The Luminous Mysteries
By Ivonne Hernandez
To honor Our Lady, for the month of October, I will be re-posting the Eucharistic Meditations on the Mysteries of the Rosary, one set of mysteries each Saturday.
This post includes all five meditations on the Luminous Mysteries, so it is longer than usual. I encourage you to mark this page so you can come back to it as you pray the Rosary this week.
"All the mysteries have some relation to the Eucharist, for the Eucharist completes them all. They all tend toward the Eucharist; with the help of grace we must discover what is Eucharistic in the mysteries in order to nourish our devotion toward the Most Blessed Sacrament." – St Peter Julian Eymard
1. The Baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan
”In the Eucharist we find a remedy for our ills, and a payment for the fresh debts we contract daily towards Divine justice through our sins. Our Lord offers Himself up every morning as a Victim of propitiation for all the sins of the world.”  - St. Peter Julian Eymard
"Propitiation consists in making amends to our Lord and in consoling Him. That is what our mission as adorers largely consists in. We ought to make reparation; we ought to be mediators and penitents for the sins of men. The world is so wicked that there is almost greater need of reparation than of thanksgiving. John made reparation when he said: ‘Behold the Lamb of God, behold Him Who takes away the sin of the world.’ He preached and showed the atoning Victim. He wept and sorrowed over the indifference of men toward the Savior. Listen to his complaint: ‘There has stood One in the midst of you, Whom you know not.’“  - St. Peter Julian Eymard
The mystery of the Baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan speaks to us of reparation. The beloved Son of the Father opened up the fountain of Baptism for us by His death on the Cross. “Behold, the Lamb of God, behold Him Who takes away the sin of the world.” These words from John the Baptist are repeated at every Mass as the priest elevates the Eucharist. “Christ’s sacrifice present on the altar makes it possible for all generations of Christians to be united with his offering.”  Let us then offer Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament our adoration in reparation for our sins and those of the whole world.
“The world is so wicked there is almost greater need of reparation than of thanksgiving”. These words from St Peter Julian remind us that we can and must unite our offerings to those of Christ. “The law entered in so that transgression might increase but, where sin increased, grace overflowed all the more.” (Rom 5:20) When we unite our lives to the sacrifice of Christ, our works, prayers, suffering and praise take on new value. They are now, infinite in the power of God, the vehicle of that grace that will overflow where sin abounds. Evil and darkness are but the absence of good and light. God has placed each of us in our lives at precisely the time and place He needs us, so we can bring His light to the places that are still in darkness. By uniting every aspect of our lives with the Eucharist, we fulfill our priestly duties, received through Baptism, to sanctify the world and offer sacrifice to God.
We are all sinners, and in the Eucharist, “we find a remedy for our ills, and a payment for the fresh debts we contract daily towards Divine justice through our sins.” By acknowledging our sinfulness and repenting we are able to receive forgiveness, but after our sins are forgiven, justice still demands reparation. The Catechism tells us that “the expiation of sins continues in the mystical body of Christ and the communion of saints by joining our human acts of atonement to the redemptive action of Christ, both in this life and in Purgatory.” Let us then adore and console our Lord in the Eucharist, the One the world does not know. Let us unite our voices to John the Baptist and say Behold!
2. Wedding Feast at Cana
“Why is our Lord not my center? Because He is not yet the ego of my ego, because I am not completely under His control, under the inspiration of His will; because I have desires that are competing with the desires of Jesus within me; because He does not mean everything to me. … What am I to do? I must enter into this center, abide in it, and act in it, not indeed by the sentiment of His sweetness, which does not depend on me, but by repeated attempts, by the homage of every action. … Abide in our Lord. Abide in Him through a sense of devotedness, of holy joy, of readiness to do whatever He will ask of you. Abide in the Heart and the peace of Jesus Eucharistic. “  - St. Peter Julian Eymard
The mystery of the wedding feast at Cana speaks to us of our free will. “Do whatever He tells you.” These words from Mary to the servants at the wedding echo in our hearts today. They present to us a challenge and a choice. “And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself.” (John 12:32) From the Host as from the Cross He is always drawing us to Himself, drawing us near “to bind us with the chains of His love”,  and to fill us with His Peace. It is up to us to accept His invitation, to make the Eucharist the center of our lives and to follow Him.
