In the Third Joyful Mystery, we contemplate through the heart of Mary the Mystery of our Lord’s Nativity when God visited His people. In this Mystery, we can contemplate the birth of Jesus through the hearts of Mary and Joseph, through the eyes of the shepherds, and the minds of the Magi. It is a beautiful Mystery that brought the young and the old, the rich and the poor, the wise and the simple all together.
You know the story. After the angel Gabriel delivers God's almighty message and request to the handmaiden, he also informs her that her cousin Elizabeth, who is "getting on" in years as we would say, is also "with child" even unto her barren time.
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"Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God." An interesting choice of words from the archangel Gabriel, this "favor with God." When I first read this, I questioned if Gabriel and I shared the same definition and understanding of "favor," as it turns out, we don't. This favor is not partiality, benefit, or worldly; instead, it is quite heavenly. Favor with God, of which Gabriel speaks, refers to the privilege of sharing in the Divine life of God—of accepting, receiving, and cooperating with grace. Mary, full of grace, models how your life can be a rollercoaster, but your faith, hope, and love can remain steadfast.
Amanda Woodiel offers a list of prayer intentions for families to use while praying the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary. As you pray this Intentional Rosary, you may use a litany format where the leader reads the first part of each intention and the rest of the family responds with the second part, or the leader may pray the whole intention and then begin the Hail Mary.