Friday, October 7, 2011

Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary

(Joel 1:13-15.2:1-2; Luke 11:15-26)

“Ten for joy, five for sorrow” described the rosary for most of its trajectory. That is, the original fifteen mysteries were divided into three equal groups featuring stories surrounding either the birth of Jesus or his paschal triumph. Few people argued for the need of reflection on the ministry of Jesus although Blessed Pope John Paul II noted the lacuna. In the year 2002 he inaugurated the luminous mysteries to help Catholics understand the words and actions of Jesus as integral to his saving mission.

Today’s gospel provides an illustration of a luminous mystery. Jesus’ proclamation of the reign of God does not go without opposition. People wonder, could his marvelous deeds be done by virtue of diabolical power? No, Jesus claims, if the devil were behind his power to save, he would not allow Jesus to remove other demons. Jesus then invites people to recognize the too-good-to-be-true truth: his authority over demonic power comes directly from on-high. He is not someone to be shunned but embraced and followed.

The rosary, which we celebrate today, may not be every Catholic’s cup of tea. But especially as we become older, we may find great consolation in reviewing the gracious events of our salvation while beseeching the Lord, especially through Mary’s intercession, for help with personal struggles.