Only the true center of the universe can draw all things to Himself. Just like the planets revolve around the Sun and are held in its path by gravity, whatever we place at the center of our lives will pull us in its direction, and influence our path. When we choose other goods over the supreme Good, we are in reality worshiping false gods, like the god of money, the god of honor, the god of power, or the god of self. These lesser goods will pull us away from the path God chose for us, not because they are stronger in themselves, but because as we grow closer to them we distance ourselves from God. The nearer we draw to the Eucharist, the stronger we will feel its pull, and the less power these other “gods” will have over us. We must make Our Eucharistic Lord the center of our lives, and we “must enter into this center, abide in it, and act in it.”
To abide in our Lord is an act of the will. We must repeatedly strive to grow in virtue, follow the teachings of our Mother Church, and frequent the Sacraments, not only when we receive the sweetness of consolations, but especially when we do not. The enemy of our souls will continuously try to lure us with other goods, with promises of temporary relief and consolation, but we must “hold unwaveringly to our confession that gives us hope, for he who made the promise is trustworthy.” (Heb 10:23) We must remain close to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, receive Him often and spend time with Him. He will then draw us to Himself with the chains of His love and fill us with His Peace. We will learn to recognize His sweet voice and we will want nothing more than to follow Our Mother’s instructions and do whatever He tells us. He will then smile and say, “My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” (John 10:2)
3. Proclamation of the Kingdom of God
"All graces come from the Host. From His Eucharist Jesus sanctifies the world, but in an invisible and spiritual manner. He rules the world and the Church without either moving or speaking. Such must the kingdom of Jesus be in me, all interior. I must gather myself up around Jesus: my faculties, my understanding, and my will; and my senses, as far as possible. I must live of Jesus and not of myself, in Jesus and not in myself. I must pray with Him, immolate myself with Him, and be consumed in the same love with Him. I must become in Him one flame, one heart, one life with Him. …This life in Jesus is nothing other than the love of predilection, the gift of self, the intensifying of union with Him; through it we take root, as it were, and prepare the nourishment, the sap of the tree. "The kingdom of God is within you."  - St. Peter Julian Eymard
The mystery of the proclamation of the Kingdom speaks to us of our center, our hearts. The Catechism tells us that “the desire for God is written in the human heart, because man is created by God and for God; and God never ceases to draw man to himself.” This same Word Who was written in our hearts before the foundation of the world, was made flesh, dwelt among us, and continues to dwell among us in the Eucharistic Kingdom of our hearts.\
Before the foundation of the world, God held each of our hearts in His hand and wrote in them the name of His beloved Son, marking us as His chosen people. This Word was etched in our hearts with the indelible ink of the Blood of the Lamb and sealed with the fire of the Holy Spirit. It is our center, our true identity. The Catechism tells us that “the heart is our hidden center, beyond the grasp of our reason and of others; only the Spirit of God can fathom the human heart and know it fully.” (CCC. 2563) We all have a desire, a need to be known. Our hearts are restless, searching to be fulfilled.
Who am I? I am a mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend. We define our identity in relation to others. It is through the mirror of a loving parent’s eyes that an infant knows she is loved and cherished. Since we are each made in the image of God, we should be able to reflect God to each other, but our mirrors have become distorted through sin. We walk through life as if through a house of mirrors, where we seem too tall, too short, too fat or too skinny. We look at our neighbor through the same mirrors and their reflection is distorted too.
It is only in the mirror of the Eucharist that we will find our true identity. It is here where we will hear the Truth spoken to our hearts. “You formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother’s womb.” (Psalm 139) It is in that truth we will find rest and in union with Him that the Kingdom of God will take root in our hearts. “I made known to them your name and I will make it known, that the love with which you loved me may be in them and I in them.” (John 17:26)
4. The Transfiguration of Jesus
"Whereas on Thabor Jesus had rent the veil that covered His Divinity, here He conceals even His humanity and transfigures it into the appearances of bread, to the point that He no longer seems to be either God or Man, and does not act outwardly anymore. He buries Himself in the Species, which become the tomb of His faculties. Out of humility He veils His humanity which is so kind and beautiful. He is so united to the accidents that He seems to be their substance. The bread and wine have been changed into the Body and Blood of the Son of God. Do you see Him in this transfiguration of love and humility? We know that the sun exists even though a cloud hides it from us. Jesus never ceases being God and perfect Man, although hidden behind the cloud of bread and wine. Just as everything was glorious in the first transfiguration, so in the second everything is lovable. We see Him no longer, nor do we touch Him; but He is there with all His gifts. Love, grace, and faith pierce the veils and can recognize His face. Faith is the eye of the soul; to believe is really to see."  - St. Peter Julian Eymard
The mystery of the Transfiguration speaks to us of transformation. The verb to transfigure is defined in the dictionary as to “transform outwardly and usually for the better.” It is easy to see that in the Transfiguration of Jesus on Mount Thabor, where He revealed His glory, there was an outward change for the better. St Peter Julian tells us that in the Eucharist Jesus “transfigures even His humanity into the appearances of bread.” How is this change for the better? Jesus always preferred humility to glory because His goal is to bring us near Him. If we look with the eyes of faith, we can see that this “transfiguration of love and humility” is the greatest transformation of all. We can draw near to Him now, so near as to consume Him, thus beginning our own transformation into Himself.
