Based on the homilies of Don Fabio Rosini on the Sunday readings,
broadcast each week on Vatican Radio
(Please note that these reflections were not written by Don Fabio, but were inspired by his homilies) 

Each mystery of the Rosary is accompanied by a number of reflections. Any one of these may be sufficient to help you reflect on the entire decade.

The Glorious Mysteries

First Mystery: The Resurrection
1. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus gives us a code of behaviour that seems impossible for us. We are not to even look at other people with anger or lust. This kind of conduct is impossible for us unless we have the life of Easter - the life of Jesus - inside us. The resurrection concerns what will happen after life, but it also concerns the life that Jesus is giving me the power to live today. To live this life of Easter I must bend to Jesus in humility and invite him into my life.

2. In everything that we do we must live Easter. We must go beyond the here and now and follow Jesus towards the Father. Easter is a call to action, a call to follow Jesus beyond the absurdities and preoccupations of this life and to focus our existence on heavenly things. It is a call to leave behind the things that belong to the phase of death, a call to stop making absolutes out of ourselves and the things that we possess. In every moment of our lives we must undergo the growth and evolution towards the Father that is Easter.

3. How we are fixated with passing material things, the praise and esteem of others! The resurrection is a call to look beyond all these transitory things that will pass. In every moment of our lives we must undergo the growth and evolution towards the Father that is Easter. Jesus asks Mary Magdalen not to cling to him because “I must go to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God”. Just as Jesus is passionately directed towards heavenly things, so must we.

4. There is perfect continuity between the crucifixion of Jesus and his resurrection. By our sins Jesus was crucified. He submitted himself to death out of unconditional love for us. His resurrection is the perfect continuation of this saving work. Out of love for us God raises Jesus to life – and all of us with him! Am I preoccupied by my sinfulness? Do I think that they put an obstacle between me and God? But look at how Jesus has loved me to the point of death! He has borne those very sins that preoccupy me! In his resurrection he has transformed those dark aspects of me into light! If I am inclined to think that sin and death have ultimate finality, then let me contemplate the empty tomb. The emptiness of this tomb shows that sin and death have disappeared. The love of God has the final say and it is an eternal one.

5. Like the Apostles, we are all locked in inner rooms behind barriers of fear. This fear is at the background of all our sinful activity. Our obsession with our own preservation drives us to engage in activity that is harmful to others and ultimately to ourselves. How do we escape from this closed room of sin and fear? We are not capable of escaping using our own methods. Self-analysis and psychological techniques can only take us so far. The forgiveness of sins is something that only the Lord can do. In the Gospel, Jesus appears in the closed room and says "Peace with you!" He shows them his wounds of love and commands them to bring his pardon to others. We too need to have Jesus in our midst. We must look to him, listen to his word, and welcome him wholeheartedly into our inner enclave of sin and fear.

6. Before his Passion, Jesus purifies the temple, overturning the moneychangers’ tables. The real temple that is to be purified is the heart of man. There is no Passover without the Red Sea that saves the new man and destroys the old man; there is no Easter without chasing away the money-changer, the consumer-mentality, the greed and possessiveness that are present in our hearts. Easter is a time in which we are drawn to new life, and this process requires the loss and the purification of that which obstructs life. Jesus has a burning zeal to purify our hearts of the things that obstruct life. He wishes us to rid our hearts of those things that are incompatible with Easter. There cannot be new life unless the old life is left behind. The human being, who loves material things, destroys the temple of God. But in God this temple can be rebuilt and resurrected.

Second Mystery: The Ascension
1. At the end of Jesus' earthly journey, during which he overcame the power of sin and death, he ascends into heaven and sits at the right hand of the Father. But this should not be understood as some kind of detachment from earthly affairs. The "right hand" of the Father refers to the power of God. To be seated at God's right hand means to be the one who exercises the power of God. The throne on which Jesus sits is not a place of rest but the place from which he accomplishes the saving work of God. Jesus ascends therefore, not to rest, but to become Lord, invested in power, working through history and guiding history. With this authority, and through the Church, Jesus confirms with signs the word that is preached by the apostles. That which we celebrate in the Ascension of the Lord is fundamentally the power of Jesus Christ. In the name of the Lord Jesus, from now on, the Church will be able to perform marvellous acts.

2. The Ascension is one of the articles of the Creed and has immense significance for each one of us personally. All of our actions are directed towards goals. That is the sort of creatures that we are. But if the goals are false or illusory, then our lives are chaotic and meaningless. The Ascension of Jesus makes our true final goal crystal clear! Jesus is fully human and the Ascension tells us that his (and our) final goal is to be with the Father in heaven. How many false objectives pull us this way and that! We have wrong goals for our bodies, our intellects, our possessions and our relationships. The end result is that our lives are bland and without substance, or are chaotic and tragic. We are like sailors in a wild and desolate sea. We need a point of reference to orient our lives, and that point of reference is God the Father! All of our actions should be directed by a simple criterion: “Is this choice something that is compatible with heaven? Is this something that leads me to heaven?” The things of this world must never become ends in themselves. All of us are called to eternity!

3. Sometimes we ask ourselves where the world is going, how it will all end. We wonder what our mission in life is. Our task is to place our feet in the shoes that God has assigned for us and walk the simple path that he has opened before us. But what is our mission exactly? Should we seek to defend the image of the Church? Are we to attack the errors found in other philosophies/spiritualities? No, our mission is not to defeat other people by the force of our intellectual argument but to generate new life in them. We generate new life in others by proclaiming a word that will help them to embark on a relationship with God. How wonderful is the dignity that the Lord gives us! He permits us to share in his divine work of generating new life! The Lord did not say “Go out to the whole world and organise intellectual conferences”. Our mission is to go out and generate new children for God, children in the faith.

