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The Third Luminous Mystery

The Proclamation of the Kingdom of God

Background notes for discussion at Our Lady of the Rosary: Thursday, March 6

Mark 1:14-15 —

Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospell.”

Mark 2:3-13 —

Then some people came, bringing to Him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. And when they could not bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, they removed the roof above Him; and after having dug through it, they let down the mat on which the paralytic lay. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”

Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, “Why does this fellow speak in this way? It is blasphemy! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

At once Jesus perceived in His spirit that they were discussing these questions among themselves; and He said to them, “Why do you raise such questions in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Stand up and take your mat and walk’? But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on Earth to forgive sins” — He said to the paralytic — “I say to you, stand up, take your mat and go to your home.”

And he stood up, and immediately took the mat and went out before all of them; so they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”

Jesus went out again beside the sea; the whole crowd gathered around Him, and He taught them.

Luke 7: 47-48 —

“Therefore, I tell you, her sins, which were many, have been forgiven; hence she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little.” Then He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”

We are the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth

In this third luminous mystery, we thank Jesus, with Mary, for establishing the Kingdom of God — the “Kingdom of Love” — on earth. God is Love...“God is King... And this king is no remote and egotistical tyrant, but a Father who created and recreated us, a Son who loved us to death, and a Spirit who lovingly longs to live within us in utter intimacy. His kingdom is people — His kingdom is first of all in our hearts, our souls, our spirits.” — Peter Kreeft, Fundamentals of the Faith

Jesus Christ brought the kingdom of God to earth through His works of love during His ministry, and the kingdom is definitively established through His supreme gift of love, His life offered for us on the cross, followed by His Resurrection. “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.” The Father gathered the first disciples around His Son, planting the seed for the Church. Today, we are gathered around Jesus present in the Holy Eucharist. We are God’s kingdom — His people — and Christ is at the center.

Jesus Asks Us to Make a Radical Choice: Put the Kingdom of God First

Father Anthony Zimmerman of Nagoya, Japan states simply that the message of this mystery is about heaven and the way of life by which to achieve heaven. “Make the next world your goal, for this life passes away... Put the Kingdom of God before all your other cares.”

Everyone is called to enter God’s Kingdom and make it the center of their lives. As Peter Kreeft puts it, “Freud was right: every life has two absolute needs — love and work. Loving and working for the greatest thing that can ever happen on this earth, God’s kingdom, fulfills both needs more perfectly than anything else in this life ever can.”

To enter the kingdom of God, you must first accept Jesus’ words with humble trust: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says the kingdom belongs to the poor and the lowly, “which means those who accept Jesus’ words with humble trust... Jesus shares the life of the poor, from the cradle to the cross; he experiences hunger, thirst, and privation. Jesus identifies Himself with the poor of every kind and makes active love toward them the condition for entering the kingdom.” — Catechism of the Catholic Church

Invitation for Sinners

Jesus invites sinners to the kingdom. “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners." Jesus invites sinners to the conversion that is required to enter the kingdom, and shows them through His words and actions God’s infinite mercy for them. While on earth, Jesus freed some people from sickness, hunger and death; however, Jesus did not come to abolish all evils on earth, but to “free men from the gravest slavery, sin, which thwarts them in their vocation as God’s sons and causes all forms of human bondage.” — Catechism of the Catholic Church

The Holy Father tells us that in this mystery, Jesus calls everyone to conversion and forgives those who approach Him with humility and trust. He asks us to accept God’s merciful gift of love in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. “It is the inauguration of that ministry of mercy which he continues to exercise until the end of the world, particularly through the Sacrament of Reconciliation which He has entrusted to His Church.”