They came upon him in the temple sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. All who heard him were amazed.Luke 2:46-47
I used to get distracted throughout the Rosary, and occasionally I still do. I announce the mystery, let my mind wander, and only remember which one I’m on when I pray the ninth or tenth Hail Mary. The things that help me to contemplate each mystery are the fruits of the mysteries. I ponder how the fruit applies to its respective mystery and I pray to embody that fruit in my own life. As you meditate on the fruits of the Joyful Mysteries, open your heart to receive the fruits and ask Jesus and Mary to reveal where you can grow in that fruit.
The First Joyful Mystery is the Annunciation
The Fruit of the Mystery is Humility
Mary had a life prior to the Annunciation. She had plans and an idea of what she would do with her life. Obviously, when Gabriel appeared to her and told her that she would be the Mother of God, everything changed. Mary could have felt confused, shocked, bewildered. She could have wondered if the angel came to the right woman. Instead of fighting it or running away from God’s plan, she gave her fiat, her complete, perfect, no-strings-attached yes. She humbled herself in the Lord, allowing him to work in her and through her. In her perfection and holiness, Mary remained open to God’s plans for her. Her “yes,” reminds us to let God’s will, not ours, be done. In this moment, she illustrates the most perfect example of humility.
The Second Joyful Mystery is the Visitation
The Fruit of the Mystery is Love of Neighbor
In her faith, Mary believed that she would be the Mother of God, but there was another way that she knew that Gabriel’s words were true. She visited her cousin, Elizabeth, who in her old age was pregnant with John the Baptist. The Visitation shows that Mary and Elizabeth had so much love for each other. They were probably so happy for each other in light of their pregnancies. Elizabeth felt such awe to be in the midst of the Mother of God, and Mary reverently reflected the praise to the Lord. Mary stayed with Elizabeth for three months, and I can’t help but wonder what they did together when I contemplate the joy throughout their visit. I like to think that they took care of each other and kept each other company as they approached a new and beautiful chapter in their lives.
The Third Joyful Mystery is the Nativity
The Fruit of the Mystery is Detachment / Poverty
Jesus could have come to earth any way he wanted. He could have appeared out of nowhere, or he could have descended from Heaven in a blaze of glory, but our Lord decided to experience all facets of human life. As fully God and fully human, the God of the universe chose to be born of a woman. He came into the world as a small and vulnerable baby. He could have made himself a king, or a wealthy person with servants to attend to him, but he was born to poor parents in a stable with nothing. When we look at our Nativity scenes beneath our Christmas trees, we tend to think warm and cozy thoughts. We tend to romanticize the Holy Family’s experience on the first Christmas Eve. They had no place to stay or call home, they most likely had little money and not much food, but what they did have was God. Mary and Joseph didn’t have much, but because they literally had Jesus in their presence, they had enough. As long as we have Jesus, we have everything.
The Fourth Joyful Mystery is the Presentation
The Fruit of the Mystery is Obedience
Honestly, I tend to struggle with meditating on this mystery. It’s truly, for lack of better terms, a mystery to me because I’m stilly trying to wrap my head around it. What grounds me an gives me something to contemplate on is its fruit, obedience, and how it speaks to the faith of Mary and Joseph. They knew that their Son was the God of the universe. He established the laws and commandments, and as the Almighty One, he answers to no one. But Mary and Joseph presented the infant Jesus in the Temple anyway. They didn’t consider themselves an exception to the rule. They followed the law and dedicated their firstborn Son. Because of this, God’s promise to Simeon was fulfilled. Simeon lived to see the Messiah. After a lifetime of waiting in hope and trusting in the Lord, Simeon encountered God Incarnate. When he held the Word Incarnate in his arms, he knew that God always keeps his word.
The Fifth Joyful Mystery is the Finding of Jesus in the Temple
The Fruit of the Mystery is the Joy in Finding Jesus
I can’t divorce the Fifth Joyful Mystery from the Third Sorrowful Mystery. To find someone naturally implies that someone was previously lost. As Mary and Joseph sought their Son, I’m positive that their only thought was finding him again. Nothing would console them until he was in their care again. When they finally found him in the Temple, I can only imagine the wave of relief and happiness that washed over them. They must have held him tightly, never wanting to let him go again. The fear and anxiety that once overwhelmed them disappeared all because Jesus was with them again. Whether we’ve left the Church and we’re coming home, or if we’re coming closer to Jesus in prayer, we always feel the joy of being with Jesus because he offers us joy that we won’t find anywhere else.
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If you enjoyed these meditations with a focus on the fruits of the Joyful mysteries, click here to read another set of meditations on the Joyful mysteries. More blog posts on the fruits of the other Mysteries of the Rosary are coming soon!
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