Advent Week 1: Nov. 28-Dec. 3
The Glorious Mysteries
The season of Advent is here! And now… we wait. Much like the months of pregnancy as a woman waits to deliver a child, this season gives us time to prepare our hearts and homes to receive the gift of Jesus in our lives, as we celebrate his birth at Bethlehem. At Chews Life, our mission is to equip all Catholics with rosaries for life. While we have expanded to include other faith-building resources, at the heart of our work is the rosary, a beautiful prayer to God and meditation on the life of Jesus through the intercession of our Blessed Mother Mary. This Advent, we would like to refocus our hearts and minds by praying together this timeless and timely prayer beloved by saints throughout history and people today throughout the world. Though it is a beautiful and holy season, we also know that Advent can be busy, stressful, and difficult in many ways. The contrast between light and darkness, joy and sorrow in our lives and in the world can seem especially pronounced at this time. As we have journeyed with Mary in other ways throughout the year, what better way to prepare our hearts to welcome Christ at Christmas than by setting aside time each day during Advent to wait with his mother. Each week we will focus our attention on a different mystery of the rosary, with a short meditation for each day of the week. We hope that you will join us in praying! We believe that the rosary is powerful, bringing calm to chaos, and opening hearts to the Prince of Peace, whose birth we will be celebrating very soon. “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” —John 1:5
(If you have never prayed the rosary before, or it has been some time since you have, do not let that stop you! Our downloadable and FREE How to Pray the Rosary guide is available for anyone who wishes to learn how to pray this beautiful prayer.)
First Glorious Mystery: The Resurrection of Jesus
Fruit of the Mystery: Faith
"But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices which they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel; and as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, 'Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen"' (Lk 24:1-5).
Think about: The women who went to the tomb to anoint Jesus’ body were the first people that we know of to encounter the Risen Christ. How are we like them, searching for the living among the dead? How can we turn our hearts away from the things of this world, and seek after Jesus, the Way, the Truth, and the Life? When the women hear the words of the angel, they are filled with fear and joy, and they hurry to tell the other disciples. Let us pray that we may be filled with the joy of faith and have the courage to share the good news with others.
Second Glorious Mystery: The Ascension of Jesus
Fruit of the Mystery: Hope
"So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God" (Mk 16:19).
Think about: The disciples who witnessed Jesus’ ascending into heaven must have been filled with such a mix of emotions as they watched him leave. Similarly, many thoughts and feelings can and do coexist within us: joy and grief, fear and hope. For those of us who believe in Christ, even when all seems bleak and dark, when we can’t see the way, and when we are weary and discouraged, we are called to be a people of hope. Let us remember the words of the prophet Isaiah, “They that hope in the Lord will renew their strength.” (Isaiah 40:31)
Third Glorious Mystery: The Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles
Fruit of the Mystery: Love of God
"When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance" (Acts 2:1-4).
Think about: God’s love for each one of us is real and personal. Is our love for him the same? Or do we consider him some vague entity “out there” rather than one who knows us intimately? May we know that we are deeply loved by God and be given the grace we need to love him in return. As Jesus’ followers were filled with the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, and empowered to do amazing things in his name, let us pray that we too might be given the strength to fulfill our duties—whether they be great or small—with great love, doing them as for the Lord.
Fourth Glorious Mystery: The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven
Fruit of the Mystery: Grace of a Happy Death
"Henceforth all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me" (Lk 1:48-49).
Think about: It seems too strange—to pray for death to be “happy.” Perhaps this is an area where words fail to capture the fullness of what we hope for—that death will be holy, that we may, by God’s grace and mercy, be given the strength we need to persevere in faith until the end of our days, as Mary did. Perhaps we also are asking for the grace to live each day we are given on this earth fully and faithfully. Let us pray for hearts that do not fear death, but that increase in love for and desire for union with the One who made and loves us and wants to give us fullness of life eternally.
Fifth Glorious Mystery: The Coronation of Mary as Queen of Heaven and Earth
Fruit of the Mystery: Trust in Mary’s intercession
"And a great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars"
(Rev 12:1 ).
Think about: On the cross, Jesus said to Mary, “Woman, behold your son.” He then commanded St. John, “Behold, your mother.” In doing so, Jesus gave to all of us his own mother to be our own. As the Queen of Heaven, Mary’s intercession is powerful. As a mother, her love is personal. We can trust her with our needs, our desires, our worries, and our wellbeing. From the moment Mary gave her “fiat” —her assent to the Lord’s will being done in her life—she has always pointed people toward Jesus. If God, the Creator of the Universe, entrusted her with the life of his Son, let us pray that we may be willing and able to trust ourselves to her care as well.