"You kids are not like Jesus, he would be in church saying the Rosary, but you raise a riot and keep your pastor awake!" Not a true story, but it ought to be! The Rosary came in as a devotion around the year 1000 and has taken different forms in the course of time. Most recently, Pope John Paul II suggested the addition of the 5 Mysteries of Light.
From the early origins until now, the Rosary has been a way of viewing the life and meaning of Jesus through the mind and eyes of Mary his mother. The Gospel for today’s feast takes us to the first joyful mystery, the Incarnation of God’s Son when the angel Gabriel brings God’s proposal to Mary.
The universe was more than 13 billion years developing on that day. The beautiful planet we call our home was some 5 billion years circling our sun – but now God wanted to actually become physically a part of it in becoming flesh in the womb of the Virgin Mary.
Just how far in the past the human race lost its way, we cannot be sure. But the Annunciation is the joyful news that God Himself has come to our rescue. The Son of Mary is Son of God come to redeem us.
This is a universal gift, it is meant for all human kind – this is a personal gift to each one of us. As we turn to Our Father to begin the first joyful mystery, we can express our joyful thanks that God does love even me! Our Father loves us and offers us his very Son! The Son of God loves me and delivers himself for me. He begins his mission by becoming our brother in the flesh.
Fr. Fred Sucher, C.P. is retired and lives in the Passionist community in Chicago. For many years he taught philosophy to Passionist seminarians.