Peter on the day after Jesus died.
- I can not believe it--he is gone. I am desolate.
- If I had admitted I knew him, would I have died with him?
- But I was afraid and said I had never met him, not once but three times.
- And he was the one who gave me life and taught me to love and hope.
- I will never forget his forgiving look of love that night in the garden after his arrest.
- He loves me, even in my weakness.
- What will happen to us now.. what are we to make of all his promises?
- I was so unwilling to let him wash my feet at Passover. It is a moment I shall never forget.
- Where is Judas? Is he weeping now as I was in the garden the other night?
- Just last week I saw Jesus raise Lazarus to life. And now this?
The apostles gather in the room of the last supper
- Philip says: We came back here because we did not know where else to go.
- This is where he washed our feet and told us to love one another.
- He asked us to remember him in the breaking of the bread.
- Word has just come that Judas has been found dead, hanging from a tree.
- Lock the doors, so we can't be found. I'm afraid.
- How can it be that all those wonders we experienced have ended like this?
- We hear there is a guard at the tomb. Why are they there?
- For some, Jesus was always a threat, but we only experienced love from him.
- Why were so many of our leaders opposed to his teaching and could not see the hand of God in the healings we witnessed?
- When it seems safe, we must go to the tomb and mourn there.
Reflections of the disciples on the way to Emmaus
- It is over. He is dead. We could not bear to stay in Jerusalem any longer.
- We listened to him speak of God as a loving Father, we saw him give sight to a blind man.
- He forgave a woman her sins, just when others would have stoned her.
- He was good, loving--and he challenged those who seemed to be without love.
- We left home to follow him. We had hoped he was the Messiah.
- Now our dreams are shattered. Have we been used?
- The road is dusty. We are filled with sadness. Now we must continue our wait for the Messiah.
- We should have stayed in Emmaus, and not followed this preacher.
- If God really worked those miracles through him, how could God leave him to die in such an awful way?
- Who is approaching us? Maybe he has recent news from the city about the close followers of Jesus.
Mary after Calvary
- After they laid my son in the tomb, John took me to his home.
- His mother and family cared for me, but I could not sleep that night.
- Images of Calvary keep flashing into my mind. My garments were soiled by his wounded body when I held him.
- The next day was the Sabbath so we could not leave the house.
- That night I was so exhausted I must have fallen into a deep sleep.
- As the morning light came into my room, I felt something touch my cheek, then it went away.
- I opened my eyes and Jesus was there. He kissed and embraced me.
- I thought I was dreaming, but then he called me “mother.”
- I threw my arms around him and held him closely. He looked so different.
- Then he said: Later, the others will see me too, but I wanted you to be the first one I visited.
ROSARY – MISSION AND HOPE
Preaching of John the Baptist
- John’s parents Elizabeth and Zechariah do not under-stand why their son has no wife and wishes to leave home.
- They hear that their son is an itinerant preacher and wears strange garments.
- John proclaims a message of repentance for the forgiveness of sins and baptizes all who come to him at the river Jordan.
- Crowds flock to him and he criticizes those who are fickle in their love of the Lord. Elizabeth and Zechariah wonder at his words.
- The Temple leaders and the people become excited and search the scriptures. Is this the long awaited Messiah?
- Mary too hears many stories about her cousin, John, and she wonders also why her own son as gone away.
- John’s pointed preaching reaches even to Herod and his unlawful wife Herodias. She urges Herod to arrest John, thinking this will put an end to an awkward notoriety.
- John sees, from a distance, his cousin Jesus approaching, and senses a curious grace stirring in his heart.
- Jesus comes to John and their eyes meet in a knowing glance. Jesus kneels before the prophet and receives the same baptism as all the others.
- Some bystanders hear John address someone as “the Lamb of God”. They stretch to see who it is, but then become distracted and look away.
The Call of the Apostles
- Simon and his brother Andrew are hard at work, sweating over the fish they had just caught, preparing them for market.
- In Galilee, Philip and his friend Nathanael watch the sun set on yet another monotonous day of hard work. They read the scriptures and reflect on God’s word.
- In a small place sits Levi, the despised tax collector. He counts the day’s receipts and eagerly pockets his profits.
