The Joyful Mysteries

 

 

The Annunciation

At the announcement that she would give birth to "the Son of the Most High" without knowing man, by the power of the Holy Spirit, Mary responded with the obedience of faith, certain that "with God nothing will be impossible:" "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word." Thus, giving her consent to God's word, Mary becomes the mother of Jesus. Espousing the divine will for salvation wholeheartedly, without a single sin to restrain her, she gave herself entirely to the person and to the work of her Son; she did so in order to serve the mystery of redemption with him and dependent on him, by God's grace.

 

The Visitation

Called in the Gospels "the mother of Jesus," Mary is acclaimed by Elizabeth, at the prompting of the Spirit and even before the birth of her son, as "the mother of my Lord." In fact, the One whom she conceived as man by the Holy Spirit, who truly became her Son according to the flesh, was none other than the Father's eternal Son, the second person of the Holy Trinity. Hence the church confesses that Mary is truly "Mother of God" (Theotokos).

 

 

The Birth of the Lord

The Word became flesh so that thus we might know God's love:"In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him." "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."

 

 

The Presentation in the Temple

The presentation of Jesus in the temple shows him to be the firstborn Son who belongs to the Lord. With Simeon and Anna, all Israel awaits its encounter with the Savior--the name given to this event in the Byzantine tradition. Jesus is recognized not only as the long-expected Messiah, the "light to the nations" and the "glory of Israel," but also as "a sign that is spoken against." The sword of sorrow predicted for Mary announces Christ's perfect and unique oblation on the cross that will impart the salvation God had "prepared in the presence of all peoples."

 

 

 

The Finding in the Temple

The finding of Jesus in the temple is the only event that breaks the silence of the Gospels about the hidden years of Jesus. Here Jesus lets us catch a glimpse of the mystery of his total consecration to a mission that flows from his divine sonship: "Did you not know that I must be about my Father's work?" Mary and Joseph did not understand these words, but they accepted them in faith. Mary "kept all these things in her heart" during the years Jesus remained hidden in the silence of an ordinary life.

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Acknowledgments:
English translation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church for the United States of America, copyright 1994, United States Catholic Conference, Inc. Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Used with permission.
Scripture quotations are adapted from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible © 1946, 1952, 1971, and the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, © 1989, by the Division of Christian Education of the national Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A.
Excerpts from Vatican Council II: The Conciliar and Post Conciliar Documents, New Revised Edition edited by Austin Flannery, OP, © 1992. Costello Publishing Company, Inc., Northport, NY.
Dominican Nuns, Monastery of Our Lady of the Rosary, 335 Doat Street, Buffalo, NY 14211-2199.

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