Introduction to the Mysteries of the Rosary from the perspective of an early Christian

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to those who Pray the Rosary

  1. Whoever shall faithfully serve me by the recistation of the rosary shall receive signal graces.
  2. I promise my special protection and the greatest graces to all those who shall recite the rosary.
  3. The rosary shall be a powerful armor against hell; it will destroy vice, decrease, sin, and defeat heresy.
  4. It will cause virtue and good works to flourish; it will obtain for souls the abundant mercy of God; it will withdraw the hearts of men from the love of the world and its vanities, and will lift them to the desire of eternal things. Oh, that souls would sanctify themselves by this means!
  5. The soul that recommends itself to me by the recitation of the rosary shall not perish.
  6. Whoever shall recite the rosary devoutly, applying himself to the consideration of its sacred mysteries, shall never be conquered by misfortune: if he he a sinner, he shall not perish by an unprovided death; if he be just, he shall remain in the grace of God. He shall become worthy of eternal life.
  7. Whoever shall have a true devotion for the rosary shall not die without the sacraments of the Church.
  8. Those who are faithful to the recitation of the rosary shall have, during their life and at their death the light of God and the plenitude of His graces. At the moment of death they shall participate in the merits of the saints in paradise.
  9. I shall deliver from purgatory those who have been devoted to the rosary.
  10. The faithful children of the rosary shall merit a high degree of glory in heaven.
  11. You shall obtain all you ask of me by the recitation of the rosary.
  12. All those who propagate the Holy Rosary shall be aided by me in their necessities.
  13. I have obtained from my Divine Son that all the advocates of the rosary shall have for intercessors the entire celestial court during their life and at the hour of death.
  14. All who recite the rosary are my sons, and brothers of my son, Jesus Christ.
  15. Devotion to my rosary is a great sign of predestination.

"The Rosary, though clearly Marian in character, is at heart a Christocentric prayer. In the sobriety of its elements, it has all the depth of the Gospel message in its entirety, of which it can be said to be a compendium. It is an echo of the prayer of Mary, her perennial Magnificat for the work of the redemptive Incarnation which began in her virginal womb. With the Rosary, the Christian sits at the school of Mary and is led to contemplate the beauty on the face of Christ and to experience the depths of his love. Through the Rosary the faithful receive abundant grace, as though from the very hands of the Mother of the Redeemer." ( Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae of the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II)

The Rosary, precisely because it starts with Mary's own experience, is an exquisitely contemplative prayer. Without this contemplative dimension, it would lose its meaning, as Pope Paul VI clearly pointed out: “Without contemplation, the Rosary is a body without a soul, and its recitation runs the risk of becoming a mechanical repetition of formulas, in violation of the admonition of Christ: 'In praying do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think they will be heard for their many words' (Mt 6:7). (Apostolic Letter “Rosarium Virginis Mariae” of the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II chapter 1: 12).

To that end we have provided, in this web site, the context for each of the Mysteries, a set of sample reflections.

There are two problems to be dealt with while praying a rosary: distractions and time. Now that I am retired, I can spend a couple of hours praying the rosary but most of us don’t have the luxury. But even then, trying to stay focused is a challenge. So we are always looking for assists in maintaining focus and contemplation. The Amici di Giuseppe, the Dominican, the Flame of Love, and the Traditional rosaries all can use the 50th Rose described by St. Louis De Monfort. The Dominican, Flame of Love, and Traditional rosaries have a display option "Display Prayers" that is set up specifically for Zoom Rosaries.

This work is dedicated to my mother who has never stopped praying for me. She has shown me the way to Jesus is through His mother.
Ichthys (1),(2)
  (1) ΙΧΘΥΣ (ichthys), a Greek word meaning “fish” is an acronym for "Ἰησοῦς Χριστός, Θεοῦ Υἱός,Σωτήρ" (Iēsous Christos, Theou Yios, Sōtēr; which translates into English as "Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour."
 (2) The symbol of the fish was used by early Christians to recognize other Christians.  A Christian would draw either the top or bottom line in the dust and if the other person was a Christian he or she would complete the symbol.


