,9)

Pause and Imagine you are in the upper room with Jesus and the disciples.

Then, Pray One Our Father, One Hail Mary, One Glory Be

As you think of the gift of the mass, at the conclusion of the Mysteries of Light, join with the Church world- wide in a spiritual communion:

Let us seek the grace of a cheerful heart, and even temper, sweetness, gentleness, and brightness of mind, as walking in His light, and by His grace. Let us pray Him to give us the spirit of ever-abundant, ever springing love, which overpowers and sweeps away the vexations of life by its own richness and strength, and which above all things unites us to Him who is the fountain and center of all mercy, loving-kindness, and joy.

(Parochial and Plain Sermons VIII, 17)

May St John Henry Newman, who has helped us meditate on the most sacred mysteries of the Holy Rosary, pray with and fo us. Amen.