Five New Mysteries and the Year of the Rosary
Thursday October 17, 2002 Homily by Fr. Robert Altier Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time
Reading (Ephesians 1:1-10) Gospel (St. Luke 11:47-54)
In the Gospel reading today, Our Lord chastises the lawyers again not only for not entering into Heaven but removing the key so no one else could enter either. They had taken away knowledge and they refused to teach the people the truth. Saint Paul, on the other hand, tells us in the first reading that in Christ we have been given the knowledge of the mystery of the Will of God. The Will of God, that mystery that he speaks of, is the mystery that the Gentiles are coheirs with the Jews, that now the mysteries of Heaven are opened, the way to Heaven, the key to Heaven is provided - the knowledge of how to get there.
Our Holy Father, as I mentioned at the end of Mass yesterday, has released a new document and I think it is rather pertinent. It is called Rosarium Virginis Mariae, "The Rosary of the Virgin Mary". It is a 24-page document about the Holy Rosary, and in this he has laid out for us that there are five new mysteries of the Holy Rosary that he calls the Luminous Mysteries. They are the mysteries that deal with the public life of Our Lord from the time between the Finding in the Temple and the time when we pick up with the Sorrowful Mysteries in the Agony of the Garden. And so he says the following: "The five mysteries will be: First, the Baptism of Our Lord in the Jordan River; second, His Self-Manifestation at the Wedding Feast at Cana; third, His Proclamation of the Kingdom of God and His Call to Conversion; fourth, His Transfiguration; and fifth, the Institution of the Most Holy Eucharist, the sacramental expression of the paschal mystery."
And the Holy Father says the following: "According to the current practice, Monday and Thursday are dedicated to the Joyful Mysteries, Tuesday and Friday to the Sorrowful, Wednesday and Saturday and Sunday to the Glorious. Where might the mysteries of Light be inserted? If we consider that the Glorious Mysteries are said on both Saturday and Sunday - and Saturday has always had a special Marian flavor - the second weekly meditation of the Joyful Mysteries, the mysteries in which Mary is especially pronounced, could be moved to Saturday. Thursday, then, would be free for meditating on the Mysteries of Light." So today is the first day that we can meditate on these new mysteries. Every Thursday will now be in the Rosary the meditation of the Luminous Mysteries or the Mysteries of Light. Saturday now will be the day that we will meditate upon the Joyful Mysteries. A little bit of a shift, but such beautiful mysteries upon which we can meditate.
Our Holy Father, in his wisdom, has also provided that we are now in what he has proclaimed the Year of the Rosary in this same document. From October of 2002 through October of 2003 will be the Year of the Most Holy Rosary. I do not think this was something that was just done arbitrarily; I think the Holy Father has a pretty good idea of what is going on in the world. Recall, back a few hundred years ago, that the Holy Father had asked that all the people would pray the Rosary because of the situation with the Moslems trying to destroy the Christian faith and overrun Europe. Well, today they have their sights set on a little bit more than Europe - they are trying to take over the world, as their Koran tells them they must. And so, they are striving and doing quite a good job of it, in fact, to overcome. So the Holy Father has asked us now as we are about to embark on war with the Moslem nations that we would pray the Rosary. Our Lady is going to be the one who will overcome.
Now we need to understand that the Moslem religion is not just some other form of religion that is some pagan thing. It is a heresy. Remember that the Moslems broke away from the Catholic Church, so this is a heresy and they are trying to destroy the truth with their version of lies. This must be destroyed, and it will be. It is going to be destroyed, not with armaments, but by the Rosary, by Our Lady. She is the one who is going to bring the Moslems to conversion, and she is the one who will bring them back home. And not only the Moslems but the Protestants as well. She is the one who will gather them all for her Son and put them all together so there will be one flock and one Shepherd, and all will be enlightened by the truth.
With that in mind, it is most fitting then that we have these Mysteries of Light so we can meditate upon these great mysteries of Our Lord's life, and that others will be enlightened as well. All part of that great mystery of which Saint Paul spoke in the first reading, the mystery that the Gentiles would be coheirs with the Jews. These new mysteries help us to understand the steps that Our Lord took to bring about the fulfillment of that great mystery. Each of the mysteries of the Rosary, twenty of them now, help us to understand the steps along the path, all small mysteries in that one great mystery.
For us, it is incumbent that we pray - especially the Holy Rosary - for the conversion of sinners, for the salvation of souls, and that this mystery of God's Will would be fulfilled, that all would be brought into one in Christ where we will glorify God the Father with His Son and the Holy Spirit. That is the only thing that matters: that all people will come to recognize Christ and know salvation for their souls.
* This text was transcribed from the audio recording of a homily by Father Robert Altier with minimal editing.