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October 10

A mention of the light getting through the cracks will have many readers recalling Leonard Cohen’s Anthem with its best known lyric line: “There is a crack, a crack in everything. That’s how the light get’s in.”

This week I have been savouring the text of an international retreat given last weekend with the theme “You are not lacking in any spiritual gift” and an opening sentence: “Aware of the potential difference between our nothingness and His grace, we ask the Holy Spirit to widen the crack in our heart so that the light of His presence will not meet obstacles in us.”

And today Food For Faith begins a week of focus on the second set of five Mysteries of the Rosary, the Mysteries of Light, introduced to the Rosary only in 2002 and therefore unknown to my grandparents who taught me to pray the Rosary, and known today as the Luminous (ie giving off light) Mysteries of the Rosary.

These five decades follow the five Joyful Mysteries which focus on the early years of Jesus’ life: (Annunciation, Visitation, Birth of the Lord, Presentation of the child Jesus in the Temple, and the Finding of the twelve-year-old Jesus), and preceeding the Sorrowful Mysteries (beginning with Jesus’ Agony in the Garden) and the Glorious Mysteries (beginning with the Resurrection of Jesus).

The Luminous mysteries complete the life-story of Jesus beginning with the baptism of Jesus.

First Luminous Mystery:    The Baptism of Jesus
Second Luminous Mystery:    The Wedding Feast at Cana
Third Luminous Mystery:    Jesus’ Proclamation of the Reign of God
Fourth Luminous Mystery:    The Transfiguration of Jesus
Fifth Luminous Mystery:    The Last Supper

In preparation for this week I’ve been thinking that my problem is not with the light but rather with my ability to receive the light.

Jesus in his earthly ministry brings divine light to every human situation.

Take a moment to think about that… In EVERY situation that we find ourselves in, Jesus is bringing divine light.

My problem is that I am so programmed to experience God in the virtuous, the holy and the expected people and events, that I fail to recognise Jesus the light in the people who annoy me or the situations that I consider to be unwanted or unwarranted.

But that’s the point: In Jesus God is with us in EVERY moment and EVERY situation bringing light to EVERY feeling of darkness.

Come to think of it I never notice the light when I’m surrounded by it during the day. I noticed light only in the moment in which it breaks through darkness.

While we know Jesus to be “light of the world” it is easy to spend time in the midst of our own struggle looking for light on a distant horizon instead of gazing within to the seeds of new life and hope that are taking root and growing in the soil of our suffering.

John Paul II in introducing the Luminous Mysteries in 2002 writes:

“Certainly the whole mystery of Christ is a mystery of light. He is the “light of the world” (Jn 8:12). Yet this truth emerges in a special way during the years of his public life, when he proclaims the Gospel of the Kingdom. In proposing to the Christian community five significant moments – “luminous” mysteries – during this phase of Christ’s life, I think that the following can be fittingly singled out: (1) his Baptism in the Jordan, (2) his self-manifestation at the wedding of Cana, (3) his proclamation of the Kingdom of God, with his call to conversion, (4) his Transfiguration, and finally, (5) his institution of the Eucharist, as the sacramental expression of the Paschal Mystery.”

“Each of these mysteries is a revelation of the Kingdom now present in the very person of Jesus.”


For an in-depth conversation on the scriptures for today’s liturgy – the Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time, click the image to hear Maya Bernardo, John Kinder, Kath Petrie and John Kleinsman in conversation with John O’Connor.

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  1. What was the purpose of the transfiguration and why were only three apostles there. to gain the available benefits? Do you have a crystal ball that looks backwards to the past?

  2. To Let Go And Let GOD,
    I have been placed in a position,
    Health wise,where ALL’ I can do
    Is To listen. I do need more
    Light of Christ,as my mind
    was occasionally wandering,
    But your homily Did empty some
    dark spaces,and let his light shine through,thankyou Fr John

  3. Thank you for the rosary .


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