The joyful mysteries of the rosary are the foundation of the life of Jesus. I have always found that meditating upon them grounds me. Their humble charm brings joy to my ordinary life of work and prayer, and their hidden sufferings bring purpose. There is no joy without suffering. There is no grand resurrection without humble obedience.
Not only are these mysteries the foundation of the life of Jesus (and Mary) but they should be the foundation for our own ordinary lives as well. Lest we get swept away in the misery and pain of the cross or the glorious joy of the resurrection, we must stay grounded in these humble beginnings of the Holy family.
The annunciation in our own lives looks a little different from that of Mary’s. It’s not often that Angel’s appear to us and tell us God’s plan or ask us to do something as magnificently difficult as carry, birth, and raise the Son of God. But everyday we should take time to remember these events that happened so long ago. We should remember the glorious announcement that a Savior has been born unto us.
There is no annunciation without a fiat. And so, like Mary, each day we must give our yes. A yes to whatever God wills to give us, what he is asking of us. A yes to spending our day striving to advance in virtue, in hope, in love. It is an ordinary yes, but God chose the ordinary to redeem us.
The Mother of God, finding herself with child, fled to her cousin Elizabeth’s house. There, she spent three months humbly serving her cousin. I can only imagine the joy they brought to each other as they marveled in the work of God that was growing inside both of them.
My Reagan’s middle names always reminds me of this scene – Elyse Mary. I love that when I say her name I am reminded to serve with as much love as I can muster, I am reminded to call upon Mary for help, and to look to her as an example of service. We are called to go and serve each other. We are called to rejoice in the gifts of God together. His works aren’t meant for seclusion but for unity.
There is no shortage of opportunity to serve in our every day lives. It’s a matter of recognizing and responding to the various needs we see throughout our days.
I’m so glad that Jesus was born in a stable. Because my soul is so much like a stable. It is poor and in unsatisfactory condition … Yet I believe that if Jesus can be born in a stable, maybe he can also be born in me.Dorothy Day
And so, Jesus was born by Mary in the same way we all are born into this world. He should be born into our hearts each day over again. He should be the foundation of our decisions, our service, our joy, our sacrifice. We should strive to make the stable of our hearts as beautiful as possible for his dwelling.
That is our hope. Because the Lord was born in such humble conditions he can also be born in each of us. We recognize his dwelling in our hearts when we practice humility. It is humbling to recall that we are like the stable – unfit for a King. Upon his entrance, we are made beautiful.
Each morning as we stumble out of bed we should recall these events. The angels announcing to us that our Savior will be born, us responding with a yes, letting the Holy Spirit guide us to serve and humble ourselves, and letting Jesus dwell in our hearts even though we are unfit.
And when we happen upon adversity, uncertainty, and all that life throws at us this will be our foundation. Mary and Joseph show us how to respond, how to remain faithful, and how to push forward. Life is made of these ordinary moments and we can face them with extraordinary faith.