- Zebedee mends a fishing net in the cool shade while his sons James and John work in the afternoon heat at the boat. He wonders why his family chose fishing as their trade.
- It is late in the afternoon and the Baptist says “there is the Lamb of God” and two of his disciples leave him and follow Jesus.
- They sense a unique quality in this stranger and can not understand why he seems so different. They notice that his hands betray a life of hard work.
- “Rabbi, where are you staying?” and Jesus invites them to “come and see.” Somewhere in their souls they know they have met someone who will forever alter their lives.
- It is four in the afternoon and Jesus’ new friends are unaware of the passage of time, so taken are they by his words and presence.
- Jesus sees simple men before him, but knows that His Father will inspire greatness out of their humble nature.
- Zebedee misses his sons and wonders how he will be able to work without them. What is it they found in this man from Galilee?
Death of John the Baptist
- Herod is angered with John and throws him into prison. It is a dank, putrid place, and the stench makes him long for the sweet odors of the countryside.
- Herodius plots to see John die; Herod was taken with John’s preaching and looks for some other way to deal with him.
- Some of John’s followers visit him and relay all they have seen and heard about Jesus. John ponders their words and prays. He wonders about his fate.
- John sends word to Jesus and asks if he is the One to come. Jesus does not answer “yes,” but instead points to the evidence of his miracles.
- John’s followers struggle to separate themselves from him and follow Jesus. Others doubt his miracles and hesitate.
- Herod plans a party. There will be much music, fine food and dancing.
- John hears the distant sound of merriment; Herodias prepares her daughter to perform a dance.
- Herod is blinded by the wine, the music, the young girl’s dance; he rashly promises her any wish. Herodias sees her moment.
- John is startled by the sudden arrival of the guard. They quickly dispatch their orders, caring not about their blood stained garments.
- John’s severed head is brought into the banquet room; people gasp; Herodias smirks in satisfaction; even today people die in such a hideous way.
Pardon of the sinful woman
- Jesus comes to dine at the Pharisee Simon’s house, many other guests are reclining at table there too, whispering among themselves as others come and go.
- From a shadowed corner, a distraught woman peers into the room; she sees Jesus there, conversing with the guests.
- Accusing eyes look at a weeping woman who baths Jesus’ feet with ointment and her tears.
- Jesus is filled with compassion for this sorrowful, sinful woman; Simon and his guests silently marvel in disgust, knowing who she is, and Jesus knows their thoughts.
- Eyes turn as Jesus asks Simon a question about forgiveness; the woman continues to dry Jesus feet with her hair.
- Simon, you gave me no water to bath my feet, but this woman has not ceased to wash them with her tears.
- Looking at the woman Jesus says her many sins are forgiven because of her great sorrow and love.
- Cynical eyes dart about as the guests refuse to accept these words; who but God can forgive sins?
- The woman rises, head bowed in humble thanksgiving; sensing fresh hope and a new beginning, she disappears into the shadows.
- The meal continues, more wine is poured; some talk, some whisper, all are astounded by what they have seen and heard.
The Rich Young Man
- Jesus is on a journey with some of his disciples; He listens to them as they try to understand his parables.
- A young man, and his friends, walks up to Jesus and looks at Him in eager anticipation of a question; the disciples can tell he is wealthy person.
- He asks… how do I attain eternal life? All turn and look at Jesus as they await his reply.
- Jesus answers by repeating the Commandments; but the young man seeks more.. he senses a greater depth here.
- The young man replies that he has always done this, and Jesus looks on him lovingly. Could his friends have given the same answer?
- “Then one thing is lacking, says Jesus: go, sell what you have, give all to the poor, and then follow me.” The young man’s shoulders drop in sad disappointment and he slowly looks away.
- Attachments to the things of this world make rough the road to our eternal goal. Jesus notes how hard it is for some to separate themselves from this world’s attractions.
- Jesus’ disciples are amazed at the directness of His reply and wonder who, then, can be saved.
- They wonder at His meaning.Peter says: we have left all and followed you, and Jesus responds that all will be returned to them many times over, in this life and in the life to come.
- Jesus sees the young man and his friends disappear in the distance. Little do they know that God’s grace is still with them, waiting to be understood and believed.
ROSARY - MERCY AND GLORY
The early years
- After a long search, Mary and Joseph find their young son in the temple; he tells them that he must be in his father’s house.
