The Rosary Peering into a Catholic Prayer

Dec 25, 2020

The Joyful Mysteries- The Annunciation

Make the Sign of the Cross:

In the name of the Father {touch forehead}, and of the Son {touch chest}, and of the Holy {left shoulder} Spirit {right shoulder}. Amen

The Apostles Creed: 

(12 statements summarizing Christian beliefs and comprised entirely of scripture)

I believe in God, the Father almighty, I believe in God, 
(Mt 5 :45)
Creator of heaven and earth, (Gen 1: 1;  Rom 1: 20)
And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, (Mt 3: 17;  Phil 2: 12)
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, (Lk 1: 35)
born of the Virgin Mary, (Lk 2: 7)
suffered under Pontius Pilate, (Jn 19: 16)
was crucified, died, and was buried. (Jn 19: 29 – 42)
He descended into hell; (1 Pet 3: 19 – 20)
on the third day He rose again from the dead, (Mt 28:1-10; Jn 20:11-18)
He ascended in heaven, (Lk 24: 51)
and sits at the right hand of God, (Heb 1: 3)
the Father almighty; (Mk 14: 36)
from thence He shall come again (Mt 16: 27;  Acts 10: 39;)
to judge the living and the dead. (1 Cor 15: 51)
I believe in the Holy Spirit, (Jn 14: 15 – 20;  Acts 1: 7 – 8)
the Holy Catholic Church, (Mt 16: 18 – 19;  Eph 5: 26-27;  Col 1: 24)
the communion of Saints, (Mt 28: 19 – 20; 2 Cor 11: 13; 1 Cor 15: 33)
the forgiveness of sins, (Jn 20: 22 – 23)
the resurrection of the body, (1Cor 15: 51 – 54;  1 Thes 4: 13 – 18)
and life everlasting. (1 Jn 5: 20)



The Our Father: 

(Jesus's instruction on prayer in Matthew 6: 9-13 and Luke 11: 2-4)

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses as forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. Amen.  


Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not bring us to the time of trial, but rescue us from the evil one. Amen.  (Matthew 6: 9-13)

Thre Hail Mary:

(We echo the greetings from both Gabriel and Elizabeth, then as we would look to our mother for comfort, so too, we beseech our Blessed Lord's mother)

Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. (And coming to [Mary], he said, “Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you - Luke 1:28) Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. ( [Elizabeth] cried out in a loud voice and said, “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb - Luke 1: 42) Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. (this, the actual petition or prayer was added during the sixteenth century) Amen. 



The Mystery:

In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, “Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” But Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?” And the angel said to her in reply, “The holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; for nothing will be impossible for God.” Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her. (Luke 1: 26-38)



What a beautiful beginning to a journey through the Rosary. Let us ponder the first few words of this most beloved prayer: 

"Hail, Mary, full of grace" - Mary, named Miriam after the sister of Moses (The Rosary Handbook - Mitch Finley), would have been well versed on angels from Hebrew Scripture. They appear over one-hundred times in the Old Testament beginning in Genesis. Our Blessed Lord has been preparing Mary's path since before she was even conceived, and now He sends His heavenly messenger to greet her. Her time has come to let that blessed grace pour outward.

"the Lord is with you" - These words would have also been familiar to Mary. They would have signaled to her it is now time to play a crucial role in God's plan of salvation. God has used these words before many times in the Old Testament to bring comfort to those He calls upon - they are not alone, and neither is Mary.

As Gabriel continues, Mary's crucial role becomes clear - she carries within her the awaited salvation for her people. In the most humble of ways, she only asks, "How can this be?" As Gabriel unfolds the mystery, she silently listens. According to St. Bernard of Clairvaux, all the angles and saints would have been holding their breath (Praying the Rosary Like Never Before - Edward Sri), but not God. This child He has filled to the brim with His grace recognizes her life unfolding. I often wonder if, during her life, she felt inside a waiting - a knowing that she was being prepared for something? I love to imagine God smiling at this moment as her destiny comes to fruition, for He knows well her response, He's known forever. 

And, just like that, unyielding trust leaks from her lips, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word." 


As we end today in prayer, imagine an angel at your side. Now, imagine him beckoning you with familiar words, "the Lord is with you." You recognize now that you are to play a crucial role in God's plan - how do you respond? 

God calls on us every day to play a crucial role in this world. That role is often uncomfortable, outside of our comfort zone, inconvenient, or may be deemed by us to be insignificant. Yet, God has been preparing you for this very day, be reassured by the angel's words...what is God asking?

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