Mary has asked us to say the rosary and to consider the Mysteries of the Rosary from her point of view.  She has also suggested that the scriptures make a useful reference for meditation as we say the Rosary.  Since most of us don’t have access to the combined narratives of the gospels, Jewish traditions, Jewish history, rabbinical teaching techniques, or the current research on the shroud; this document is provided as a background on the Mysteries of the Rosary.  It is grounded in the scriptures by supplementing the combined narratives from the gospels.  It is intended to serve as a reference; to provide the historical background to the events surrounding the various Mysteries. 

The Rosary is not intended to be just a series of repetitions of Hail Marys.  The Rosary is meditative prayer.  The Hail Mary said reverently is supposed to function as a mantra [1]  allowing the mind to reflect on the Mystery.  Did you ever notice how much your mind wanders while you say the rosary in a group?  Wouldn’t it be better to have the mind reflecting on the appropriate Mystery?  To do that requires an understanding of the Mystery. 

To get the most out of the Rosary one needs to first understand what was happening, the context, to form a basis for meditation.  Let me begin with an example of a short story from scripture that you are familiar with:
On another Sabbath He [Jesus] entered the synagogue and was teaching; and there was a man there whose right hand was withered.  The Scribes and the Pharisees were watching Him closely to see if He healed on the Sabbath, so that they might find reason to accuse Him.  But He knew what they were thinking, and He said to the man with the withered hand, “Get up and come forward!”  And he got up and came forward.  And Jesus said to them, “I ask you, is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the Sabbath, to save a life or to destroy it?”  But they kept silent.  After looking around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, He said to him, “Stretch out your hand!” And he did so; and his hand was restored.  The Pharisees went out and immediately began conspiring with the Herodians against Him, as to how they might destroy Him (Mt 12:10-14, Mk 3:1-6, Lk 6:6-11). [2]
An extreme reaction to curing on the Sabbath don’t you think? [3] Jesus knew that He was being set up by the Scribes and Pharisees.  They wanted to categorize Jesus as a sinner. (The word “accuse” that was used also means “categorize”.)  They wanted to be able to discount the things that Jesus was saying which made them uncomfortable.  Jesus knew what was happening and decided to make the situation into a learning experience for the people in the synagogue:

Remember that the man with the withered hand did not asked to be healed.  He was just listening to Jesus speak.  Jesus asked him to come to the front so that He could more readily make his point.  He then asked the Scribes and Pharisees: “I ask you, is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the Sabbath, to save a life or to destroy it?”  Jesus was referring to Moses’ sermon in which he explained the law (Deut 11:26-28, Deut 30:15-18), a sermon that has been memorized word for word by everyone present and which basically says: if you obey by pursuing life and good, you will receive blessings; and if you disobey by pursuing death and evil you will receive curses. Jesus implied that to fail to do the good, is to do harm.  The Scribes and Pharisees were getting a new interpretation on the words of Moses.  A new interpretation that they realized was correct. (This story serves as a proof that Jesus was a rabbi.  If Jesus were not a rabbi, the Scribes and Pharisees would have stopped him right there.  Only an authorized rabbi can provide a new interpretation of scripture.  That means that Jesus had to have spent his early years studying and then at least 8 years serving as Talmid, apprentice, to a Master Rabbi.) The Scribes and Pharisees were going to categorize Jesus as someone that can be ignored because he did not keep the law.  Instead, Jesus has just pointed out that according to that same law, they are the ones failing to keep the law because they are not asking, even begging, Jesus to cure the man.  The trap they set for Jesus had just rebounded onto themselves.  They were the ones not keeping the law!

They chose to remain silent because to answer Jesus, they either had to publicly deny Moses (condemning themselves in the eyes of all present) or they had to ask Jesus to cure the man.  Jesus was angered at their lack of response, but He wasn’t finished yet, his teaching moment had just begun. 