- Among the bustle of other travelers, they at last take the road to Nazareth; Jesus seems unconcerned about his unexplained absence.
- Joseph teaches Jesus the carpenter’s trade; the hard work gives him strong hands and a creative spirit.
- Mary prepares a meal; she remembers how their lives together all began and ponders what their future will be.
- After many years, Jesus hears the voice of John’s preaching; he bids his parents goodbye and sets out on the road away from Nazareth.
- After he receives John’s baptism, he goes into the desert, to fast and to seek quiet solitude with his Father.
- Satan tempts Jesus: If you are the Son of God, turn these stones into bread.
- Satan shows Jesus all worldly glory; he offers it to Jesus if only he will fall down and worship him.
- Satan tries to twist Scripture to his own ends, but Jesus is not lead astray.
- At last the temptations cease and peace returns to his soul; he experiences the consolation of evil resisted.
The Lost Son
- A father give his young son his inheritance, he sadly embraces and kisses him, and watches as he slowly disappears in the distance.
- The young son makes new friends; they enjoy his good taste and high living.
- Time passes and he cares not about tomorrow; his father prays for him every day.
- The money is spent; he wonders why his friends have gone away, just when he needs them.
- He finds lowly work feeding swine; he knows hunger, poverty, loneliness, rejection.
- He thinks of his father’s house, his family, the household; he wonders what they are having for dinner tonight.
- The young man comes to his senses and begins his long journey home, filled with remorse and sorrow.
- In the far distance he sees his home and someone running toward him.
- His father can only embrace and kiss his repentant son; he feels only joy at the sight of him.
- Deep in his heart, the young man always knew of his father’s love; he wonders why it took him so long to accept it.
The Jewish Leaders
- Teachers of the Temple discuss Jesus; some are angrily vocal, others listen quietly.
- Nicodemus has witnessed miracles; he has heard Jesus speak to the people; he wonders at what is happening.
- Slowly he shares his thoughts with some of his fellow Pharisees; they agree someone should visit Jesus.
- In the dark of night Nicodemus finds where Jesus is staying; he hesitates a moment when asking for him.
- He acknowledges Jesus’ heavenly mission, saying his signs are unmistakable.
- Jesus says: “unless you are born again of water and spirit you will not see the Kingdom of God.”
- “What is born of flesh is flesh, and what is born of spirit, is spirit.”
- “For God so loved the world, He gave his only Son, that all might have eternal life.”
- “Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”
- As he returns into the cold night, Nicodemus’ mind is filled with new questions; what will he say to his fellow Pharisees?
The bread of life
- A large crowd spends tiring hours rowing across a lake in search of Jesus on the opposite shore.
- Jesus tells them to search for the food which leads to “eternal” life.
- The bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.
- And Jesus says, as he points to himself: I am this bread of life.
- Those who believe in me, my Father will raise on the last day.
- Many scoff and say that this is crazy talk; how can his flesh and blood be food and drink?
- The living Father has sent me to be your food which leads to eternal life.
- It is the spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail; my words are spirit and truth.
- At these words, many of his followers turn away; but Peter and others remain, trusting in his often puzzling statements, not yet knowing where it will all lead.
- Who but God would think of giving such a gift? Jesus’ body and blood is real… yesterday, today and always.
The Transfiguration of the Lord
- Peter, James and John begin a tiring hike up a hillside, following Jesus’ invitation to come apart with him.
- They reach the end of their walk, collapse on the warm ground, and soon fall asleep.
- They awake to see that Jesus is totally changed; a bright light surrounds him, his garments are illuminated, and he is conversing with someone.
- Moses and Elijah are present with Jesus, and Peter impulsively wants to build tents for each of them.
- The awe of the moment captivates the apostles as their eyes and ears perceive the majesty of things unearthly.
- Then, in a moment, a bright cloud cast a shadow over all of them and they hear a voice say “this is my beloved Son.”
- In an instant they become fearful and fall to the ground trembling.
- Jesus tells them to get up and not to be afraid. They open their eyes and see only Jesus.
- The apostles follow Jesus down the mountain trail, silently pondering this extraordinary experience of Jesus’ father speaking to them.
- Much later the apostles remember this moment and better understand how it strengthens their faith.