In Matthew’s account of the Transfiguration, we hear that the disciples “fell prostrate and were very much afraid. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, ‘Rise, and do not be afraid.’” (Mat 17:6) Jesus put aside His glory once again to come down and take care of their needs. This is what He does every day on the altar. He comes down to us, no matter how far down we have fallen, to heal us with His touch and to take away our fear. It is in the Eucharist where He brings “every spiritual blessing in the Heavens” (Eph 1:3) wrapped in a humble lovable package. He brings us the gift of Himself. We just need to look with the eye of faith and we will see His face.
The goal of this transfiguration is our own transformation. We are so thirsty for the glory of Heaven that often we are easily deceived and settle for less. We will go after anything that sparkles in the desert only to find it was all just a mirage. The fountain of living water is hidden, buried down deep in the well of the Species in the Eucharist. It is here where our thirst will be quenched. When we remain hidden in this well of love, we will be transformed ourselves, and we will say with Peter, “Lord, it is good that we are here.” (Mat 17:4)
5. The Institution of the Eucharist
"ON THAT day, then, our Lord remembered that He was a father, and He wanted to make His will; He was about to die. What a solemn act this is in a family! It is, so to speak, the last act of one's life, and one that extends beyond the grave. A father gives what he has. He cannot give himself because he does not belong to himself. He bequeaths something to each of his children as well as to his friends. He gives what he prizes the most. But our Lord would give His very Self!
He became bread; His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity took the place of the substance of the bread which was offered up. We do not see Him, but we have Him. Our Lord Jesus Christ is our inheritance. He wants to give Himself to everybody, but not everybody wants Him. There are some who would want Him, but they will not submit to the conditions of good and pure living which He has laid down; and their malice has the power to render God's bequest null and void. “  - St. Peter Julian Eymard
The mystery of the Institution of the Eucharist speaks to us of our dignity as children of God. In the Eucharist Jesus left us both a new covenant and a new testament in His Blood. By the New Covenant in His Blood Christ restored our relationship with the Father, and in His last will and testament He left us the total gift of Himself in the Eucharist. It is by accepting this gift and by entering into a personal relationship with God that we can transcend the likeness of our earthly parentage and be transformed into the likeness of Our Heavenly Father.
“Our Lord remembered He was a father.” These words from St Peter Julian invite us to see Jesus in a new light. In the Eucharist we have our God, Lord, friend, brother, teacher and spouse, but father? Jesus answers, “If you know me, then you will also know my Father. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” (John 14:7) Jesus brings every Heavenly grace with Him in the Eucharist; He brings us the Father and the Holy Spirit, who are always dwelling in Him. We are invited to enter into this heavenly relationship, to be caught between the gaze of the Father and the Son, in the embrace of the Holy Spirit. “The dignity of man rests above all on the fact that he is called to communion with God.” (CCC, 27)
“I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me.” (2 Cor 6:18) This is what God tells us from the Eucharist. He gives Himself completely to us, and His desire is that we give ourselves completely to Him in return. During the Last Supper Jesus prays “that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us.” (John 17:21) This is His Will for us. He wants to heal the wounds from our earthly parentage, and restore us in our dignity as children of God. When we receive Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament and let Him speak to our hearts, we can hear the truth of who we are. “I have called you by name: you are mine.” (Isa 43:1)
 Eymard, The Real Presence, p. 147
 Eymard, The Real Presence, p. 287
 (CCC, 1368)
 Eymard, The Real Presence, p. 141
 Eymard, The Real Presence, p. 185
 Eymard, The Real Presence, p. 142
 Eymard, The Real Presence, p. 280
 https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/transfigure, 4/23/17
 Eymard, The Real Presence, p.42
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We are Ivonne J. Hernandez, Rick Hernandez and Laura Worhacz, Lay Associates of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament, and brothers and sisters in Christ.