Good Saturday, everyone! Peace to all of you, people of goodwill! (Note: As I'm writing this blog post, I've been listening to Catholic American liturgical singer-composer John Michael Talbot's songs on YouTube. Thanks, John. And thank you, YouTube. Thank you, good and gracious God and His Begotten Son, Jesus, our Lord and Savior! Thank you all who read this post and to all (accidental) readers from countries like Russia, Poland, Germany, France, Switzerland, Canada, Qatar, Jordan, Vietnam, Pakistan, Philippines, etc. Thank you, my dear folks and friends. Happy Holidays!)
I've just finished praying my rosary along with a video on YouTube, this morning, meditating on the Joyful Mysteries which are said on Mondays and Saturdays (except during Lent), and the Sundays from Advent to Lent. They remind us of the happy times that Jesus and Mary shared together
To recall, here are the 5 Joyful Mysteries, with short, simple explanation for those of us learning and re-learning about the Holy Rosary of our Blessed Virgin Mary, our Heavenly Mother and Mother of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior:
1. The Annunciation (For the love of humility)---
Because Mary was a very special person, God sent an angel to ask her to be the Mother of Jesus. She said, "Yes," even though she was a little bit afraid. The angel told her to name the baby Jesus.
2. The Visitation (For charity toward my neighbor)---
Mary was told by the angel that her cousin, Elizabeth, was going to have a baby, too. Mary went to visit Elizabeth to help her. Elizabeth became the mother of John the Baptist, who preached about the coming of Jesus.
3. The Nativity (For the spirit of poverty)---
Jesus was born in a stable in the city of Bethlehem. When He was born, Mary and her husband Joseph were very happy and promised to take care of Him.
4. The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple (For the virtue of obedience)---
After He was born, Mary and Joseph took Jesus to the Temple in Jerusalem. At the Temple, they presented Jesus to God and thanked God for giving them a Son to love and cherish.
5. The Finding of Jesus in the Temple (For the virtue of piety)---
When He was a little older, Jesus went to a service at the Temple with Mary and Joseph. After the service, He stayed to talk to the teachers. Mary and Joseph thought He was lost, and were very glad to find Him there.
I'll try my best to post the other Mysteries (Sorrowful, Glorious, Luminous) of the Holy Rosary on my future blog posts. Sounds like a good plan for me and you, my dear folks and friends. So, please, stand by...
Meanwhile, about yesterday's unforeseen and unexpected harrowing happening at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, USA, in which nearly thirty young children and adults were violently shot and massacred by a gunman, the whole nation mourned and prayed for all the victims and their families.
Personally, here's my reaction about yesterday's deadly school tragedy: When I arrived home from an unplanned, unexpected luncheon at Ruby Tuesday's with my fellow buddy and neighbor having the same (nick)name as mine, (after having my morning walk around the neighborhood), I was surprised to find out about it once I logged on to my laptop and eventually to Facebook. I was dumb-founded that I turned on to the TV in our family room. There it was...TV coverage of the massacre. Then, the brief and emotional statement or message from President Barack Obama in The White House. I was speechless! And teary-eyed, too, like the commander-in-chief! Then, I prayed silently to God, conveyed what I was doing on my Facebook friends that moment...
Anyway, this morning, after praying my rosary, and while using the restroom in our bedroom, I stumbled upon this article from The Little Blue Book's Advent and Christmas Seasons 2012-2013 (Six-minute reflections on the Sunday Gospels of Year C), from the writings of the late Bishop Ken Untener of the Diocese of Saginaw, MI. Since it's December 15 today, I thought the thoughts of the short reflective article is worth-sharing and so appropriate for the circumstances we're all experiencing at this moment. Here it is..."...and all flesh shall see the salvation of God." (Luke 3:6)
"In the face of all that I see as wrong with the world, I have two options. One option is to see all these problems as fatal. The world is doomed to be forever unjust and tragic, so I should simply do my best to get the most I can for myself out of the situation.
The other option is to see all creation as the recipient of the overwhelming power of God's compassion and transforming love. When I look at the world this way, I believe that every struggle for peace and justice, however small, ultimately has an effect, and whatever energy I spend to relieve suffering is worth the effort.
Christian faith calls me to choose the second option---to live my life in this world with Hope.
Not wishful thinking. Not pie in the sky.
Hope. The hope that is the theme of this Advent season (of preparing and waiting for His arrival, His coming into our lives once again)...a flesh-and-blood hope that never fades because "the Word became flesh and dwelt among us."
In light of the hope that came into the world through Jesus, the words of Isaiah take on new meaning. Let me think about those words again: "Every valley shall be filled and every mountain and hill shall be made low. The winding roads shall be made straight, and the rough ways made a smooth, and all flesh shall see the salvation of God."
Well, my dear folks and friends, let's "Be not afraid" to follow Him for He gives us rest, strength, courage and hope, and life to overcome all the turmoils and turbulence, and vicious violence in our world. Let's be in the Light. Let's stay focused on His coming once again...
This is all for now. Thanks, everyone, for reading. Until next time around. Take care and have a blessed day and weekend, everyone! As always, I pray, "May God bless us all!" May the souls of all of our faithful departed, through the mercy of God, Our Almighty Father, rest in peace. Amen. And, may the families of all the victims of the Connecticut school shooting find comfort and consolation, Light and Love. Amen.-chris a. quilpa, 15December2012