What the Luminous Mysteries Mean for Daily life

Ordinary Time is here, and you know what that means.  Ordinary Time means we stop oohing and aahing at the baby Jesus and start following the adult Jesus. It means we move out of the Joyful Mysteries and into the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary: The Baptism of the Lord, the Wedding Feast at Cana, the Proclamation of the Kingdom, the Transfiguration, and the Institution of the Eucharist.

First, the light of the Baptism of the Lord illuminates your own.

The first steps in the luminous life begin with the voice of the Father thundering from heaven, “This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased.” He said that to his son, but we are baptized into Christ Jesus and participate in his life, so we can understand how it also applies to us.

In baptism, God embraces you, loves you, respects you, gives his whole life for you. He asks for your life in return for his — a life of beatitude and service — “going about doing good,” just as Jesus did.

Second, miracles happen when you put Jesus Christ in the center of family life — just like Cana.

The Wedding Feast at Cana is about turning ordinary things into extraordinary things. At the wedding, water turns to wine because Christ is there at the center of it. Family life can be transformed in the same way if Christ is in the middle of it.

Mary gives a simple formula to the servants at the wedding for how to transform the water: “Do whatever he tells you.” It’s the same formula in family life: “Do whatever he tells you.”

That doesn’t mean you have to turn your house into a seminary, it doesn’t mean you have to be extravagantly pietistic. But it does means you have to follow the Church’s teachings: The precepts of the Church, the ten commandments, and the Church’s teachings on the family.

This puts the light of Christ at the heart of your home, illuminating it from the inside out.

Third, there is a kingdom of light that the world sometimes obscures.

The Kingdom of Christ is the Magna Carta of life on earth. When the Magna Carta made even kings and nobles answerable to the law, it started a revolution that improved life in every country founded on its “rule of law” system.

For us, Christ the King is that higher power all things are answerable to. In political life, you may want to make your party or cause the king — but they serve Christ’s Kingdom, not the other way around. At home, you want to make yourself, or your spouse, or your kids, the king — that may be easier. But they are subservient to God. At work, you may want to please your boss, or your shareholders, or politicians,  and that’s great — unless you have to violate the real Kingdom to do it.

Living the luminous mysteries means living in the luminous Kingdom — and never letting lesser fiefdoms take precedence.

Fourth, become incandescent — “transfigured” — through prayer.

After Raissa Gorbachev met St. John Paul II, she said, “He is light! He is pure light!” You may have had the same experience when you met a man or woman — a monk, a sister, or a prayerful layperson — who has been transformed by prayer.

We each can be incandescent, if we commit ourselves to prayer. Look what it did for Jesus. He communed with the Father, Moses and Elijah in the Transfiguration and glowed. You should glow a little, too.

Fifth, the Eucharist powers it all.

“We must continue to accomplish in ourselves the stages of Jesus’ life,” said St. John Eudes. “This is his plan for fulfilling his mysteries in us.”

Especially through the Eucharist, Jesus makes it possible to “live in him all that he himself lived, as he lives it in us,” the Church teaches.

We live the life of our baptism in our personal Cana and in his Kingdom, transfigured through prayer and fed by Eucharist — the luminous life.

This appeared at Aleteia.

Tom Hoopes

Tom Hoopes

Tom Hoopes, author of The Rosary of Saint John Paul II and The Fatima Family Handbook, is writer in residence at Benedictine College in Kansas and hosts The Extraordinary Story podcast about the life of Christ. His book What Pope Francis Really Said is now available on Audible. A former reporter in the Washington, D.C., area, Hoopes served as press secretary of the U.S. House Ways & Means Committee Chairman and spent 10 years as executive editor of the National Catholic Register newspaper and Faith & Family magazine. His work frequently appears in Catholic publications such as Aleteia.org and the Register. He and his wife, April, have nine children and live in Atchison, Kansas.