- Our Faith
- News and Events
- Contact Us
Dear brothers and sisters,
The Lenten Season has just begun. Having in mind its end, it calls for commitment to our baptism, though it depends on how we appreciate it. Jesus makes it captivating with His forty-day sojourn in the desert (Mk. 1:12-15). Portrayed among the wild beasts and served by angels, He is the new Adam, inaugurating the new covenant and the new creation, which are allusions to our baptism.
In her message, Our Lady explains baptism as our participation in the divine life, placing us in an order of life higher than our own (287 j). We will read Message 287: “I Ask for the Consecration of All” from the book, “To the Priests, Our Lady’s Beloved Sons.”
I. GOSPEL READING (Mark 1: 12-15)
The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert, and he remained in the desert for forty days, tempted by Satan. He was among wild beasts, and the angels ministered to him. After John had been arrested, Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God: “This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”
Points for Reflection
The number forty had long been associated with times of testing in the history of Israel. Noah’s flood for forty days and forty nights (Gen. 6:5) is one of them. Only his family and the animals with him were saved. In the First Reading (Gen. 9: 8-15), God promised Noah never to repeat the flood. We wonder why such a covenant. “This prefigured baptism, which saves you now,” Peter explains in the Second Reading (1 Pt. 3:18-22). As Noah and his family were saved through the waters of the flood, we were saved through the waters of baptism. This new kind of “water” to wash humanity clean of sin is depicted by the water that gushed from the pierced side of Jesus at Calvary.
In the desert, Jesus entered into what man had faced without success. Adam was tempted and fell into the serpent’s trap to disobey (Rom. 5: 12-14, 17-20). The Israelites had also not been able to resist the evil tendency to rebel, which made them wander and struggle in the wilderness. On
the other hand, Jesus was tempted but was victorious, conquering sin and death with His resurrection. He accomplished for us what we could not do for ourselves. This is what He does in baptism. “For, if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his” (Rom. 6:3-5). Buried with him by baptism into death, he enables us to walk in newness of life with him.
Reminiscent of Adam living among the animals in Eden (Gen. 2: 18-23), his love for God had to be tested in order for him to truly rule over all creation. But, his probation ended in disobedience, which drove him out of Eden. In the desert, Jesus is the new Adam. Living among the beasts and being served by the angels, He foreshadows the new creation; a reversal of what has befallen the first Adam. In baptism, Jesus brought forth the new creation in us. We were made children of God in the water of baptism (2 Cor. 5:7; Gal. 4:3-7).
Jesus’ sojourn in the desert speaks a lot about baptism. As we begin this holy season, let us start reviewing our own baptism in this perspective. Let us go beyond the ritual aspect of this sacrament and discover in it our dignity as baptized and the rich inheritance that we have as children of God. This would encourage us to commit ourselves to live our baptismal consecration.
March 25, 1984
Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord
(For this reflection, we will only read paragraph “g” to “E.”)
Points for Reflection
Consecration means being dedicated to God in order to render Him perfect worship. To enable us to do this, He bestows supernatural grace in baptism, putting us in an order of life higher than our own. Through this, we participate in the divine nature and enter into a communion of love with God. Accordingly, our actions gain a new value exceeding that of our nature, because they are divine. Baptism, thus, destines us to live in the love of the Father, in the imitation of the Son, and in full communion with the Holy Spirit, a perfect glorification of the Holy Trinity (287 i-k). This makes baptism a true act of consecration.
Our consecration to the Immaculate Heart is a special act of consecration, by which we intend to live, with her and through her, all the obligations we assumed in our baptismal consecration. Jesus anticipated this when at Calvary He entrusted us to Her as her children. In her message, She assures us to be “an attentive Mother,” concerned to make us grow in God's plan, to realize in our lives the great gift of our baptism. “I will bring you each day to an ever better imitation of Jesus, who must be your only model and your greatest love” (287 z).
What characterizes our consecration is its totality. “When you are consecrated you are then wholly so, and forever, that I may dispose of you according to the Will of God” (287 l-m). It is to emphasize this important aspect that She asks for the consecration to Her Immaculate Heart. “Today this is indispensable for my Church, which must be healed from its wounds of infidelity and apostasy in order to return to its splendor and to renewed holiness” (287 C).
Yours in the Immaculate Heart,
This reflection is shared with all cenacle and other prayer groups (priests and laity), communities and Marian organizations, associations and movements within and outside of the Philippines, with Our Lady’s words transcribed verbatim for those who do not have copies of the messages. This may also be shared with private individuals for their personal use.
Our Lady's messages are taken from the book: "To the Priests, Our Lady's Beloved Sons", a compilation of 604 messages in the form of locutions given by the Blessed Virgin Mary through Fr. Stefano Gobbi of Italy.
Imprimatur: Bp Donald W. Montrose, D.D., 1998
Abp Francesco Cuccarese, 2007