Monday, 7 October 2013 : 27th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we celebrate an important Marian feast, a day dedicated to the Mother of God, Mary, the lady and our mother. Today, in particular, we celebrate an aspect of her that we often find to be ubiquitous in our faith and devotions, that is the holy rosary, the linked beads in chain, that we use to guide us in our prayer.

What is the rosary and what is its significance in our faith, and how does it affect us in our journey of faith in this world and beyond? The rosary is a weapon, a spiritual weapon in a spiritual warfare between the forces of evil led by the devil, against us, the children of the light, the beloved ones of God. This devotion was introduced by Mary herself, when she appeared to St. Dominic, who was then the first to recommend the devotion of the rosary to the people of God.

We often take the rosary for granted, and instead of taking the devotion seriously, we said the prayers without meaning and said the words faster than even the bullet trains! That is exactly what happened if we do not truly understand the usefulness and the purpose of the holy rosary, which is a potent weapon, a spiritual weapon, in the spiritual warfare constantly fought between us and the devil and his servants.

Then how did this feast of our Lady of the Rosary come about? This feast originated in the late sixteenth century, after the great victory of the forces of the faithful, fighting against the forces of the devil, represented by the Muslim forces of the expansionist Ottoman Turk Empire. This battle is the Battle of Lepanto, which happened on this date, today, in the year 1571.

This great victory marked a great turning point in the history of Christendom, where the faithful are no longer on the defensive, after the enemy was dealt a massive defeat by the power of God. Pope St. Pius V, the Pope at the time, decided to commemorate the great victory by dedicating it to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, that the victory over the enemy was made possible.

In the same way therefore, today, through the rosary as our weapon, the spiritual weapon, we would like to celebrate our victory and triumph against the evil one and his forces of darkness, as we, the children of the light, had triumphed against the darkness, much like the victorious Christian vanguards at the Battle of Lepanto more than four centuries ago.

Nevertheless, brethren, even though we have been victorious, as through Mary and her Son Jesus, whose sacrifice on the cross dealt the evil one a complete and thorough defeat, but the devil still has plenty of tools under his sleeves. He continues to marshall his forces of darkness to harass us, especially those who are most vulnerable, those whose faith are wavering and weakened.

The devotion to Mary, the mother of Jesus our Lord and God, through the holy rosary is a potent tool to prevent this from happening, that is to prevent our brethren to fall into the temptation of Satan and his angels, the fallen ones. The rosary, as I mentioned, is a powerful weapon in this constant spiritual warfare raging daily around us, where angels and devils fight for the sake of our soul, for its salvation or damnation.

Through meaningful and devoted praying of the holy rosary, we invoke the protection of the angels sent by Jesus our Lord, through the intercession of His blessed mother Mary, hearing the prayer we have made through the rosary in complete devotion and love. The Lord will certainly not abandon us to the forces of the enemy. He will smite them and cast them away from us, His beloved children.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, the rosary, in which we pray the prayers dedicated to the Lord and His mother Mary, emulate the Marian virtues of obedience and love, which we ought to follow and emulate ourselves. Through her obedience and love, we have Jesus who came into this world, and we have a hope, hope of salvation and eternal life in Him.

This rosary is our spiritual weapon and also our spiritual defender, a breastplate of faith and devotion, protecting us from the threats of the evil one and his forces. Let us therefore, spread the habit of praying the rosary meaningfully and devoutly, to all around us, especially to those among us whose faith is wavering. May the Lord continue to watch over us, and may His blessed mother Mary continue to intercede for us, for our salvation, as we continue to offer her and her Son, our love and devotion through the rose of the holy rosary. Amen.

Monday, 7 October 2013 : 27th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Luke 1 : 26-38

In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth. He was sent to a young virgin, who was betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the family of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.

The angel came to her and said, “Rejoice, full of grace, the Lord is with you.” Mary was troubled at these words, wondering what this greeting could mean. But the angel said, “Do not fear, Mary, for God has looked kindly on you. You shall conceive and bear a Son, and you shall call Him Jesus.”

“He will be great, and shall rightly be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the kingdom of David, His ancestor; He will rule over the people of Jacob forever, and His reign shall have no end.”

Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” And the angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore, the Holy Child to be born of you, shall be called Son of God.”

“Even your relative Elizabeth is expecting a son in her old age, although she was unable to have a child; and she is now in her sixth month. With God nothing is impossible.” Then Mary said, “I am the maid of the Lord, let it be done to me as you have said.” And the angel left her.

Monday, 7 October 2013 : 27th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Luke 1 : 46-47, 48-49, 50-51, 52-53, 54-55

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit exults in God my Saviour!

He has looked upon His servant in her lowliness, and people forever will call me blessed. The Mighty One has done great things for me, Holy is His Name!

From age to age His mercy extends to those who live in His presence. He has acted with power and done wonders, and scattered the proud with their plans.

He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and lifted up those who are downtrodden. He has filled the hungry with good things, but has sent the rich away empty.

He held out His hand to Israel, His servant, for He remembered His mercy, even as He promised to our fathers, to Abraham and his descendants forever.

Monday, 7 October 2013 : 27th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Acts 1 : 12-14

Then the disciples returned to Jerusalem from the Mount called Olives, which is a fifteen-minute walk away. On entering the city they went to the room upstairs where they were staying.

Present there were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James, son of Alpheus; Simon the Zealot and Judas son of James.

All of these together gave themselves to constant prayer. With them were some women and also Mary, the mother of Jesus, and His brothers.