The Mystery of the Commute

I like to pray the Rosary when I am on the Brown Line. Today, as I was praying the Luminous Mysteries,  I realized that these also describe the mysteries of the commute:

  •  The First Mystery: Jesus consecrates the commute. (Matthew 3:13-17) When Jesus went to the Jordan to baptized by John, John protested: "You should be baptizing me!" But Jesus said, "Let it be so now." This would be a great prayer for the commute. When my train is stopped because of freight train interference or a mechanical breakdown, I say "Let it be so now." When a taxi speeds by and drenches me in cold, dirty water, I say, "Let it be so now." And when I have to wait 10 minutes for the next "L" train, I say, "Let i be so now. When I let my commute just be what it is, I am inviting God to travel with me.
  • The Second Mystery: Jesus turns water into coffee. (John 2:1-11). I look forward to enjoying my morning cup of coffee on the train. Every sip is a prayer of gratitude, and that gratitude makes the coffee taste better. So it was at the wedding feast of Cana. Being open to Jesus' presence in the present moment is transformative. "Do whatever he tells you," Mary told the servants. And the water became wine. When I listen to Jesus--when I am present to his presence in the present--my morning cup of coffee can become communion with the divine. When I travel with love, patience, and joy, I feel Jesus' presence with me.
  • The Third Mystery: Jesus proclaims the commute. (Matthew 4:17) "The kingdom of heaven has come near!" Jesus calls me to repentance, that is, he calls me to conversion. But this is not a conversion in behaviors--I'm going to stop doing bad and start doing good. Rather, he is calling me to change my outlook. Jesus calls me to look at the commute not as a journey from point A to point B, but as an opportunity to see my commute as part of my story of faith. When Jesus calls me to repent, he is calling me to see where my story instersects with God's story. I'll find God waiting for me in this intersection.
  • The Fourth Mystery: The Transfiguration of the commute. (Matthew 17:1-13) God tells me to listen to Jesus, not to ideas about who Jesus is. God doesn't tell me to listen to what other people say about Jesus. God tells me to listen to Jesus and his message of mercy, compassion, and love. But I am called to do more than just listen to Jesus. I am called to imitate Jesus. I am called to imitate his love, his compassion, and his mercy. When I imitate Jesus during the commute, I will be like Peter and say, "It is good that we are here." Imitating Jesus, I will say, "It is good that I am commuting."
  • The Fifth Mystery: The institution of the Lord's commute. (Mark 14:22-25) Jesus gave us the Eucharist as an everlasting memorial that he is not only with us, but for us. Through the Eucharist, God consecrates the world, even our commutes. If I travel with Jesus, if I am present to him, if I imitate him, then I will find the God along the way, and I will realize that the commute is not taking me to holy ground, but it is holy ground.

These are the mysteries of the commute. If I travel in them, then my commute will become a joyful pilgrimage and not just part of my daily grind.