Reflections On Today’s Gospel Reading

7th October, Our Lady of the Rosary

This great Marian prayer is often attributed to St Dominic and his companions in the thirteenth century. However, it seems more likely to have taken the form with which we are familiar sometime in the fifteenth century. Since then, it has spread throughout the world and Catholics have found it a wonderful form of prayer. When I say prayers over an open coffin in a funeral home or in the home of the deceased, I am often struck by the presence of the rosary beads, wrapped around the hands of the deceased in the coffin. It speaks of a prayer that the person has prayed on a regular basis throughout his or her life. It really is the prayer of the people of God. It has been prayed is all kinds of settings over the centuries, including the humblest of settings. In many ways it is a contemplative prayer. The mysteries of the Lord’s life, death and resurrection are at the heart of the prayer and the repetition of the Hail Mary, Our Father, and Glory be to the Father, carries people along as they reflect on these profound mysteries, just as a ship carries people over the mysterious sea with its profound depths. Two of the fifteen mysteries feature in the two readings for this feast, the annunciation to Mary and the coming of the Holy Spirit on Mary and the disciples, more precisely, the prayer of Mary and the disciples in preparation for the coming of the Holy Spirit. Gabriel announced to Mary that the Holy Spirit would come upon her and, so, the child to be born of her ‘will be holy and will be called Son of God’. Through the Holy Spirit, Mary brought Jesus into the world. At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit empowered Mary and the disciples to bring the risen Lord into the world. Before we begin to pray the Rosary, we invite the Holy Spirit to come upon us afresh, so that our prayerful reflection on the mysteries of the Rosary will empower us to bring the Lord to all whom the Lord wants to touch with his presence