May 31, 2013

Emmaus Walk / Debra Tomaselli

Draw strength from praying the rosary as a family

Debra Tomaselli“Mom, can we cut roses to bring to school for May Day?” my daughter, Sara, asked.

We grabbed the scissors, went into the garden, and chose red, yellow and pink flowers. It was 2003, the Year of the Rosary, when then-Pope John Paul II instituted the luminous mysteries. I handed Sara the bouquet, and wrote these meditations. As we conclude this holy month of May, I’d like to share them with you.

1. The Baptism in the Jordan (Mt 3:13-17).

When Jesus asks to be baptized, John resists, feeling unworthy. But Jesus insists, and after Jesus’ baptism, a heavenly voice announces, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased” (Mt 3:17).

Dear God, how many times have you asked us to do something we feel incapable of or unworthy to accomplish? But when you lead us, we are strengthened. Please tell us what you want us to do and help us to do it. Amen.

2. The miracle at Cana (Jn 2: 1-11).

Jesus, Mary and the disciples are attending a wedding when Mary notices a need for more wine. She asks Jesus to help and addresses the servers, “Do whatever he tells you ” (Jn 2:5). They do, and Jesus performs his first miracle.

Dear Lord, when we need help in the ordinary events of our days, do we turn to you? Are we willing to do “whatever” you ask? Help us to keep our hearts fixed on your will and our eyes open to your wonders.

3. The proclamation of the Kingdom (Mk 1:15) .

Jesus announces the kingdom of God is near. Repent, he says, and act on this glorious news.

Dear Lord, give us humility, a desire to change, and acceptance of your salvation. Amen.

4. The Transfiguration (Lk 9: 28-35).

Christ takes Peter, James and John to the mountaintop to pray. While there, the deceased prophets Elijah and Moses appear, signaling Christ’s fulfillment of the Scriptures. While praying, Jesus’ appearance changes and his clothing becomes dazzling white.

Lord, slow us down. Help us to grasp, with childlike awe, the fact that you are present with us. Amen.

5. The Institution of the Eucharist (Mk 14:22-25).

On the evening of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to pass from this world to the Father. He loved his own in the world, and he loved them to the end. In order to remain with us, Jesus instituted the Eucharist.

Dear Father, humble our hearts, forgive our sins, and help us to bring your love to others after receiving you in holy Communion. We ask this through Christ, our Lord.

In his apostolic letter “Rosarium Virginis Mariae,” Pope John Paul II compared families who pray the rosary together to that of the Nazareth household: “Its members place Jesus at the center, they share his joys and sorrows, they place their needs and their plans in his hands, they draw from him the hope and strength to go on” (#41).

Why not pray the rosary? And while you’re at it, try and make it a family affair as often as possible.

(Debra Tomaselli writes from Altamonte Springs, Florida. She can be reached at

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