First Joyful Mystery: The Annunciation to
Luke 1:28, 31, 38. The Angel Gabriel said to
Mary: "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you.
Blessed are you among women...You shall conceive and bear
a son, and you shall call his name Jesus...
Mary answered, "Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it
done to me according to your word.”
the Catholic Church: #461-463, 491
Reflection: In the quiet of a
garden, God proposes (through an angel) and a woman
accepts. Mary is accepting to walk into a mystery.
She does not know what lies ahead on this new
path, but she knows who is asking and she
trusts in him. There are many annunciation moments in our
life, and sometimes we hesitate to say yes because
we cannot foresee the future or control what will
happen. In this mystery, ask Mary to give you a
deep trust in the one who invites you to
follow. Ask her to help you trust that even if
the path ahead is full of crosses, God will
be walking with you. If you hold his hand
in the darkness, he will give you strength, peace, and
an intimate joy that nothing can take away.
Second Joyful Mystery: The Visitation
Luke 1:42-44. Elizabeth was
filed with the Holy Spirit and cried out in
a loud voice: "Blessed are you among women, and
blessed is the fruit of your womb...The moment your greeting
sounded in my ears, the babe in my womb
leapt for joy.
Catechism of the Catholic Church: #495-497, 717
of the wonders of God’s plan is that he
chooses to associate souls, one to another, so that they
help each other on their journey. As cousins, Mary
and Elizabeth share a bond of kinship. But they
also share a spiritual kinship because of how the Holy
Spirit is acting in their lives, fashioning the Messiah
and his prophet deep inside their wombs. During those
months, Mary and Elizabeth don’t just sit around waiting. They
are working, preparing for Elizabeth’s baby, quietly conversing, and
praying. Together, they are like a little monastic community.
In our lives too, God gives us spiritual friendships
and soul-mates who help us grow closer to him.
Sometimes he links our lives together for a larger purpose
that will reveal itself with time. In this mystery,
ask Mary to help you and your spiritual friends
listen carefully for God’s voice in your lives, so that
you can walk with him and with each other.
Third Joyful Mystery: The Nativity
Luke 2:6-7. “And it
came to pass while they were there, that the
days for Mary to be delivered were fulfilled. And she
brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in
swaddling clothing and laid him in a manger, because
there was no room for them in the inn."
the Catholic Church: #437, 535-536
Reflection: All of Bethlehem was dark
and quiet when the Savior made his entrance into
the world, and his first home was in the
protective circle of Mary’s arms. Imagine how Mary’s heart shone
with a love spanning the tender, protective love of
a mother holding her baby in her arms and the
profound adoration of a soul adoring her Creator and
Lord in the flesh. This was a day of fulfillment
and joy—one of many along a path also rich
in crosses. Nine months ago, she had given that
first “yes” in the garden. Now it had become a
life, a beautiful baby. It was so clear now
that everything—even the future crosses that would be her
“birth pains”—were worth it. In our lives too, there are
times when God asks us to make a choice
that we do not fully understand, and the blessing
reveals itself only later in time. Once the blessing comes,
we understand that the only way to understand God’s
plan was to live it. In this mystery, ask
Mary for the grace to believe in the blessings that
were promised in your own life, even if they
seem slow in coming. The most exquisite flowers sometimes
take the longest to develop.
Fourth Joyful Mystery:
Luke 2:22, 34, 35. When the days of
her purification were fulfilled they took him up to
Jerusalem to present him to the Lord...Simeon blessed them
and said to his Mother, "Behold, this child is
destined for the fall and for the rise of many
in Israel, and for a sign that shall be
contradicted; and thy own soul a sword shall pierce."
the Catholic Church: #527, 529
Reflection: There had never been a
presentation like the one that took place in the
Temple that day, and there never would be again.
Mary and Joseph were presenting the Only Begotten Son to
the Eternal Father, in a temple that was merely
the shadow and copy of the real temple in heaven.
They were also acknowledging that this child was not
their own, and that his first bond of kinship
was to his Heavenly Father. Mary was not one to
cling to her child with overprotective love, as some
mothers do. Yet even she, the selfless and obedient
one, was promised that a sword of sorrow would pierce
her heart on the day of separation. Why does
God give us such beautiful gifts and then ask
us to give them up? Why does he allow a
loving heart to be pierced with loss? These questions
must be brought to Mary, who suffered this sword in
a terrible way, more than any mother, any father.
Through this mystery, she can help your heart accept
what your mind cannot understand.
Fifth Joyful Mystery:
The Finding of the Child Jesus in the
Luke 2:46, 51. After three days they found Him in
the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers,
listening to them and asking them questions...And He returned
with His parents to Nazareth, and was obedient to
Catechism of the Catholic Church: #531-534
Reflection: All of the joyful
mysteries are somehow tinged with sorrow, but they are
also touched with light and glory. In the precocious
wisdom of a 12-year-old boy, Jesus gives his parents and
the teachers a glimpse of his true stature. He
knows who he is and what he came for,
even as a boy. But he did not begin by
teaching, just as he did not begin by commanding.
He began in the humble position of one who listens
and asks questions. He also began in the humility
of a boy who obeys his parents. Why does
Jesus listen and ask questions when he already knows all
of the answers with perfect certainty? And why did
he obey his mother and father when he himself
had called them into existence? Perhaps Mary also reflected on
these questions, wondering at the sweetness and respect with
which God introduces himself into our lives, as a
fellow pilgrim who lives our lives with us, whose
questions make us reflect and grow, who listens to us
with kindness and interest, and who perhaps has obeyed
us—answering our prayers, forgiving our sins in confession, coming
into our hearts in holy Communion— far more than
we have obeyed him. In this mystery, ask Mary to
help you see and touch this goodness of Jesus
in your own life.