Every time I pick up Rosary Beads I notice the crucifix.
Sometimes in the middle of the night, even without waking, I feel the cross with the figure, the dead Christ, and remember that I fell asleep after only a few Hail Marys, perhaps thumbing through the Joyful, Luminous or Glorious Mysteries. But it’s the Sorrowful Mysteries that come to mind as I hold the crucifix.
These mysteries pick up after Jesus’ Institution of the Eucharist at the last Supper, (the Fifth Luminous Mystery) and now we move through these five central experiences of sorrow in the life of Jesus.
First Sorrowful Mystery – Jesus’ Agony in the Garden
Second Sorrowful Mystery – Jesus is Scourged at the Pillar
Third Sorrowful Mystery – Jesus is crowned with thorns
Fourth Sorrowful Mystery – Jesus carries his Cross
Fifth Sorrowful Mystery – Jesus dies on the Cross
Because we all at times experiences tastes of human tragedy and personal suffering, not only the life of Jesus through the experience of Mary in the Rosary, but also in the ups and downs our own journey, we don’t find it too difficult to connect with Jesus’ suffering and death. The territory is familiar and familiar but filled with hope since the heart of the Christian experience is relationship with the God who in Jesus Christ carries us through suffering and death to resurrection.
When I hold the crucifix, especially in grey and dark days and nights, I understand anew that death and the experiences in life that feel deathly, are (when live in relationship with Jesus) the pathway to more abundant life both now and eternally.
There is always hope. That fact is the heart of our Christian faith.
Pope Francis in his reflections on the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary writes:
“Christians know that suffering cannot be eliminated, yet it can have meaning and become an act of love and entrustment into the hands of God who does not abandon us; in this way it can serve as a moment of growth in faith and love. By contemplating Christ’s union with the Father even at the height of his sufferings on the cross (cf. Mk 15:34), Christians learn to share in the same gaze of Jesus….
To those who suffer, God does not provide arguments which explain everything; rather, his response is that of an accompanying presence, a history of goodness which touches every story of suffering and opens up a ray of light. Pope Francis LF 56-57.
- Bishop Robert Barron leads The Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary. at this link.
- Follow the CREATE EVENT link at the bottom of this page to initiate a cafe or bar gathering in your own town, and visit the VIEW CALENDAR link to see if there are gatherings near you.
- Listen to the FFF HOMILY STUDIO reflecting on today’s scriptures at this link.