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SCRIPTURE and the ROSARY NEW TESTAMENT MYSTERIES OLD TESTAMENT PARALLELS

Jennifer McGaw Phelps & Tami Palladino TURNING TO GOD’S WORD


Nihil Obstat Very Reverend Aquinas Nichols Censor Librorum Imprimatur X Most Reverend Richard E. Pates Bishop of Des Moines August 28, 2012 The nihil obstat and imprimatur are official declarations that a book or pamphlet is free of doctrinal or moral error. No implication is contained therein that those who have granted the nihil obstat or imprimatur agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.

Copyright 2012 by Turning to God’s Word. All rights reserved. Scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible—Second Catholic Edition (Ignatius Edition) copyright 2006 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Cover photograph of the Blessed Virgin Mary and photographs of St. Augustin Catholic Church windows depicting the Apostles’ Creed and the Joyful, Sorrowful, and Glorious Mysteries copyright 2011 by Tom Knapp. All rights reserved. ISBN 978-0-615-65517-8

check out our online study pages for additional resources related to this catholic bible study.

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table of contents scripture & the rosary 5

FOREWORD BY THE MOST REVEREND RICHARD E. PATES ROSARIUM VIRGINIS MARIAE LESSON 1 LESSON 2 LESSON 3

contemplating Christ with Mary the Rosary: a compendium of the Gospel assimilating the mystery of Christ

6 8 10

THE CREED LESSON 4 LESSON 5 LESSON 6

God the Father: creation & faith God’s only Son: redemption & hope the Holy Spirit: sanctification & love

12 16 20

THE MYSTERIES OF THE ROSARY LESSON 7 LESSON 8 LESSON 9 LESSON 10 LESSON 11 LESSON 12 LESSON 13 LESSON 14 LESSON 15 LESSON 16 LESSON 17 LESSON 18 LESSON 19 LESSON 20 LESSON 21 LESSON 22 LESSON 23 LESSON 24 LESSON 25 LESSON 26

the Annunciation the Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth the Nativity Presentation in the Temple finding Jesus in the Temple agony in the garden scourging at the pillar Jesus is crowned with thorns Jesus carries the cross the Crucifixion the Resurrection the Ascension Descent of the Holy Spirit the Assumption of Mary Mary is crowned Queen of Heaven Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan the wedding at Cana proclamation of the kingdom the Transfiguration institution of the Eucharist

24 28 32 36 40 44 48 52 56 60 64 68 72 76 80 84 88 92 96 100

INDEX OF CITATIONS

104

INDEX OF TOPICS

108

HOW TO PRAY THE ROSARY

110

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TABLE OF CONTENTS


The Rosary is a school of contemplation and silence. At first glance, it could seem a prayer that accumulates words, therefore difficult to reconcile with the silence that is rightly recommended for meditation and contemplation. In fact, this cadent repetition of the Hail Mary does not disturb inner silence but indeed both demands and nourishes it. Similarly to what happens for the Psalms when one prays the Liturgy of the Hours, the silence surfaces through the words and sentences, not as emptiness, but rather as the presence of an ultimate meaning that transcends the words themselves and through them speaks to the heart. —Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI


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SERIOUS BIBLE STUDY FOR SERIOUS CATHOLICS

foreword ne of my life blessings is the ongoing companionship of Mary through her signature prayer, the Rosary. Beginning in my teenage years I have experienced this gift enabling me to be in touch with her Son, Jesus, through her intercession. For me as a Catholic, the praying of the Rosary joins the litany recitation of the Hail Mary with opportunity for meditation on the significant events in the lives of Christ and the Virgin Mother. Jennifer McGaw Phelps and Tami Palladino have immeasurably enriched such meditation by comparing the mysteries of the Rosary with citations from the Old Testament, bringing together the events of salvation history from the Old and New Testaments. In providing thought-provoking questions, the authors introduce rewarding meditation on the joyful, sorrowful, glorious, and luminous mysteries of the Rosary. Moreover, the inspiration for the book is derived from the beautiful stained glass windows of St. Augustin Church here in Des Moines, thus blending two art forms. For those who have grown to love the Rosary as I have and also for novices searching for a fruitful and readily accessible form of prayer, powerful insight into the mysteries of faith has been provided by Jennifer McGaw Phelps and Tami Palladino in Scripture and the Rosary. It is a pleasure to give approval to this work. I urge all to use this tool to grow in appreciation and further discovery of abundant riches to be found in the praying of the Rosary.

the Most Reverend Richard E. Pates

Bishop of the Diocese of Des Moines

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FOREWORD


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mary arose & went with haste THE SECOND JOYFUL MYSTERY