Third Mystery: The Descent of the Holy Spirit
1. To help us on the way to the Father, Jesus bequeaths us with a precious gift, a new garment that descends on us from high. This garment is the Holy Spirit. After the Fall, Adam and Eve dressed themselves with leaves, the things of the earth. We all cover ourselves with the things of the earth! We dress ourselves with our successes, the way we look, our talents, our public image. These are just ways to cover the vulnerability and poverty that all of us feel. When we are clothed with the Holy Spirit, by contrast, we are clothed with the knowledge that God loves us and that everything is taken care of by his wonderful providence.

2. Where do we receive this new garment of the Holy Spirit? After the Ascension the disciples gathered continually to praise God. We must do the same. It is in the liturgical gatherings of the Church that we encounter God, listening to his word and receiving the power of Jesus through the sacraments. Gradually, step by step, slowly but surely, bit by bit, we are “clothed with power from on high”. Then we begin to live as children of God, leaving all things to his providence.

3. The term “Paraclete” signifies the one who stands close to us and gives us counsel. In order to have the Holy Spirit close to us, we must adhere to the words of Jesus. This is the kind of relationship that the Lord wants to have with us! If we love someone, we cherish and contemplate their words. How can we say we love Jesus if we do not treasure and esteem his words, bringing them to fruition in our lives? 

4. Once we adhere to the words of Jesus, then God, through the gift of the Holy Spirit, comes to dwell with us. In the Old Testament God was present in the Temple. Now, through the Holy Spirit, he wishes to take up residence in our hearts, in the profoundest core of our being. But how can God dwell in our hearts if we are not adhering to his words and cherishing them?

5. The book of Acts tells us how the Holy Spirit descended in the form of tongues of fire and the disciples were driven out on the street to preach the good news. Their preaching was understood by people from different parts of the world, as if each listener was hearing the words in his own language. Our ability to communicate with others is enabled when we stop talking about ourselves and start talking about the salvific action of God. The greatest barrier to communication is the fact that our discourse is largely in the service of our own egos. Once we stop trying to attract attention to ourselves, once we stop seeking the admiration of others, then we develop the capacity to speak in a way that will be readily welcomed by our listeners.

6. "When the Spirit of truth comes, he will lead you to the complete truth, since he will not be speaking from himself, and he will tell you of the things that are to come". It is interesting that the complete truth is learned by following someone who does not speak of himself. He who speaks of himself has a different kind of spirit, the spirit of pride and self-conceit. The spirit of love, the spirit of God, speaks of Christ and speaks of the Father. He who is truly free is able to give the gift of life to others, but the spirit of evil is a consumer of life, who wishes us all to become consumers as well, bottomless pits that seek affirmation, reward, compensation, material possessions. The Holy Spirit, by contrast, teaches us to speak of the other, to speak of Christ and to speak of God.

7. Maybe sometimes we wonder why the gift of the Spirit seems to be absent from our lives. We hear of Spirit-filled people doing wonderful things and we ask ourselves why that is not the case with us. Scripture emphasizes that the Spirit is received only after one has first welcomed the word of God. In the Gospel of John Jesus says, “If you love me you will keep my commandments; I will ask the Father and he will send you another Advocate to be with you forever.” How wonderful it would be to have this Advocate! But He comes to us gradually and only when we welcome the word of God. The question then is how do we welcome the word that the Lord is addressing to us? We must contemplate on this matter and discern the ways in which God is speaking to us in our lives. 

Fourth Mystery: The Assumption of our Lady into Heaven
1 The Lord prepared Our Lady for sanctity from the first moment of her conception. Her Assumption is God’s seal on the holiness of her life. He calls each one of us to sanctity as well, and he has done so from our conception. In every moment of our lives, he provides the grace that has the potential to lead us to purity and wholeness. Our Lady responded to all of those graces. May we too learn to respond with the same generosity.

2. Mary was called to fulfil a mission, and she did it so perfectly that she became the first-fruits of the saving power of the resurrection. Each one of us is also called to fulfil a wonderful mission, the unique and personal mission that the Lord has entrusted to each one of us. The Lord has prepared us for this mission all her lives. To discover and accept it, we must become like Mary and say "Let it be done onto me according to your word".

3. We are called to be pure and faithful followers of the Lord. But too often we follow the corrupt ways of the flesh, seeking our own advancement in the eyes of others, filled with pride and ambition, pursuing our own projects at the expense of the projects of the Lord. Mary’s Assumption is the confirmation that she followed Jesus perfectly in all things.

Fifth Mystery: The Coronation of Our Lady as Queen of Heaven
1. To be crowned a monarch is usually to be bestowed with great honour and glory, but the honour of heaven is so different to the honour of this world! Our Lady’s coronation does not derive from her exalted birth right but because of her humble submission to the word of God: “Let what you have said be done onto me”.

2. Mary is crowned with glory because she shares in the glory of Christ, which is the Cross. The glory of Jesus is not the glory associated with the praise and recognition of the masses; it consists in emptying himself completely for others. Mary too emptied herself for God and the nascent Church, and she too shares in Christ’s glory.

3. Mary is crowned Queen of heaven despite the fact that she never once left her native land, despite her lowly education, and despite the fact that she never consorted with the rich and powerful of this world. She is a humble girl who lived a life of simplicity and poverty, bearing her only child in a shed used for animals. But she stands exalted above all peoples and all times because of the perfect manner in which she followed the Lord.

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