A Franciscan Parish in the Archdiocese of Detroit


September 20, 2020

During the “Season of Creation,” we offer the following meditations on the rosary written by the Franciscan Action Network. They
are primarily to help us realize that Christ came into this world and that, like Christ, we are called to shape the world around us in a
way that reflects our inherent dignity and worth as well as the dignity and worth of God’s creation that surrounds us. This week we
use the Luminous Mysteries.

1. Baptism of Jesus in the Jordan: water has always had a tremendous significance in the Bible and in our faith life. It is a
 sign of renewal, new life, and the cleansing of sin. By following Jesus in the Sacrament of Baptism, we too are following His
 example and must try to live our life as closely as possible to His.
 a. Bring to mind the simple wonder of water; its purity, its
 cleanliness, sung about by St. Francis in his Canticle of the
 Creatures: “All praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Water
 so useful, humble, precious and pure.” Do we realize just how
 precious and important water is to us, or do we take it for
 granted? How do our actions reflect our mentality?
 b. We, as humans, are mostly composed of water, as is our
 planet. When God became human in the form of Jesus Christ,
 He therefore physically took on a form composed mostly of

2. The Miracle at the Wedding in Cana: Jesus, at the urging of
 Mary, performs His first miracle by changing a jug of water into
 wine at wedding. We know that through Mary’s help and
 intercession, we can also be transformed by Christ spiritually
 and in worldview.
 a. Continuing with a meditation on the underappreciated wonder
 that is water, we come to the unfortunate mental image that we
 as human beings have so often abused this precious resource. There are so many places where people cannot access clean or drinkable water, a fact lamented upon by Pope Francis in “Laudato Si,” where he devotes an entire section of the encyclical
 to “The Issue of Water” and how once again our current climate crisis disproportionately harms the poor. Images of people walking hundreds of miles a week for filthy drinking water, filth infested rivers and streams and oil-polluted oceans and seas are unfortunately things we’ve all probably seen. How can we, through the intercession of Mary and through the strength of Christ Jesus,
 assist in the transformation of our precious water systems from filthy and abused to once again glorious and life-giving?

3. Revelations about the Kingdom of God: Jesus often talked with His followers and disciples in a
 series of parables when speaking about the coming glory of the Kingdom of God. Remember that He
 emphasized receiving the Good News as a child would, and therefore spoke with simple language
 and short stories; remember also that He often used depictions of nature, farming, field work and
 animals to make the message known.

a. Think about some of the parables that Jesus used that have a distinct twist specifically relating to
 nature; the sower and the seeds, the weeds in the grain, the seed growing secretly, the story of the
 mustard seed and so on. Jesus, through parables, wants us to have a better understanding of the
 Kingdom of God, and therefore often uses nature as a way to speak to us about that; nature,
 therefore, is so many times used as something to mirror God and the glory of the Kingdom.

b. How can we better come to understand God’s “mirror,” or as many great thinkers have called it, the
 “Book of Creation?” How often do we read and relate what comes to us through the Holy Scriptures
 to what God has written in the Book of Creation?

4. Transfiguration of Jesus on Mt. Tabor: Jesus takes Peter, James and John up to a high
 mountain to pray. There, Jesus is transfigured and His full glory is revealed to His disciples. The
 voice of God, coming from a cloud, booms “This is my beloved Son, with whom I’m well pleased;
 listen to Him.”
a. Recall that Peter isn’t able to fully grasp the situation; seeing Jesus with Moses and Elijah, he is
 filled with fear and hastily asks if they should make tents for Christ and the two prophets. He
 speaks before really realizing what he’s asking or fully taking into account what he’s witnessing.
 Often, our actions are driven by compulsion, without much thought to what the consequences are to
 us or the world around us, or about how the little ways that God’s glory is revealed. We hustle
 through life sometimes without stopping to recognize that Christ is present always and everywhere
 and that that presence is inherently good.

b. Do we act in hasty ways that are not only ignorant but also detrimental to forming a close relation-
 ship with God, each other and creation? Can we perhaps take a moment to slow down and think of
 how we have a bigger impact than maybe we might first expect?

5. Institution of the Eucharist: the Eucharist is the sum and summit of our Catholic faith. We
 already know that Christ is present always and everywhere, but His presence is most tangible in
 the Blessed Sacrament.
a. Recall the words the priest says when he offers up the Eucharist to God: “Blessed are You Lord God
 of all creation for it is through Your goodness that we have this bread and wine to offer. Fruit of the
 land and work of human hands it will become for us our spiritual food and drink.” It is through
 both the Earth God created and that which is provided for us spiritually that God nourishes our
 bodies and our souls.
b. Before they become for us the Body and Blood of Christ, the elements are really very basic items:
 unleavened bread and simple wine. There was a process to get them there though; just as we
 should be grateful for and cognizant of the efforts it took to get lunch or dinner to our table, so too
 should we be mindful that there was an effort to get the bread and wine to the “altar of the world, in the words of St. John Paul II.
c. The Eucharist is considered a sacrament of initiation, even though we are able to receive Commun-
 ion multiple times a week. Every time we do so, we renew our baptismal and confirmation promises
 and receive the spiritual sustenance necessary to truly live out our faith in everyday life. May we
 grow closer to Jesus every time we receive Communion or meditate on this mystery.
      Fr. Jeff


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