LUKE 1:39 — 57 39 In

those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah, 40 and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the child leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit 42 and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 4 4 For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the child in my womb leaped for joy. 45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.” 46 And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord,47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 48 for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden. For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed; 49 for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. 50 And his mercy is on those who fear him from generation to generation. 51 He has shown strength with his arm, he has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts, 52 he has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted those of low degree; 53 he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent empty away. 54 He has helped his servant Israel in remembrance of his mercy, 55 as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his posterity for ever.” 56 And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her home. 57 Now the time came for Elizabeth to be delivered, and she gave birth to a son. Revised Standard Version of the Bible—Second Catholic Edition (Ignatius Edition) copyright 2006 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

THE VISITATION OF MARY TO ELIZABETH

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he biblical text that describes the Blessed Virgin Mary’s visit to the pregnant Elizabeth is the source of two Marian prayers. A portion of Elizabeth’s greeting to Mary has been incorporated into the Hail Mary, which is the primary prayer of the Rosary. It is during Mary’s visit to Elizabeth that the Blessed Virgin utters the prayer recorded in the Gospel According to Luke 1:46–55. This canticle, called the Magnificat, is prayed at Vespers each evening as part of Liturgy of the Hours. How many other Marian prayers do you know? Which is your favorite, and what do you especially like about it? What quality of the Blessed Virgin Mary do you find most attractive, and why? In what ways do you think that your life might become more joyful if you were to imitate Mary more closely?

1

Read the Gospel According to Luke 1:39–57 and the First Book of Samuel 2:1–9. The New Testament Magnificat of the Blessed Virgin Mary frequently is compared to the Old Testament Canticle of Hannah, and both are included in this lesson. How are these two canticles similar? In what ways do they differ?

2

Consider which verses in Hannah’s canticle might be interpreted as pointing ahead to the birth of a Messiah, and why. Which verses in Mary’s Magnificat indicate her strong Jewish faith?

3

People “filled” with the Holy Spirit appear almost exclusively in the New Testament. Old Testament figures are described as having the Spirit of God “come upon” them or be “in” them. Exceptions occur in the book of Exodus 31:1–11 and 35:30—36:1. In those passages, who is filled with the Holy Spirit, and for what purpose?

4

In the Gospel According to Luke 1:41, what is happening when Elizabeth is filled with the Holy Spirit? What reasons can you suggest that might explain a purpose for why this is occurring?

5

Paragraph 717 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that John the Baptist was “filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother’s womb.” For what purpose might John have been filled with the Holy Spirit? Compare your answer with Church teaching found in paragraph 718 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

6

To be blessed can mean to be made holy or consecrated for a special purpose, to be endowed with divine favor and protection, or to be made happy. Consider which meaning Elizabeth intends. Which meaning do you think that Mary intends? Which meaning do you think is indicated when the Church refers to the Mother of Jesus as “the Blessed Virgin Mary”? In which of these senses might Hannah be considered to be blessed? TURNING TO GOD’S WORD

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fruits of prayer

love of neighbor In the Gospel According to Matthew 22:36–40, when asked: “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus sums up the law and the prophets in two commandments: Love God completely, and “love your neighbor as yourself.” Love of neighbor is a virtue that the Blessed Virgin Mary exemplifies in the second Joyful Mystery. Rather than being self-absorbed in her own news, after learning that her cousin is six months pregnant, Mary immediately sets out to visit. She stays for the final stages of Elizabeth’s pregnancy before John the Baptist is born. In the Gospel According to Luke 10:25–37, Jesus tells the parable of the Good Samaritan in response to a lawyer who has asked what he must do to inherit eternal life. Upon learning that love of neighbor is involved, the lawyer asks Jesus: “And who is my neighbor?” Think of people that you consider to be your neighbors. Who might you be leaving out? Identify one or two who are undergoing special challenges. What are their needs? What are you doing to love and support them right now?

LESSON 8


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two canticles

Hannah sings her song of exultation to the Lord.

The lower Visitation Window on this page depicts Hannah holding up a horn as she sings. The First Book of Samuel 2:1 can be translated as “my horn is exalted,” and the horn is seen as a symbol of strength. A comparison of Hannah’s song and Mary’s Magnificat shows parallels. Both prayers acknowledge God’s greatness, and both women abandon themselves to God’s will. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI taught that “Mary ‘sees’ with the eyes of faith God’s work in history. For this reason she is blessed, because she believed.” To a lesser extent, the same is true of Hannah.

