The following are brief introductions to the five Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary. During a week of summer camp, I presented five talks, each based on one of these mysteries. Though they were created for camp, I have found them useful for my own prayer. Reading them before each mystery of the Rosary helps focus my mind and heart on just one or two items for meditation. (For more on Rosary meditation see my blog Making the Rosary More Meaningful).
They could also be used outside of the Rosary to simply meditate on a specific story of the Gospel. I hope they are a blessing!
The Church recommends we pray the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary on Mondays and Saturdays. I hope that these reflections will draw you deeper into the hearts of Jesus and Mary. When we meditate on the Scriptures, the deepest parts of our hearts begin to surface. Do not be afraid to let this happen and converse with your God about even the most secret parts of you.
1st Joyful Mystery: The Annunciation of the Angel Gabriel to Mary
I beg for the grace "no" to my fears and "yes" to the great things God has in store for me. In this mystery, Mary was "greatly troubled at the saying [of the angel,] and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be." Holy Spirit, help me to ponder what is going on in Mary's heart as she wrestles with her fears and seeks the courage to say "yes," ("fiat"), to God: "let it be done to me according to Your Word."
2nd Joyful Mystery: The Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth
I beg for the grace to live in the present moment and to experience God here with me no matter where I'm at physically, mentally, or spiritually. In this mystery, Elizabeth's child leapt in her womb and she is "filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry" blessings upon her cousin, Mary, and the fruit of her womb, Jesus. Holy Spirit, help me to ponder what the encounter and conversation between Mary and Elizabeth would have been like as they share their joys and struggles with each other in the midst of miracle pregnancies and the chaos of life.
3rd Joyful Mystery: The Nativity, the Birth of Jesus Christ, Savior of the World
I beg for the grace to put all of my trust in God who is always faithful to His promises. In this mystery, the angel proclaims to the Shepherds "good news of a great joy" that "to you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." The child Jesus is the fulfillment of all God's promises. Holy Spirit, help me to hold the child Jesus in my arms and gaze upon Him with joy and gratitude as my heart is moved with love for Him who has loved me so much.
4th Joyful Mystery: The Presentation of the Child Jesus in the Temple
I beg for the grace to be open to hearing God's voice by continually offering my treasures to the Lord to do with them what He wills. In this mystery, Joseph and Mary "brought [Jesus] to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord." Holy Spirit, help me to ponder what is going on in the minds and hearts of Joseph and Mary as they offer Jesus, their greatest treasure, to God without knowing what is going to come in the future.
5th Joyful Mystery: The Finding of Jesus in the Temple
I beg for the grace to be willing to daily respond in obedience to God's will which I know leads to true freedom. At the end of this mystery, Jesus "went down with [Joseph and Mary] and came to Nazareth and was obedient to them." Holy Spirit, help me to imagine what life in Nazareth would have been like for Jesus as a [middle schooler / teenager / young adult] and consider how he would have demonstrated obedience to Joseph, Mary, and God in His daily life.