The rabbis used a variety of teaching techniques to convey a message so that it could be easily remembered.  One of the common ones was “enactment”, a technique in which the rabbi enacted a scene from the Torah.  Since everyone in the Synagogue had memorized the entire Torah word for word, it only took a few words to set the stage so that everyone “got the message”.  The evangelists set the stage for us, the reader of the story, by saying that Jesus was angered at the hardness of their hearts.  Who in the Torah was known for hardness of heart?  Pharaoh.  Who stretched out his arm before Pharaoh?  Moses.  Who told Moses to stretch out his arm?  Yahweh.  What happened when Moses stretched out his arm?  Miracles, which confounded Pharaoh. 

Thus, when Jesus told the man to stretch out his arm, Jesus was enacting a scene from Exodus, where He was playing the role of Yahweh, the man with the withered arm was playing Moses, and the Scribes and Pharisees were forced into playing Pharaoh.  Everyone in the Synagogue understood that Jesus was doing much more than just curing the man.  He was demonstrating that the Scribes and Pharisees, just like Pharaoh, were bullies who cared nothing for the people.  Only Jesus didn’t call them bullies who use the law as a weapon, Moses just did!  Moses did it with a major miracle as an explanation point. 

The Scribes and Pharisees were the face of the religion to all the people in the Synagogue.  They were the ones who kept all 613 commandments and taught the law and the prophets.  Philosophically speaking the major problem between Jesus and the Scribes and Pharisees is in the two greatest commandments. Jesus’ interpretation of love requires a relationship and is based on sacrifice: no sacrifice equals no love. The Scribes and Pharisees believed that all that was necessary was to keep the 613 commandments. They only wanted a relationship with the law. That allowed them to focus on wealth, power, fame, and pleasure for themselves. Jesus had no use for them as they served only themselves.  Jesus used their trap to show them to be bullies who use the law as a weapon. 

Do you think any of them ever went back to that synagogue?  Now, it makes sense that the Scribes and Pharisees were so upset that they joined with the Herodians to figure out how to destroy Jesus.

So, why did Jesus do that to the Scribes and Pharisees?  It almost seems a mean thing to do.  The way Jesus set up the incident is revealing.  He gave them the interpretation of the Law that allowed, even required him to heal on the Sabbath.  He explained it in the form of a question.  We are told He was angry at the hardness of their hearts when they didn’t answer.  The Scribes and Pharisees did it to themselves by not answering.  Everyone in the Synagogue knew the correct answer.   The refusal of the scribes and Pharisees to respond required Jesus to respond so that their attempt to prevent Jesus from teaching the truth was clear to those present. 

That short vignette, that is given in all the synoptic Gospels, now takes on a much deeper meaning because you now know the context that the evangelists all presumed you already knew.

The next time you hear the story of the man with the withered hand, read as the Gospel, you will know and recall the whole story without hearing all the detail provided here.  This Web publication is intended to provide the context for each of the Mysteries of the Rosary.  So that subsequent Rosaries can then be reflections on the context without the need to review the contextual details.

This Web publication will provide you with a look at the Mysteries of the Rosary within the context that an early Jewish Christian would have had.  The context is based on some notions shared by the early Christians that you will find woven throughout.
1.      The message that excited the early Christians was not the forgiveness of sins.  It was that through Jesus’ death and resurrection, Jesus established the Kingdom of God on earth. The concept is best articulated by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin when when he said: “You are not a human being in search of a spiritual experience.  You are a spiritual being immersed in a human experience.” [4]   Thus, God can be metaphorically thought of as a farmer who is raising a crop of spiritual beings.  The physical universe is his farm.  God always knew that we as human, “spiritual”, beings would fail miserably, if left to ourselves.  God knew that He would have to come into humanity to show us how to love, how to be like Him.  He knew that if He did that, we would ultimately do what He asked Adam and Eve to do in the garden of Eden, “to till it and keep [protect] it” (Gen 2:15).  

      So, God, in the person of his son Jesus, came into humanity to (re-)establish the Kingdom of God on earth.  Only then, with Jesus’ message of  “Love each other as I have loved you” could the earthly garden for the raising of spiritual beings become the productive garden that God wanted it to be.  When Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to the early Christians (both Gentile and Jew) they became very aware of the spiritual reality of which they were a part: “My kingdom is not of this world” (Jn 18:36).  When they saw the signs worked by the Apostles in the name of Jesus they had tangible validation of the truth of the message.

2.       Right from the outset, in Genesis, the Old Testament points to the New Testament.  In fact, beginning with the first word in the Bible: “In the beginning” which in Hebrew is בְּרֵאשִׁית "Barasheet”.  In Hebrew every letter is also a number and a picture word.  Hebrew is written from right to left thus the first two letters of Barasheet are the Hebrew letters בְּ Bet and רֵ Resh. By combining these two letters, the Hebrew word בְּרֵ "Bar" is formed, which means “son of". For example, the phrase "Simon bar Jonah" means: Simon, son of Jonah, where the Hebrew word "bar" means "son".  So:
 “In the beginning”, ” בְּרֵאשִׁית ”:

בְּרֵ Bet & Resh = Son of;
א Aleph = God, the first;
שִׁ Shin = To destroy;
י Yod = By his effort or hand; and
ת Tav = The cross

If all 6 Hebrew letters in the word Barasheet are used to construct a sentence from the meaning of each letter, the following statement is created:
"The Son of God will be destroyed (or killed) by His own hand (or by his own effort) on the cross."

Now, why is this so significant? Because God made sure that His word (the Hebrew Scriptures) contain the truth: that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that, from the beginning (בְּרֵאשִׁית "Barasheet”), it was determined by God, that His Son, Jesus Christ, would die on the cross for our transgressions. Indeed, according to the New Testament (Rev 13:8), Jesus is “the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world.”   Even the very name of God: “ יהוה “,“Yahweh” when translated from the pictogram is "Behold the Hand, Behold the nail."  [5]

In Genesis 5 we find the genealogy from Adam to Noah.  Each name can be traced to its etymological roots [6]  to see the meaning of the name, which every Jewish Christian would have known.
Mortal, Feeble, Frail
God who is praised
Shall come down
His death shall bring

Reading the meanings as two sentences from Adam to Noah, we get:  Mankind (is) appointed (to) mortal(ity), feeble(ness), frail(ity), and sorrow.  God who is praised shall come down [in the person of his Son] teaching (that) his death shall bring the despairing comfort. 

Noah’s son Shem was the only righteous first-born son all the way back to Adam. Shem became the King of Salem [7] [8] [9] which was later renamed Jerusalem.  As king of Salem he was also called Melchizedek: Prince of Peace.  Abraham defeated the  kings in the area of Salem, while rescuing his nephew (Gen 14:14-16).  Since in defeating them he also saved Salem,  Melchizedek, a priest of God Most High, came out from Salem and offered a thanksgiving sacrifice of bread and wine.  Thus, the Prince of Peace initiated the Todah (Gen 14:18-19).  The Todah [10]  is a thanksgiving offering of bread and wine that is offered in thanksgiving for a deliverance from great peril.  The Messiah was to be a priest of the order of Melchizedek (Ps 110:4), a priesthood handed down from father to son, in which the priest was also prophet and king. [11]

3.      God wanted Moses to convey to his people some truths that He wanted them to never forget.  Those truths form the very basis of salvation history.  So, he made them a list of festivals to be celebrated every year (Lev 23:4-43): Passover,Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, Pentecost, Trumpets, Atonement, and Tabernacles.  He called them “holy convocations, my appointed feasts” (Lev 23:2).  Convocation in Hebrew “קָרָא”,(transliterated: “kaw-raw”), has two meanings and God meant both: a convocation and a dress rehearsal. 

convocation is when all the Israelite men, were to convene in the place designated for the worship of Yahweh: the place where the Ark of the Covenant resided (Deut 16:6).  After the Exodus, but prior to David that place varied between Bethel (Jug 20:27), Shiloh (1Sam 1:3), seven months (1Sam 6:1in the hands of the Philistines in Ashdod, in the temple of Dagon (1Sam 5:2), Kiriath-jearim (1Sam 7:3) and later Gibeon, in the house of Obed-edom (2Sam 6:11).   After David, it was Jerusalem.  “Three times a year all your men must appear before the LORD your God at the place he will choose: at the Feast of Passover, the Feast of Weeks [Pentecost], and the Feast of Tabernacles” (Deut 16:16).  Women and children went to Jerusalem for Passover which is a family feast but were only required to go to Jerusalem for Tabernacles on a Sabbatical, Shmittah year – years divisible by 7 (Deut 31:10-13).  They did not need to attend the other Feasts.  (The holy family went to Jerusalem every year for Passover (Lk 2:41).)

dress rehearsal concept implies that the feasts are prophecies of something beyond themselves.  These feasts form the cornerstone of the practice of the Jewish faith. 

Jesus was Jewish, and the Jewish faith is focused on the Feasts of the Lord.  Jesus said: "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.”(Mt 5:17-20) It is easy to understand how Jesus fulfilled the prophets, but how do you fulfill the law unless there is prophecy in the law: the law defines the Feasts of the Lord and requires that they be celebrated every year.  Jesus has already fulfilled 5 of the seven feasts: Tabernacles, Unleavened Bread, Passover, First Fruits, and Pentecost and He fulfilled each of them on the specific day of each feast!  Because God does not forget his promises, Jesus will also fulfill the two remaining feasts: Trumpets and Atonement.

The Feasts in date sequence, according to the Jewish Temple, solar/lunar Religious Calendar:

Passover (Pesach) is celebrated on the 14th day of the first month, Nisan. It is a remembrance of the sacrifice of an unblemished, male lamb; whose blood saved the 1st born sons of the Israelites.  It is in fact a dress rehearsal for the sacrifice of God’s First-Born Son, the Lamb of God, to save all men. St. Paul, understanding that Jesus fulfills the Feasts of the Lord said to the Corinthians "For Christ our Passover has now been immolated"(1Cor 5:7).

Unleavened Bread (Chag Matzot) begins on the 15th of Nisan with the Seder Meal which was both the sacrificial meal for the Paschal lamb and a Todah offering of unleavened bread and wine. The Todah was in thanksgiving for the deliverance, about to be provided, by the blood of the paschal lamb: the angel of death would see the blood on the door posts and lintel of the homes of those who had participated in the Seder meals. The Angel of death would then "pass over" their houses (Ex 12:21-23).  The word “Todah” means “thanksgiving”.  Todah in the Greek is “Eucharistia”.   The Seder is a dress rehearsal for the Eucharist: a Todah, Eucharistic, offering of unleavened bread and wine in thanksgiving for the deliverance [from sin] accomplished through the blood of the Lamb of God.  The Seder Meal is celebrated on Nisan 15, after the death of the Paschal Lamb. Jesus could not very well celebrate the Seder Meal after He was already in the grave. However, God provided the solution to the problem by having two calendars in use in Jerusalem. The Tempel calendar which was a lunar/solar calendar and the Essene calendar which was a solar calendar. The Last Supper, a Seder meal, was initiated on the 15th of Nisan, according to the Essene calendar.  God uses both of His calendars!  All three Synoptic Gospels have Jesus celebrating the Seder Meal with the Apostles (Mt 16:17-20, Mk 14:14-16, Lk 22:7-12, Lk 22:15). The Last Supper was an “un-bloody” sacrifice; as the Essenes were not allowed to offer sacrifice in the temple.  It was completed on the cross, with the completion of the Seder ritual’s consumption of the 4th cup and the declaration of the Nirtzah: “It is finished”.   That happened right before the death of the Paschal lamb, the Lamb of God, on the Feast of Passover: Nisan 14 on the Temple calendar!  Jesus, the Lamb of God, had been selected by the people on Lamb Selection Day as the lamb for sacrifice for all the people.

First Fruits (Reishit Katzir) is the celebration of the first fruits of the harvest.  It is an acknowledgement that God continues to provide for us.  Jesus is the first fruit of the resurrection, opening the Kingdom of God and demonstrating that God continues to provide for us for all eternity (1Cor 15:20).  First Fruits was the third day: Passover Eve (the day the Lamb of God died on the cross) is the first day; the first day of Unleavened Bread (the Seder) is the second day; and First Fruits is the third day.  First Fruits was the day Jesus rose from the grave.  So, in answer to the question: Where does it say in scripture that the Messiah must die and rise on the third day? Something we profess to believe every time we say the Nicene Creed at Mass: “and the third day he rose again, according to the Scriptures”. Although most scholars will quote Hos 6:2, it is specifically in the fulfillment of Passover and First Fruits! (Lev 23:1-14). Passover, Nisan 15, is always a Sabbath. The calendar is always tweaked so that two Sabbaths will never occur back to back: Friday & Saturday or Saturday & Sunday. That was because no cooking was done on the Sabbath and without refrigeration food would not keep for two days without cooking. Thus the Feast of First Fruits is always on the 3rd day.

Pentecost (Shavuot) means 50 days and is the 50th day after First Fruits.  It is a memorial of the day God himself came down on Mount Sinai in a cloud of fire and smoke and a blast of God's trumpet (Ex 19:18-19), to ratify the covenant with his people.  It is a dress rehearsal for the day the Holy Spirit comes down as flames of fire on the disciples, with a noise loud enough to draw a crowd of over 3,000 to the Cenacle, to ratify the new covenant written in our hearts.

Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah) is celebrated on the 1st day of the 7th month.  The feast celebrates God judgement: when all the world is judged before God’s throne. [12]  It is unfulfilled but thought to be the warning or illumination when everyone will see themselves as God sees them.  The first of the three events that must yet be fulfilled before the Messiah returns is that the Gospel must have reached all men.  If you think about it the only way that can happen is with the warning, a supernatural event in which all men recognize the truth.  It is interesting to note that it is the only event that happens to everyone in the world on the same day, the Feasts of Trumpets.  If you think about it there is no time when it is the same day everywhere in the world, but Trumpets is also a 2-day feast, oh what a coincidence!

Atonement (Yom Kippur) is the holiest day of the year.  It is celebrated on the 10th day of the 7th  month.  It is unfulfilled.  It is thought to be when the Jewish nation will acknowledge Jesus as the Messiah.  The second event, that must happen before the end, is the appearance of the anti-Christ; and the third event is the conversion of the Jews. That third event is not meant to be the personal conversion of every Jew but rather the acknowledgement by the Jewish people, the nation of Israel, that Jesus was/is the Messiah.

Tabernacles (Succot), the Feast of “God with us”, in Hebrew “Emanuel”, is on the 15th day of the 7th  month.  It is the feast that celebrates God’s physical presence with the Israelites in a pillar of cloud by day to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light during the Exodus (Ex 13:21).  The feast is celebrated by living in “Sukkot”, tents with a thatched roof, through which the stars must be visible, and rain must leak into the dwelling. On the feast of Tabernacles four giant menorahs were constructed in the court of women in the temple which like the pillar of fire during the Exodus provided light for all of Jerusalem. Tabernacles is a dress rehearsal for the birth of Jesus; when God came to live among his people as the Light of the World and the Source of Living Water. Jesus was born in a stable, which with the thatched roof qualified as a sukkah. The stable was used to protect infant lambs during their first week of life, while they were still vulnerable to the weather. Jesus, like infant lambs, was inspected by Levitical Shepherds and found without blemish thus qualified for sacrifice on Passover: The Lamb of God!

It is interesting to note that just as it says in scripture the first shall be last and the last shall be first (Mk 10:21). Tabernacles was the first of the Feasts to be fulfilled and the last in the list on the Jewish lunar, solar calendar.  The establishment of Tabernacles as the date of Jesus birth from scripture and its reasonableness according to extra biblical sources is covered in detail at the start of the Dates of the birth and death of Jesus- Jewish Temple Priest Rotation- Courses of Priest from 70 AD to 4 BC.

4.      The story of Jesus’ birth, life, and death is the story of the Lamb of God.  You will discover that the story of Jesus’ birth is the story of the birth of the Lamb of God.  When Jesus began his ministry, John the Baptist called out: “Behold the Lamb of God” (Jn 1:29to identify Jesus as the Lamb of God.  When Jesus began Holy Week, He came into to Jerusalem as the Lamb of God and was chosen by the people as the lamb for the sacrifice for all people on Passover.  On Friday morning, while the sacrificial lamb was tied to the altar in the temple, Jesus, the Lamb of God, was nailed to the altar on which He would die.  As the Lamb for the sacrifice, for all the people; Jesus was the first lamb to die: The Lamb of God! Jesus’ death and resurrection initiated the Kingdom of God on earth.  It was the day the revolution began. [13]

When John entered the tomb after the resurrection, it says: “For they did not understand the scripture that He had to rise from the dead.”  If you have memorized the Torah and much of the Tanakh why would you fail to understand?  When Jesus explained scripture to Clophas and Luke [14] and later to the rest of the disciples in the upper room, he was pointing out to them something they could not have known:  that all the Feasts of the Lord were Messianic prophecies.

Jesus said that when the fig tree blooms (Israel becomes a nation) this generation will not pass away before all will be accomplished (Mt 24:32-34).  I suspect He was referring to his work of fulfilling the Feasts of the Lord.  Note: These feasts do not necessarily refer to the 2nd coming or the end of the world.  Oh, and the fig tree bloomed in 1948.

[1] While some think of “mantra” as an Asian religious concept, it is now generally used to mean a word or phrase that is repeated in any meditation.
[2] This document combines the narratives of the Gospels. The scriptural references refer to the various sources for the combination but will not necessarily match word for word any individual translation. The primary biblical sources include: The Revised Standard Version Second Catholic Edition, Ignatius Press, San Francisco; The Saint Joseph Edition of The New American Bible, Catholic Book Publishing Co. New York; Navarre Bible both New and Old Testaments, Four Courts Press, Scepter Publishers, Dublin, New York, New Jersey, The New American Bible Revised Edition, World Catholic Press, Catholic Book Publishing Corp., NJ.
[3] Adapted from James Alison’s Jesus the Forgiving Victim, Kindle edition pg 356
[4] Widely attributed to Pierre Teilhard de Chardin but a specific reference is not available
[5] Dr. Kenneth Stevenson: NAZAH: White Linen and the Blood Sprinkling
[7] Salem (Σάλεμ) is the Greek word for Peace
[8] Hebrew = ”Todah”; English = ”Thanksgiving”, Greek = ”Eucharistia”
[9] In Genesis the priesthood was handed down from father to son. We saw above the genealogy from Adam to Noah, and Shem was Noah’s first-born son. Thus, he was a “Priest of God most High”. Shem out lived all his descendants through and including Abraham. In Genesis it is recorded that after the Todah, Thanksgiving Sacrifice, Shem blessed Abraham (Gen 14:19), making him his spiritual heir: passing on to him priesthood.
[10] Rabbi Arthur Hertzberg: Judaism p190.
[11] We know that Jesus died at 3pm which was the time that the sacrifice of Paschal lambs began. The lamb selected by the people as the sacrifice for all the people was always the first lamb sacrificed. It is reasonable to then assume that Jesus would have died just before the lamb sacrificed by Caiaphas.
[12] The Feast of Trumpets in Old Testament times was understood as the inauguration of a judgment process. Rosh Hashanah itself is also known as Yom Hadin or the Day of Judgment, on which God opens the Books of Life and Death, which are then sealed on Yom Kippur.
[13] N.T. Wright, The Day the Revolution Began: Reconsidering the meaning of Jesus’ Crucifixion.
[14] The Eastern Church Fathers maintain the the Disciple accompaning Clophas on the road to Emmaus was Luke, following the tradition of an author not naming oneself. However Dr. Tim Gray of the Agustine Institute holds that Clophas was accompanied by his wife: Mary, the wife of Clophas, who had been present under the cross at the crucifixion. Dr. Gray has a wonderful meditation comparing Jesus's walking with the couple on the road to God walking with Adam and Eve in the garden before the fall.