1 SAMUEL 2:1 — 9 Hannah also prayed and said, “My heart exults in the Lord; my strength is exalted in the Lord. My mouth derides my enemies, because I rejoice in your salvation. 2 There is none holy like the Lord, there is none besides you; there is no rock like our God. 3 Talk no more so very proudly, let not arrogance come from your mouth; for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed. 4 The bows of the mighty are broken, but the feeble gird on strength. 5 Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread, but those who were hungry have ceased to hunger. The barren has borne seven, THE VISITATION OF MARY TO ELIZABETH

but she who has many children is forlorn. Lord kills and brings to life; he brings down to Sheol and raises up. 7 The Lord makes poor and makes rich; he brings low, he also exalts. 8 He raises up the poor from the dust; he lifts the needy from the dung heap, to make them sit with princes and inherit a seat of honor. For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s, and on them he has set the world. 9 He will guard the feet of his faithful ones; but the wicked shall be cut off in darkness.” 6 The

Revised Standard Version of the Bible —Second Catholic Edition (Ignatius Edition) copyright 2006 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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7

The word canticle originally meant a brief song. It now refers to a liturgical hymn or chant based on biblical text. The three most common New Testament canticles are Mary’s Magnificat, the Canticle of Zechariah, and the Canticle of Simeon—in the Gospel According to Luke 1:46–55, 1:68–79, and 2:29–32, respectively. What overall themes do all three have in common? What reason can you suggest that might explain why these canticles are featured in the beginning chapters of the Gospel According to Luke?

8

One verse in Hannah’s canticle—“The Lord kills and brings to life”—emphasizes God’s authority over life and death. Refer to the First Book of Samuel 1:9–17 to explain how Hannah’s life experiences may have contributed to her understanding of this concept. How do you interpret this verse? How does the present-day world attempt to deny God’s authority over life and death?

9

At the top of the Visitation Window on page 28 a flower symbolizes the blossoming of the stump of Jesse foretold in the Book of Isaiah 11:1. Refer to the First Book of Samuel 13:14 and the Acts of the Apostles 13:22 to learn what quality David possesses that leads to him being made “a prince over God’s people.” What might explain why David is referred to as a prince in the First Book of Samuel but nowhere else in the Scriptures? Who is the king?

10

The Gospel According to Luke records a bit of conversation between Mary and Elizabeth, but the women must have talked much more about God’s love when they were together. What do you usually talk about when you spend time with your relatives and closest friends? When was the last time that God’s love was the topic of your conversation? What great things has God done for you?

Mag.nif.i.cat

a canticle of Mary prayed in Christian liturgies In the Gospel According to Luke 1:46, the opening verse from which the Magnificat takes its name, Mary sings: “My soul magnifies the Lord.” To magnify means to make something appear larger. Paragraph 2675 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church explains that Marian prayers “magnify” the Lord for the “great things” he did for his lowly servant and through her for all human beings, while entrusting the supplications of the children of God to the Mother of Jesus, “because she now knows the humanity which, in her, the Son of God espoused.” Praying the Magnificat, Christians consider the “great things” that God has done, and they join their prayer to Mary’s in order that the Lord might be magnified.

 filled with the holy spirit In the Visitation Window a dove indicates the presence of the Holy Spirit, and the Scriptures record that at the sound of Mary’s voice Elizabeth is filled with the Holy Spirit. Elizabeth and John the Baptist in her womb are the first to recognize the arrival of the Savior. This is a foreshadowing of the important role John the Baptist later will play when as an adult he announces the coming of the Messiah in the Gospel According to John 1:19–29. The visit of the Blessed Virgin Mary to Elizabeth points to God’s willingness to take on human form in the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. Paragraph 717 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches:

“John was ‘filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother’s womb’ by Christ himself, whom the Virgin Mary had just conceived by the Holy Spirit. Mary’s visitation to Elizabeth thus became a visit from God to his people.” This also is expressed in the Canticle of Zechariah in the Gospel According to Luke 1:68–79. The strange events surrounding the birth of John the Baptist lead his father to proclaim: “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has visited and redeemed his people.” The Church traditionally prays Zechariah’s canticle at Lauds (Morning Prayer) and Mary’s Magnificat at Vespers (Evening Prayer).

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LESSON 8


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Scripture and the Rosary—sample lesson  

The Old and New Testament foundations of the Rosary form the basis for this prayer-based Bible study, with introductory lessons on Rosarium...

Scripture and the Rosary—sample lesson  

The Old and New Testament foundations of the Rosary form the basis for this prayer-based Bible study, with introductory lessons on Rosarium...