Dear brothers and sisters,

Ave Maria!

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

 

  1. In the desert for forty days

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.

 

  1. Tempted by Satan

     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.

 

  1. Among wild beasts and angels

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.

  1. OUR LADY’S MESSAGE: “I ASK FOR THE CONSECRATION OF ALL” (MESSAGE 287)

 

March 25, 1984

Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord

 

(For this reflection, we will only read paragraph “g” to “E.”)

 

  1. Why do I ask you for the consecration?
  2. When a thing is consecrated, it is removed from all uses other than the sacred one to which it has been assigned, and so it is with an object designated for the divine worship.
  3. But this can also be the case with a person, when such a one is called by God to render Him perfect worship. Understand then how your true act of consecration is that of baptism.
  4. By this sacrament, instituted by Jesus, grace is communicated to you, placing you in an order of life higher than your own, namely the supernatural life. Through this you participate in the divine nature, you enter into a communion of love with God, and your actions, accordingly, have a new value exceeding that of your nature, because they have a value, which is truly divine.
  5. After baptism you are then destined for the perfect glorification of the Most Holy Trinity and consecrated to live in the love of the Father, in the imitation of the Son, and in full communion with the Holy Spirit.
  6. The fact that characterizes the act of consecration is its totality: when you are consecrated you are then wholly so, and forever!
  7. When I ask you for the consecration to my Immaculate Heart, it is to make you understand that you must completely entrust yourselves to me, in a total and everlasting way, that I may dispose of you according to the Will of God.
  8. You must entrust yourselves in a manner that is complete, giving me everything; you should not give me one thing and hold on to another, for yourselves; you should truly be wholly mine.
  9. And then you should entrust yourselves to me not on one day yes and on another day no, or for a period of time as you would have it, but forever.
  10. It is to emphasize this important aspect of a complete and lasting dedication to me, your heavenly Mother, that I ask for the consecration to my Immaculate Heart.
  11. How should the consecration be lived by you?
  12. If you consider the ineffable mystery the Church commemorates today, you will understand how the consecration I have asked of you should be lived.
  13. The Word of the Father was entrusted completely to me, in love. After my yes, He came down into my virginal womb.
  14. He was entrusted to me in his divinity.
  15. The Eternal Word, Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity, after the incarnation, was received and hidden in the tiny dwelling, miraculously prepared by the Holy Spirit, of my virginal womb.
  16. He was entrusted to me in his humanity, in a manner as profound as the way any son is entrusted to the mother, from whom everything is expected: blood, flesh, breath, food, love, to enable him to grow in her womb each day, and then - after birth - each year, always close to the mother.
  17. For this reason, just as I am the Mother of the Incarnation, so also I am the Mother of the Redemption, which had on this occasion its wonderful beginning.
  18. And so you see me intimately associated with my Son Jesus; I collaborate with Him in his work of salvation, during his infancy, his adolescence, his thirty years of hidden life at Nazareth, his public ministry, during his sorrowful passion and up to the Cross where I offer and suffer with Him, receiving his last words of love and sorrow, in which I am given to all as true Mother.
  19. Beloved sons, called to imitate Jesus in everything because you are his ministers, imitate Him also in this, his complete reliance on the heavenly Mother. For this reason I ask you to offer yourselves to me with your consecration.
  20. I will be able to be an attentive Mother for you, concerned to make you grow in God's plan, to realize in your lives the great gift of the priesthood to which you have been called; I will bring you each day to an ever better imitation of Jesus, who must be your only model and your greatest love. You will be true instruments, faithful collaborators in his redemption.
  21. Today this is necessary for the salvation of all humanity, so diseased and so far from God and from the Church.
  22. By an extraordinary intervention of his merciful love, the Lord can save this humanity, and you, priests of Christ and my beloved sons, are called to be the instruments of the triumph of the merciful love of Jesus.
  23. 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.
  24. Your heavenly Mother wishes to heal the Church through you, my priests. I will do this soon, if you will allow me to work in you, if you entrust yourselves with docility and simplicity to my merciful maternal action.
  25. Again today, with sorrowful supplication, I ask you all to consecrate yourselves to my Immaculate Heart.

 

Points for Reflection

 

  1. Baptism, the Real Act of Consecration

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.

 

  1. Our Special Act of Consecration in the Immaculate Heart of Mary

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).

 

  1. Totality, the Characteristic of Our Consecration

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,

Fr. Omer

 

Note:
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

 

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