With heart, soul, mind, and strength
MARK 12:28–34, By the Archbishop’s Appeal
October is dedicated to the Holy Rosary, and as we close the month, we reflect on the mysteries of the Holy Rosary and how it ties to today’s gospel reading.
“…the Lord our God is the one Lord, and you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength” Mk 12:29–30.
Archbishop Fulton Sheen said, “The Rosary is the book of the blind….where souls see and there enact the greatest drama of love the world has ever known; it is the book of the simple, which initiates them into mysteries and knowledge more satisfying than the education of other men; it is the book of the aged, whose eyes close upon the shadow of this world, and open on the substance of the next. The power of the Rosary is beyond description.”
The Joyful Mysteries
This joyful story of love commences with the Incarnation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who gave her ‘Yes’ to Archangel Gabriel, freely accepting God’s Will in her life.
The Visitation is a wonderful example of genuine hospitality—hastening to help others, recognising Jesus in everyone. The Birth of Jesus, the humblest beginning for the Son of God, the King of Kings.
The Presentation of the Child Jesus offers to God, His creation. The Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple is where we will find Jesus, in the Eucharist at Holy Mass.
The Joyful Mysteries speaks to us of God’s great love for us, how He transforms our ‘Yes’ into the most wonderful realisation of our part in His Holy Family. All God asks of us is trust His love, acknowledging the Lord our God is Lord alone.
The Luminous Mysteries
At the Baptism of Jesus, His Father announces, “This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased.” The love our Father has for His Son, made known. At the Wedding Feast, the Blessed Virgin advises, “Whatever He says to you, do it.” The Mother of our Lord asks us to heed her Son, for the best unimaginable outcome. At the Proclamation of the Kingdom, Jesus calls on us to repent, to be assured of our place with Him.
The Transfiguration of Jesus encourages us to strive for holiness. The Institution of the Eucharist is Jesus’ sacrificial presence at every Holy Mass. The Luminous Mysteries directs us to the path of holiness, through the Holy Sacraments and through obedience to Him. God loves His Son, and His Son asks, “You must love your neighbour as yourself.”
The Sorrowful Mysteries
The drama of the Passion commences with Jesus’ Agony in the Garden, where the gravity of our sins causes our Lord to sweat great drops of blood. The Scourging at the Pillar is the desecration of our bodies, when not honoured as holy temples of God.
The Crowning of Thorns draws the Precious Blood of Jesus, when we glorify everything else but God. The Carrying of the Cross weighs heavy on Jesus, when we shirk our responsibilities, placing unnecessary burdens on others.
The Crucifixion of our Lord and His death is compounded when we crush hope, dismiss dreams, extinguish joy in others.
The Sorrowful Mysteries is the collective pain we inflict, in exchange for the magnanimous love we receive. This is our opportunity to reflect, “that he is one and there is no other….”
The Glorious Mysteries
The Resurrection of Jesus reinforces God’s ultimate power over death. The Ascension of our Lord, His return to God the Father, where Jesus goes to prepare a place for us. The Descent of the Holy Spirit, the Advocate who accompanies us. The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, by her ascent to Heaven presents our prayers to her Son.
The Coronation of Mary as Queen of Heaven and Earth, our Blessed Mother who gave us the Holy Rosary as a token of love, to aid our journey on Earth. The Glorious Mysteries magnifies in our hearts the glory of God the Father, Jesus His only Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Our God who gives us life eternal, asks “To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and strength and to love your neighbour as yourself”.
Today’s Gospel advocates whom we love first, how much we ought to love God, and love for our neighbour.
Praying the mysteries of the Holy Rosary is a solemnly beautiful ritual in expressing love for God.
The repetition disciplines our minds, elevating our souls to know God, to love Him and to serve Him, uniting with God’s people in an act of love for mankind. Every bead of the Holy Rosary lovingly rolled with ‘heart, soul, mind, and strength’, draws us closer to the Kingdom of God.
The gospel meditations for October were by members of the Archbishop’s Appeal.