This is the second post in a four-part series of meditations on the mysteries of the Rosary. I pray this helps you in your prayer life and practice. You can read Part 1 on the Glorious Mysteries here.
On Saturdays and Mondays, Catholics around the world pray the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary. As previously stated, the Rosary devotion is not required of the Faithful, but it is a great way to delve deeper into the life of Jesus with our Blessed Mother at your side.
Today’s reflections will focus on the events leading up to the birth of Jesus and His finding in the temple in Jerusalem at age 12. May the meditations and questions below aid you in drawing closer to Our Lord.
The Joyful Mysteries
- The Annunciation: This is a familiar passage for all Christians. The angel Gabriel visits Mary to tell her that she will be the mother of Jesus. Because of Mary’s “Yes” to God, humanity was changed forever. Are you eager or afraid to say “Yes” to God like Mary did? If you are afraid, why? If not, how you can look for ways to say “Yes” to Jesus? How can your consent to God’s will change your life? Prayer: Lord Jesus, give me the courage to always say “Yes” to Your plan for my life. Your ways are greater than mine.
- The Visitation: After the Annunciation, Mary goes to visit her cousin Elizabeth, who is also pregnant. Upon Mary’s arrival, the baby in Elizabeth’s womb jumps for joy. Here, Mary is like a missionary, bringing the good news of Jesus to her family. How can you carry Jesus to those in your family and circle of friends? Do you “jump” for joy when you hear Jesus calling you? What is stopping you from acting out the Visitation in your own life? Prayer: Dear God, I want to bring Jesus to others. Make me a suitable vessel for Your work.
- The Nativity: He is here! Jesus is born in a stable in Bethlehem, hardly a place fit for the King of the Universe. Yet, He is here: love incarnate. In the Gospels, Jesus said that we must be “born again” in order to enter the kingdom of Heaven. But, this free gift of salvation is not a one-time transaction. The Nativity must constantly change us into the likeness of Christ. Do you allow Jesus to be “born” in your heart each day? How do you live out the humility of the Nativity? Do you say “Yes” to God in difficult situations, like Mary and Joseph did the night Jesus was born? Prayer: Lord Jesus, give me the grace to let Your holy nativity take place in my heart each day.
- The Presentation in the Temple: In St. Luke’s Gospel, Mary and Joseph go to the Temple 40 days after Jesus’ birth. There, Mary completes the ritual purification rites for women after childbirth. Jesus is also presented, as He is the firstborn male who is “consecrated to God” according to Jewish law (Luke 2:23). It is in the Temple that Mary and Joseph encounter Simeon, a prophet who tells the Holy Family that Jesus will reveal the thoughts of many, but a sword will pierce Mary’s heart (Luke 2:35). Just as Mary and Joseph followed God’s law, do we also follow Christ’s teachings? How can we eliminate excuses that keep us from holiness? Do we desire full consecration to God? Prayer: Lord God, I consecrate myself to You through Jesus Christ. Help me to live a life of holiness and love.
- The Finding in the Temple: I believe this is one of the most humorous stories in the Bible, though I doubt Mary and Joseph felt the same way. On the return trip from Jerusalem, it is probably assumed that Jesus is with other family members in the caravan. However, it is discovered that Jesus is nowhere to be found. Afraid and panicked, Mary and Joseph head back to Jerusalem and search for days. Eventually, Jesus is found in the Temple, speaking to and impressing the scholars. When Mary says how worried she and Joseph were, Jesus responds “Didn’t you know I would be in my Father’s house?” (Luke 2:41-52). Are we like the Holy Family when we lose sight of Jesus? Do we immediately rush back to Him? How can we help others who are lost and searching? Like Jesus, do we frequent our Father’s house? Prayer: Jesus, I never want to lose sight of You. Assist me in my darkest hour that I will always lean upon You.
May God bless you as you pray the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary.