Day 80: Summary of the Mysteries of Christ’s Life (561-570)
It’s Day 80!!
If you’ve been following along then you know that it’s MCNUGGET DAY!!
It’s the In Brief Day, and we’re so grateful for that
This has been the Mysteries of Jesus’ life
So these nuggets are going to be MYSTERY MCNUGGETS!!
That sounds bad!
Kind of like going to a chicken place (Like Popeyes!! 😁) and getting nuggets there
Mystery nuggets meaning ALL OF CHRIST’S LIFE, ALL OF HIS LIFE IS MYSTERY
And so we’re going to recap all the way from the very beginning
Where we have this great quote in Paragraph 561 from John Paul II, “The whole of Christ’s life was a continual teaching: his silences…”
So Jesus even teaches something in his SILENCE
Even in that hidden life in Nazareth that we have no idea
There was OBEDIENCE
That he grew in age and wisdom and grace
There is so much that we don’t know
And even his silence reveals something to us
Even that silence is a teaching to us
It teaches us about the OBEDIENCE
It teaches us about the goodness of FAMILY and the goodness of WORK
Paragraph 562 says, “Christ’s disciples are to conform themselves to him until he is formed in them.”
And that means WE ENTER INTO THOSE MYSTERIES
We enter into His MIRACLES
We enter into His GESTURES
We enter into His PRAYER
We enter into His LOVE FOR PEOPLE
ALL THOSE PARTS OF HIS LIFE!!
WE MEDITATE ON THEM and we CANNOT QUIT meditating on them until we have conformed ourselves FULLY to him, UNTIL HE IS FULLY FORMED IN US
Which is probably the work of a lifetime and is the work of grace
We just will highlight on the mystery of his infancy
The mystery of the shepherds in the field
The Magi being brought to him to worship him
We’re talking about the mystery of his obedience to Mary and Joseph, and his humble work
We talk about the mystery of his public life
Remember the last couple days we talked about his Baptism
We talked about the way in which Jesus was ANOINTED
And then went to BATTLE IN THE WILDERNESS for your sake and for my sake
We talk about how his obedience is culminated and fulfilled in so many ways, In his obedient “Yes” to the Father on the cross
Paragraph 570 says, “Jesus' entry into Jerusalem manifests the coming of the kingdom that the Messiah-King, welcomed into his city by children and the humble of heart, is going to accomplish by the Passover of his Death and Resurrection.”
Because tomorrow, we’re entering ARTICLE 4: JESUS CHRIST SUFFERED UNDER PONTIUS PILATE, WAS CRUCIFIED, DIED AND WAS BURIED
So here we are kind of concluding the section on the mysteries of Christ’s life
Until we enter tomorrow in the mysteries of His suffering
The mystery of His agony
The mystery of what it is for Jesus to truly suffer, to truly die, and to truly be buried
But today, MCNUGGET DAY, let’s say a prayer!!
Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in heaven, we give you thanks. We praise you so much and we thank you. Let our lives be marked by gratitude, our lives be marked by thankfulness. As we enter into your mysteries, as we reflect on your mysteries, Lord, let us not just know what the mysteries are. Let us not just know something about the details of your life, but help us to walk in those mysteries. Help us to live and breathe in the midst of those mysteries. Help us to be conformed to you in those mysteries. As you are obedient, as you love those who are lovable, and you love those who are unlovable, help us to be obedient. Help us to love those who are lovable and love those who are hard to love. Because you love us even when we are unlovable. Help us to have that same love for others that you have for us. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen”
Kind of a recap of what we’ve been talking about for the last number of days
WHICH HAS BEEN SUCH AN INCREDIBLE GIFT!!which has been such an incredible gift
St John Paul II says in Paragraph 561, “The whole of Christ’s life was a continual teaching: his silences, his miracles, his gestures, his prayer, his love for people, his special affection for the little and the poor, his acceptance of the total sacrifice on the cross for the redemption of the world, and his Resurrection are the actualization of his word and the fulfillment of Revelation.”
THIS IS SO CRITICAL!!
If all of Christ’s life is a continual teaching then all of Christ’s life CONTINUES TO TEACH US
So how do we reflect on Christ’s life?
Well, one of the ways that Christians have long reflected on Christ’s life is by READING THE GOSPELS
There are saints who would carry a copy of the Gospels with them AT ALL TIMES
And whenever there was downtime, they would pull up the Gospels and just read the Gospels
And let the life of Christ, His words, His works, His gestures, His love for people shine through the pages of the Gospels
And so that’s one GREAT WAY that you and I, in a normal way, in a normal basis
Get a little copy of the New Testament and Psalms
And just always have the Gospels at hand
How many times
And I’m convicted of this
How many times are we standing in line or waiting for something
And we pull out my phone and we scroll through the latest news of the day
Or someone’s social media feed
In that time, instead of pulling out our phone and going to social media or whatever else…
What if we just read the Gospels instead?
THAT WOULD BE POWERFUL!!
For centuries there were people who didn’t have access to the Gospels
For so many years people didn’t have access to the Gospels
They didn’t have access to the Bible
Yes, they’d hear the bible proclaimed at Mass
But it cost a large amount of money to have your own copy
And so one of the traditions that has arisen in the Church
Has been to meditate on the mysteries of Jesus’ life
But while we were meditating on those mysteries, to be praying prayers like the Our Father or the Hail Mary
THIS OBVIOUSLY IS THE ROSARY!!
The rosary is NOT ONLY a series of prayers we just repeat over and over again
It is prayers that we repeat over and over again WHILE WE MEDITATE ON THE MYSTERIES OF CHRIST’S LIFE
And so here is St John Paul II who’s talking about the whole of Christ’s life being a continual teaching then listing all the ways in which this was TRUE
St John Paul II prayed the Rosary more than anyone Fr. Mike has ever heard of
Even at the height of his busy-ness, St John Paul II prayed the Rosary in a dedicated way EVERY SINGLE DAY
Fr. Mike remembers talking with someone about the Rosary years ago and they said, “Well, you know, I’m just..the Rosary is too basic for me. I’m more advanced in my spiritual life.”
Fr. Mike remembers trying to be gentle about this and saying, “Well, ok, do you know that Saint John Paul II, again, he is a genius and also so advanced in the spiritual life, up through his death and now here in heaven, even more advanced, I imagine, that he’s prayed the Rosary every day.”
St Teresa of Calcutta (Mother Teresa) again, very far advanced in the spiritual life, prayed the Rosary EVERY SINGLE DAY
Almost all the great saints have prayed the Rosary virtually EVERY SINGLE DAY
We are NOT BEYOND THEM
And we have not so fully matured that the Rosary no longer has a place in our lives
If all of Christ’s life is a continual teaching, then why not have an opportunity to meditate on these mysteries of Jesus’ life by PRAYING THE ROSARY
IT IS REMARKABLE!!
Paragraph 562 says, “The Christ's disciples are to conform themselves to him until he is formed in them.”
Fr. Mike might have mentioned this before, a quote from a book called Salvation, by Dr. Michael Barber
He said, “Salvation is not merely salvation from hell, although it is that, but salvation is being saved from being unChristlike.”
SALVATION IS BEING SAVED FROM BEING UNCHRISTLIKE!!
So that we’re saved so that we can CONFORM OURSELVES to the Lord and they can be formed FULLY IN US and mature
And so, how do we do this?
Well, we do this through THE GRACE OF THE SACRAMENTS
But also he says, very simply, “When we have died with him and risen with him, and taken up into the mysteries of his life until we reign together with him.”
Paragraph 563 says, “No one, whether shepherd or wise man, can approach God here below except by kneeling before the manger at Bethlehem, and adoring him hidden in the weakness of the new-born child.”
We cannot approach Jesus unless we’re willing to HUMBLE OURSELVES
You probably have heard about this, but there’s the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, where Jesus was born
If you ever want to walk into the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, you have to stoop down
There’s a bunch of reasons why
Every person who walks into that Church
The door is built as such that you have to stoop down
You have to stoop over and humble yourself as you approach the birthplace of Jesus
How much more so do we need to approach Jesus himself in a posture of humility?
Paragraph 564 says, “By his obedience to Mary and Joseph, as well as by his humble work during the long years in Nazareth, Jesus gives us the example of holiness in the daily life of family and work.”
THIS IS SO CRITICAL!!
Most people are called to the vocation of marriage and the family
Most people are not necessarily called to being a priest or religious or religious brother or religious sister
Most people are called to the vocation of marriage and family
Which means that it is through that vehicle of marriage and the family that God wills to make you a SAINT
THAT IS HOW HE WANTS TO MAKE YOU A SAINT!!
And so here’s Jesus who enters into this family life and enters into work life
Think of the DAILY GRIND that Jesus experienced for 30 years of his life
Think of that HUMBLE OBEDIENCE that Jesus manifested for 30 years of his life
And that is how so many of us are called to become saints as well
So here’s this last piece…
We talked about the Kingdom of Heaven
Jesus established The Kingdom
The Church on Earth aka The Church militant
The Church Suffering aka Purgatory
And the Church Triumphant in Heaven
Jesus entrusted the keys to the church to the kingdom here on earth to Peter and to his successors
We talk about Christ’s Transfiguration that strengthens the Apostle’s faith in anticipation of the Passion
So they saw His glory before they saw His agony
Paragraph 569 says, “Jesus went up to Jerusalem voluntarily, knowing well that there he would die a violent death because of the opposition of sinners.”
JESUS WENT UP TO JERUSALEM VOLUNTARILY!!
Just sit with that for just a moment
Knowing full well that he would die a violent death there because of sinners and also for sinners
He would also die a violent death FOR YOU AND FOR ME
HE DID THIS VOLUNTARILY!!
All of Christ’s life is lived out in OBEDIENCE
Him constantly saying “Yes” to the Father for the salvation of you and me
Then remember that Jesus was thinking about us in every moment of his life
As St Paul said, “He’s the one who loved me and gave himself up for me. He voluntarily did this for you and he voluntarily did this for me.”
And we just take a moment at the end of this episode today to Thank the Lord and just give him the praise that he deserves
“Thank you, Jesus, for voluntarily walking to Jerusalem knowing exactly what you would face, and doing that for me. Thank you for doing that for us, the members of this community.”
Fr. Mike is praying FOR YOU!!
Please pray for Fr. Mike and for each other!!
I cannot WAIT to see you tomorrow!!