Wednesday, October 7, 2009

OCTOBER 7 OUR LADY OF THE ROSARY

“Our Lady of the Rosary”
Artist and Date are UNKNOWN
OCTOBER 7

OUR LADY OF THE ROSARY
MEMORIAL
 

Additional Information about the Feast of the Holy Rosary [1]

Readings for the Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary

Readings and Commentary:
[2]

FIRST READING
 
Acts 1:12-14

After Jesus had been taken up into heaven,
the Apostles returned to Jerusalem
from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem,
a Sabbath day's journey away.

When they entered the city
they went to the upper room where they were staying,
Peter and John and James and Andrew,
Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew,
James son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot,
and Judas son of James.
All these devoted themselves with one accord to prayer,
together with some women,
and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.

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Commentary on
Acts 1:12-14

This passage provides part of the introductory comments of St. Luke as he begins the Acts of the Apostles. Like any well written story, he connects the events that have just taken place in his first volume – The Gospel of Luke, with what will follow. In the first verses Jesus ascended and told them to expect the gift of the Holy Spirit. In this selection the disciples with Mary the Mother of Jesus and his extended family return to Jerusalem and enter the locked room. Important to recognize is the presence not just of the apostles but of Mary, ever faithful to her son.


"Here we see Mary as the spiritual center round which Jesus' intimate friends gather: tradition has meditated on this 'tableau', and found it to depict our Lady's motherhood over the whole Church, both at its beginning and over the course of the centuries."[3]

CCC: Acts 1:14 726, 1310, 2617, 2623, 2673
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RESPONSORIAL PSALM
 
Luke 1:46-47, 48-49, 50-51, 52-53, 54-55

R. (49) The Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name.
or:
R. O Blessed Virgin Mary, you carried the Son of the eternal Father.

 
"My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior."
 

R. The Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name.
or:
R. O Blessed Virgin Mary, you carried the Son of the eternal Father.

 
"For he has looked upon his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name."
 

R. The Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name.
or:
R. O Blessed Virgin Mary, you carried the Son of the eternal Father.

 
"He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit."

R. The Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name.
or:
R. O Blessed Virgin Mary, you carried the Son of the eternal Father.


"He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty."

R. The Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name.
or:
R. O Blessed Virgin Mary, you carried the Son of the eternal Father.

 
"He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children forever."
 

R. The Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name.
or:
R. O Blessed Virgin Mary, you carried the Son of the eternal Father.

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Commentary on
Lk 1:46-47, 48-49, 50-51, 52-53, 54-55

We are given a selection from the Magnificat, the beautiful Canticle of Mary. Her song of thanksgiving and humility captures the saintliness that has become synonymous with our image of Mary the Mother of God, the Queen of Heaven, and the Mother of the Church. In her dedication of the service she offers to God as vessel of the Messiah she sets the stage for the humble birth of Jesus.


CCC: Lk 1:46-55 722, 2619, 2675; Lk 1:46-49 2097; Lk 1:48 148, 971, 2676, 2676; Lk 1:49 273, 2599, 2807, 2827; Lk 1:50 2465; Lk 1:54-55 706; Lk 1:55 422
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GOSPEL
 
Luke 1:26-38

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, full of grace! 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.

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Commentary on
Lk 1:26-38

This passage, from St. Luke’s Gospel, is the story of Mary being informed by the Archangel Gabriel that she has been chosen for the great privilege of bearing the Savior of the World. St. Mary graciously accepts this honor, although with very human fear, indicating that her free will is at play. This response makes her obedience to God’s will more powerful. It is proposed that, with this acceptance, Mary entered into a vow of perpetual virginity because of the demands of Isaiah 7:14 : “Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign: the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel."
In St. Luke’s story of the Annunciation, the Archangel Gabriel comes to Mary and tells her she will bear a son and names him Jesus (the eternal implication of this statement is made clear in the greeting which presupposes knowledge of Mary’s entire existence). Mary confirms the title “Virgin” given by the author as she questions Gabriel saying: “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?” Even though she does not understand, Mary accepts her role and is told that the Holy Spirit will be the agent of the life within her. She then utters those amazing words: "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word."
This announcement is parallel to Zechariah’s news about John the Baptist (Luke 1:5-23), which is also delivered by the Angel Gabriel. This passage clearly identifies Jesus as Son of David and Son of God, thus linking it with the messianic predictions from the Old Testament.

CCC: Lk 1:26-38 497, 706, 723, 2571; Lk 1:26-27 488; Lk 1:26 332; Lk 1:28-37 494; Lk 1:28 490, 491; Lk 1:31 430, 2812; Lk 1:32-33 709; Lk 1:32 559; Lk 1:34 484, 497, 505; Lk 1:35 437, 484, 486, 697; Lk 1:37-38 494; Lk 1:37 148, 269, 273, 276; Lk 1:38 64, 148, 510, 2617, 2677, 2827, 2856
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Reflection:
The death and resurrection of Jesus was the fulfillment of God’s promise to call us home to Him on the last day. Since that time, faithful Christians have had hope in eternal life with the father and belief that those who go before us in faith find a place in that heavenly kingdom. It is not uncommon for faith-filled Christians to ask for help from those closest to them who have gone on to the Heavenly Kingdom.


For Catholics, the Mother of Jesus, Mary, Most Holy, is our first intercessor. It is she to whom we turn in our needs because she was Beloved of God even before the birth of her son as we hear in the Gospel of St. Luke. Tradition holds that the most common form of asking for the aid of the Lord through her intercession is the Rosary, a devotional prayer popular in the Church since the middle ages but most actively spread after it was presented to St. Dominic in a vision.

The Virgin Mother, who always points us to her Son, Jesus, is implored to pray for us that we might be given what we need to fulfill our duties as faithful followers of the Triune God. Today we thank God for choosing the Blessed Mother as our model of faith and fidelity. We thank him most especially for hearing her prayers on our behalf as we practice this prayer that reminds us that the humble child of Anne and Joachim ranks first among the Saints of heaven, crowned queen of the Heavenly Realm, the perfect conduit for our prayerful supplication to the will of God.

Pax




[1] The picture is “Our Lady of the Rosary” Artist and Date are UNKNOWN
[2] Text of Readings is taken from the New American Bible, Copyright © Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Excerpts from the English translation of The Roman Missal © 1973, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved.
[3] The Navarre Bible, Gospels and Acts, Scepter Publishers, Princeton, NJ, © 2002, pp 722

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