28 November 2015

The Rosary: the Preaching of the Kingdom

The Proclamation of the Kingdom is a special mystery because it involves not only Christ and it is not limited in time or space. Anywhere the preaching of Christ is embodied in the world the Kingdom is taking place.  Of course, the Kingdom here is a Mystery, not fully present outside the presence of a Sacrament: an outward and invisible sign of an inward and spiritual grace.  The Church is most assuredly the Kingdom of God on earth just as the Eucharist is really his Flesh and Blood, but it is only the eyes of Faith that can see it and, sometimes, humans can desecrate it, be it an thief stealing hosts or a gunman "claiming God's will" in violence; a priest giving communion and not watching to see if the host is consumed, or a bishop bringing his boyfriend to Church: there is sin on earth.

And yet the Kingdom of God is proclaimed not as coming, but as here, now.

Sleeper agents, covert operatives.

When you're at the Post Office and you interact with Grace, when you stand in humility before some perceived "injustice" knowing that you're working out your salvation, when you reach out in love to some stranger around you - even when "sharing food" is illegal, you're proclaiming the Kingdom to those around you, you are living in it and holding open a door to invite others in.

Ancient Romans thought Christians were violent revolutions, trying to destroy the state, refusing to participate in a Nationalist religion and thus subverting the blessings bestowed on Rome by the heavens. For this they killed Christians. At one time, Americans were afraid of Catholics holding political office because they claimed that Catholics owe allegiance first to the Vatican.  I pray for the day when such suspicion is raised about any Christian acting in our society and I pray for the day when it really is true for me. Because we're no where near that now. We are, in the words of Douglas Adams, "Mostly Harmless".  We've caved in to being nice instead of proclaiming the Kingdom.

The verses I've chosen are the most clear proclamation of the Kingdom in the Scriptures: the Beatitudes which are sung nearly every Sunday in the Byzantine Liturgy.

The embolism I use in praying this Mystery is "...proclaiming the Kingdom of God in the world..."

The Third Luminous Mystery:
The Preaching of the Kingdom by Christ and the Apostles


Let us contemplate in this mystery how Jesus proclaimed the coming of God’s Kingdom, and his invitation to repent over our sins, and our need to grow in faith.

Our Father Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen

In thy Kingdom remember us, O Lord, when thou comest in thy Kingdom.
Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.
Hail, Mary, &c.

Blessed are those who mourn: for they will be comforted.
Hail, Mary, &c.

Blessed are the meek: for they will inherit the earth.
Hail, Mary, &c.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness: for they will be filled.
Hail, Mary, &c.

Blessed are the merciful: for they will be shown mercy.
Hail, Mary, &c.

Blessed are the pure in heart: for they will see God.
Hail, Mary, &c.

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they will be called the sons of God.
Hail, Mary, &c.

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Hail, Mary, &c.

Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Hail, Mary, &c.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Most Blessed Mother, by thy intercession grant we heed thy Son's call to repentance and to follow him. Send the grace of the Proclamation of the Kingdom, into our souls, helping us to obey Christ and to live in His kingdom.