Meditations on the Luminous Mysteries

“The Rosary is the book of the blind, where souls see and there enact the greatest drama of love the world has ever known.
It is the book of the simple, which initiates them into mysteries and knowledge more satisfying than the education of other men.
It is the book of the aged, whose eyes close upon the shadow of this world, and open on the substance of the next.
The power of the Rosary is beyond description.”

~ Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen


The Rosary is a prayerful reflection of the Gospels. It is comprises 20 Mysteries or significant events in the life of Jesus and Mary. These events are organized into four sets of Mysteries.

The Five Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary are recited on Thursdays (except during Lent). In Mary’s Touch Program 2.39, Mike shares his journey of faith, which was nurtured by our Blessed Mother and by praying the Rosary. His love for Mary now inspires him to write contemplative prayers. Here, he shares his Meditations on the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary. To open a printer-friendly version of these meditations, click here.

The Luminous Mysteries

The Baptism of Jesus
at the Jordan
(MT 3:13–17)

Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now; for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. And when Jesus was baptized, He went up immediately from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and alighting on Him; and lo, a voice from heaven, saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

The baptism of Jesus marks the beginning of His public life. In the Luminous Mysteries, Christ reveals Himself to us in many ways. And true to His way, Jesus shows us what we must do to follow Him home to God the Father.

Jesus goes to John to receive a baptism of repentance. John prophesies about one greater than he that is to follow him. When Jesus comes to be baptized, John tries to stop Him, saying, “It is I who should be baptized by you,” but Jesus tells him it must be so to fulfill the Scriptures. Jesus shows us we must humbly receive a baptism of repentance in order to follow Him.

Then He reveals Himself and the Holy Trinity to us. As He rises from the water, John proclaims, “Behold the Lamb of God,” the skies are opened, the voice of God is heard saying, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased,” and the Holy Spirit in the form of a white dove descends upon Jesus. The Sacrament of Baptism is instituted.

In His own baptism, Jesus is calling us to follow Him. It is a personal invitation to all of us. When He reveals Himself to us, He gives us the basis of our faith and the hope of our own salvation. He is showing us how much He loves us by coming personally into our lives. Our baptism is our initiation into our faith—the beginning. In our baptism, God reveals Himself to us and personally invites us to follow Him.

Do I accept the invitation of God to follow Him, which begins at my baptism and continues each day of my life? Do I renew my baptism each day by repenting my sins, rejecting sin, and following Jesus?

I pray that each day I recall my baptism of repentance— my beginning; that I am filled with the Holy Spirit and renewed in my faith in God.


The Miracle at Cana
(JN 2:1–12)

On the third day, there was a marriage at Cana in Galilee, and the Mother of Jesus was there; Jesus also was invited to the marriage, with his disciples. When the wine failed, the Mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “O woman, what have you to do with me? My hour has not yet come.”

His Mother said to the servants, “Do whatever He tells you.”

Now six stone jars were standing there, for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. He said to them, “Now draw some out, and take it to the steward of the feast.” So they took it. When the steward of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward of the feast called the bridegroom and said to him, “Every man serves the good wine first; and when men have drunk freely, then the poor wine; but you have kept the good wine until now.” This, the first of His signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him. After this He went down to Capernaum, with His Mother and His brothers and His disciples; and there they stayed for a few days.

Jesus again reveals Himself to us in the second Luminous Mystery. When His Mother comes to Him with the dilemma that the wedding party has run out of wine, He says to her, “Dear woman, why do you involve Me?” In saying this, Jesus reveals to us that He has not come for Himself. This is not His problem. He has come to serve, not to be served. He shows compassion for the bride and the groom. He converts the water into wine—the common into the finest. Likewise, He has come to convert us, common sinners into faithful believers—the finest to be presented to the “Master of the banquet.”

Do I recognize that, like Jesus, I too am called to serve? Am I prepared to be converted from the common to the finest?

I pray that each day I see my opportunities to serve in the manner of Jesus, so that I might be converted from the common to the finest.


The Proclamation of the Kingdom and the Call to Conversion
(MK 1:14–15; MK 2:3–13; LK 7:47–50; JN 20:22–23)

Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the Gospel of God and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the Gospel.” (MK 1:14-15)

And they came, bringing to Him a paralytic carried by four men. And when they could not get near Him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above Him; and when they had made an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic lay. And when Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “My son, your sins are forgiven.”

Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, “Why does this man speak thus? It is blasphemy! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” And immediately Jesus, perceiving in His Spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, “Why do you question thus in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your pallet and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” —he said to the paralytic—“I say to you, rise, take up your pallet and go home.” And he rose, and immediately took up the pallet and went out before them all; so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!” He went out again beside the sea; and all the crowd gathered about Him, and He taught them. (MK 2:3-13)

“Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.” And He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” Then those who were at table with Him began to say among themselves, “Who is this, who even forgives sins?” And He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” (LK 7:47-50)

And when He had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” (JN 20:22-23)

Throughout the Gospels, Jesus reveals the Kingdom of God to us in various ways. But the message is always clear and consistent. We are called to God’s Kingdom through Jesus Christ. He came into our world to show us the way. We are to repent for our sins and trust in God. For He, in His mercy, will forgive our sins and draw us to Him.

The Kingdom of God is nearer to us than we often think, for it is in God Himself and in all His creation. It is not in some far-off place or time. We are called each and every day by the voice of God to follow Jesus into God’s Kingdom. We have but to trust completely in God and follow. Crossing over into the Kingdom of God is a matter of faith for which we are completely dependent on the mercy and grace of God.

Do I seek the Kingdom of God each day by reconciling myself with God and praying for His mercy? Do I follow the example of Jesus each day by trusting completely in God for all things?

I pray for the grace and mercy of God so that I might empty myself and enter into His Kingdom by turning all things over to Him.


The Transfiguration
(LK 9:28–35)

About eight days after Jesus said this, He took Peter, John, and James with Him and went up onto a mountain to pray. As He was praying, the appearance of His face changed, and His clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning. Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus. They spoke about His departure, which He was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem. Peter and his companions were very sleepy, but when they became fully awake, they saw His glory and the two men standing with Him. As the men were leaving Jesus, Peter said to Him, “Master, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” (He did not know what he was saying.) While he was speaking, a cloud appeared and enveloped them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. A voice came from the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to Him.” When the voice had spoken, they found that Jesus was alone. The disciples kept this to themselves, and told no one at that time what they had seen.

The transfiguration of Jesus reveals some portion of His true glory to us. In presenting Moses and Elijah, Jesus connects the law and the prophets to Himself for us to clearly see who He is and why He is here. In His brilliant appearance, Jesus gives us a glimpse of where He is leading us — He gives the hope of salvation from sin. The voice of God the Father confirms for us and directs us to “Listen to Him.”

Peter, James, and John want to build three tents, but Moses and Elijah vanish, and they are left alone with Jesus. This is not where Jesus is leading them. He admonishes them to not tell what they have seen until He is resurrected—He is not finished. Jesus will lead us all the way into the Kingdom of God. He revealed some small portion of His glory in His transfiguration to encourage us. He refreshes our faith and fills us with hope for the rest of our journey.

Do I recognize Jesus for who He really is and why He comes into our lives? Do I see how He reveals Himself in our world today? Am I encouraged and filled with hope so that I may follow Jesus for the rest of my journey into God’s Kingdom?

I pray that I may recognize Jesus revealed in our world and that I may be refreshed and filled with hope for the remainder of my personal journey with Christ into the Kingdom of God the Father.


The Institution of the Eucharist
(MK 14:22–25)

While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take it; this is my Body.” Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, and they all drank from it. “This is my Blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many,” He said to them. “I tell you the truth, I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it anew in the Kingdom of God.”

The institution of the Eucharist is another revelation to us. Jesus reveals His sacrifice to us—He is willingly giving up His Body and His Blood for us. He is holding nothing back from God the Father. He will completely empty Himself to show us what we must do to follow Him into the Kingdom of God. By taking the Body and Blood of Jesus into ourselves, we are given the grace and strength we need to follow Jesus where He is going. He tells us where He is going when He says “I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it anew in the Kingdom of God.” He gives us hope that by following Him, we too will share in His life and drink with Him in the Kingdom of God.

Do I receive the Eucharist in memory of Jesus, understanding what He revealed to us in His sacrifice? When I receive the Eucharist, do I allow the true living Body and Blood of Jesus Christ to enter me to give me the grace and strength I need to follow Him where He is going?

I pray that in the Eucharist I accept the true living Body and Blood of Christ to enter and dwell in me, so that I have the grace to carry me with Christ into the Kingdom of God.