Preface from Fr. Hezekias
In the year of our Lord 2002, His Holiness Pope John Paul II unveiled before the eyes of the faithful his instruction on a deeper mediation upon the life of Christ. Seeing a need to enter more fully into the life of the Savior, the Pope instructed his children to meditate upon the active life of Christ. Under the title of the Luminous Mysteries, His Holiness highlighted five mysteries of the life of the Son of God by which the faithful would gain an ever-greater vision of their own path of redemption. Unfortunately for most Catholics, the promulgation of the Luminous Mysteries in the Apostolic Letter, Rosarium Virginis Mariae, has been little more than a passing memory. But, for some Catholics, the Mysteries of Light have been a great source of mediation over the past few years and have resulted in an increase of grace at the hands of the Blessed Mother.
For these Catholics, dedicated disciples of Christ, led by the successor of Peter, a great desire has been engendered to enter into the active life of Christ through repetition of the Ave Maria. This desire is increased with every passing moment as the Luminous Mysteries are again and again brought before the thirsty eyes of the soul. It is toward these Faithful, desirous of a greater unity with the mysteries of the life of the Christ, that this seminar is aimed. Over six weeks we will journey through the Gospels, from the Jordan River to the Holy City of Jerusalem, walking in the footsteps of the Savior and learning from him the revelation of the Mysteries of Light. Since none but Christ has the words of eternal life, I as the instructor, will act in the role of guide and fellow student. To make your journey as fruitful as possible, the weekly sessions will be divided with sub-headings and summaries. Together we will walk through the Sacred Scriptures, peering into the Revelation of God and discovering anew the mysteries therein.
Because this seminar is the fruit of years of my own study, I will take care to make clear each step of the journey, desiring to make all who participate true partakers in the discovery of Christ revealed in the Luminous Mysteries. Do not be afraid to share your own insights and discoveries in the comment sections on the webpage. As instructor and guide I do not have a monopoly on interpreting the Sacred Scriptures and am therefore eager to learn from the insights of those alongside whom I am studying. Our objective over the course of this program is to gain a firm grasp of the themes, imagery, and events contained in the mysteries of the active life of Christ. We will divide our study into six parts.
The first week, we will study the framework of Salvation History within which the Luminous Mysteries are set, focusing upon the Semitic perspective and the hope with which the Jews at the time of Christ waited eagerly for the coming of the Messiah. This first session will focus primarily on images of the story of the Garden of Eden as the paradigm for properly interpreting the restoration of mankind in Christ. Then in the second week, we will take what we have learned from the creation narrative and apply it to the first Luminous Mystery, the Baptism of Christ. In the third week we will journey from the Jordan to Cana, and then in the fourth week, see Christ begin to proclaim the Kingdom of God as he stands in the synagogue at Nazareth. In the fifth week, we will meditate upon Christ transfigured on Tabor, and in the sixth week receive from the Son of God the fruit of His labors, the flesh which is for eternal life. In the conclusion of that sixth and final week we will consider the eschatological significance of the Luminous Mysteries and the end or goal to which meditation upon these mysteries will lead. The seventh week (July 25th) will be the discussion session, where you will have the opportunity to discuss the themes we covered and ask any remaining questions.
Each section will present its own challenges, both linguistically and exegetically. It will often be necessary to refer to the Old Testament and to consider in detail certain aspects of the original language in which a particular text was written. On such occasions I will make every attempt to simplify the linguistic discussions so as to make those unfamiliar with Hebrew, Greek, or Latin able to follow the text under consideration. Though you may be tempted to skim over sections that are either detailed analyses of Old Testament references or linguistic considerations, please be patient and attentive to the details as we will build our exegesis of the Luminous Mysteries upon the sure foundation of the Old Testament and gain valuable and indispensable insight based upon certain linguistic consideration of the original language. Occasionally I will assign reading from outside sources. These assignments will be listed as “required” or as “recommended.” If an outside reading is listed as required, please read the outside assignment prior to continuing with the weekly reading text. If a particular section of the weekly reading text is confusing, it may be helpful to make use of the recommended reading assignment to familiarize yourself with the topic at hand and then return for a second reading of the weekly reading section.
Please make use of the explanatory endnotes provided for you at the end of each week’s section. These explanatory notes are designed to make the particular point more explicit and to provide material for further consideration. Finally, I encourage each student to begin each week’s session with prayer for the grace of insight for themselves and for others taking the course. As a union of souls incorporated through Baptism into the Body of Christ we will succeed or fail together. We will succeed in as much as we open our hearts to the Grace of the Holy Spirit and we will fail in as much as we separate ourselves from the Body of Christ.
-Fr. Hezekias Carnazzo