June 4, 2013 by mattfradd
The Rosary,” wrote Blessed Pope John Paul II, “precisely because it starts with Mary’s own experience, is an exquisitely contemplative prayer. Without this contemplative dimension, it would lose its meaning.”
Pope Paul VI wrote that “without [this contemplation,] the Rosary is a body without a soul, and its recitation is in danger of becoming a mechanical repetition of formulas and of going counter to the warning of Christ: ‘And in praying do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard for their many words’ (Mt 6:7).’”
Because of this, it is vital that Christians familiarize themselves with the Scriptures in order to meditate on the mysteries of the life of Christ.
Below is the first Luminous mystery. To see other mysteries, click here.
The Baptism of Jesus (Matthew 3:13-17)
In the third chapter of Matthew we read of Jesus coming from Galilee to the river Jordan to be baptized by John the Baptist. Though John initially protests, saying, “I need to be baptized by you” (3:14), he consents to doing so after Jesus says, “Let it be so for now; for thus it is fitting to fulfill all righteousness” (3:15). After Jesus is baptized, St. Matthew tells us that Jesus “saw the spirit of God descending like a dove, and alighting on him” and that he heard the voice of the Father saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased” (3:17).
Pope Benedict sees the prophet Jonah as a type of Christ. Just as Jonah volunteered to be thrown into the sea to save the crew of the ship (Jonah 1:12), so “Jesus loaded the burden of all mankind’s guilt upon his shoulders . . . bore it down into the depths of the Jordan…[and] inaugurated his public activity by stepping into the place of Sinners.”
This mystery reminds us of our own baptism in which we were saved “by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit” (Tit 3:5). Through the sacrament of our baptism, God has given us his very life and can say of us in truth, “This is my beloved Son, with who I am well pleased.”
 Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth: From the Baptism in the Jordan to the Transfiguration, (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2007), 18.