On the Word of the Lord and the Message of Our Lady
A Guide on Living Our Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
by Fr. Omer Prieto
Feast of the Lord’s Baptism (Year C)
Gospel: Luke 3:15-16, 21-22
Our Lady’s Message: I Ask for the Consecration of All (287)
Brothers and sisters,
We celebrate this Sunday the Feast of the Lord’s Baptism, His first public act that initiated Him to His mission. Though without sin, he lined up with the people to be likewise baptized with water, thus identifying Himself with sinners (Lk. 3:15-16, 21-22). Taking our sins upon Himself, He redeemed us through His death and resurrection, through which we all were baptized in the Holy Spirit and in fire. In this initial act of having himself baptized, He is shown as the beloved Son with whom the Father is well pleased, fulfilling the prophecy long foretold (Is. 42:1-4, 6-7), the Lord of all (Acts 10:34-38) who will bless His people with peace (Ps. 29:1-4, 9-10).
In her message, Our Lady talks about baptism, the sacrament that Jesus instituted to communicate grace to us, placing us in an order of life higher than our own, namely the supernatural life (287 j). To help us live our baptism, She calls for the consecration of all to Her Immaculate Heart. We will read an excerpt from Message 287: “I Ask for the Consecration of All” from the book “To the Priests Our Lady’s Beloved Sons.”
I. GOSPEL READING (Luke 3:15-16, 21-22)
The people were filled with expectation, and all were asking in their hearts whether John might be the Christ. John answered them all, saying, “I am baptizing you with water, but one mightier than I is coming. I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” After all the people had been baptized and Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”
Points for Reflection
1. Jesus had also been baptized.
It looks odd for Jesus to be baptized with water, as He is divine and sinless; but He subjected Himself to it. By lining up with the people to be likewise baptized, He wanted to demonstrate that He was taking upon Himself humanity’s sinfulness in order to redeem us. Taking the first step, He identified Himself with us sinners.
In His first public act, Jesus’ humility is no doubt exceptional. He was declared the “beloved Son with whom the Father was well pleased,” fulfilling Isaiah’s prophecy in the First Reading (Is. 42:1-4, 6-7). Anointed with the Holy Spirit and power, He is the “Lord of all”, Paul tells us in the Second Reading (Acts 10:34-38), the One who “will bless His people with peace” (Ps. 29:1-4, 9-10).
2. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
Lining up with sinners to be baptized was merely symbolic, though. He redeemed us through His death and resurrection. By dying, He put to death all our sins, which He took upon Himself. By rising, He came out of the tomb, ushering us to new life in the Spirit. This is signified in the Gospel by the opening of heaven and the descent of the Holy Spirit. This is the baptism “in the Holy Spirit and fire,” by which we were all baptized. Cleansing us from sin and restoring divine life to us with the dignity of God’s children, this is no doubt “mightier” than John’s baptism “with water.”
3. Our Life as God’s Children
During the 3rd century, St. Cyprian wrote to his friend Donatus: “It’s a bad world in which we live. But right in the middle of it, I have discovered a quiet and holy group of people. They are people who have found a happiness that is a thousand times more joyful than all the pleasures of our sinful lives. These people are despised and persecuted, but it doesn’t matter to them. Donatus, they are Christians, and I am one of them.”
By Jesus’ baptism “in the Holy Spirit and fire,” we were reborn and made children of God, receiving the same love and delight from the Father. Let us therefore echo Cyprian’s words without hesitation: “We, too, are one of them.” Let us live our baptism and make a difference in the world in which we live.
II. OUR LADY’S MESSAGE: “I ASK FOR THE CONSECRATION OF ALL” (Message 287)
March 25, 1984
Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord
(For our reflection, we will read an excerpt, starting from paragraph g.)
g. Why do I ask you for the consecration?
h. 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.
i. 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.
j. 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.
k. 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.
l. The fact that characterizes the act of consecration is its totality: when you are consecrated you are then wholly so, and forever!
m. When I ask you for 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.
n. 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.
o. 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.
p. 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.
q. How should the consecration be lived by you?
r. If you consider the ineffable mystery the Church commemorates today, you will understand how the consecration I have asked of you should be lived.
s. The Word of the Father was entrusted completely to me. After my yes, He came down into my womb.
t. He was entrusted to me in his divinity.
u. 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.
v. 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.
w. 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.
x. 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 humanity as true Mother.
y. Called to imitate Jesus in everything, imitate Him also in his complete reliance on the heavenly Mother. For this reason I ask you to offer yourselves to me with your consecration.
z. 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.
A. Today this is necessary for the salvation of all humanity, so diseased, so far from God and from the Church.
B. By an extraordinary intervention of his merciful love, the Lord can save this humanity, and you are called to be the instruments of the triumph of the merciful love of Jesus.
C. 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.
D. Your heavenly Mother wishes to heal the Church through you. 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.
E. Again today, with sorrowful supplication, I ask you all to consecrate yourselves.
Points for Reflection
1. The Call for Consecration
Our Lady calls for our consecration because of our baptism. By virtue of this sacrament, we are placed in an order of life higher than our own, namely the supernatural life, in which we enter into a communion of life with God. We live in the love of the Father, in the imitation of the Son, and in full communion with the Holy Spirit (287 k). Accordingly, our actions have a new value exceeding that of our nature, because their value is divine.
It is for this that Our Lady calls us to consecrate ourselves to her Immaculate Heart. It is a very special kind of entrustment by which She helps us live our obligations as baptized Christians. In these times of difficulties, our consecration is “necessary” for the salvation of all humanity and is “indispensable” for the Church (287 A, C).
2. Consecration Must be Complete and Lasting
She asks that our consecration to her Immaculate Heart be a complete and lasting entrustment to her maternal care. “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. 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. 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” (287 m-o).
3. Living Our Consecration
To understand how the consecration is lived, Our Lady brings us to the Annunciation, when Jesus was completely entrusted to her, in love (287 s), both in his divinity (287 t) and humanity (287 v). She calls us to imitate her Son, particularly “his complete reliance on her” (287 y). For her part, she promises “to be attentive to us, helping us grow in God’s plan and bringing us each day to an ever better imitation of Jesus, our only model and our greatest love” (287 z).
In our celebration of the Baptism of the Lord, let us commit ourselves more and more to living our consecration to the Immaculate Heart everyday. This is indispensable to the Church and badly needed in these times.
Yours in the Immaculate Heart,
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.
Bp Donald W. Montrose, D.D., 1998
Abp Francesco Cuccarese, 2007
(C) Saved from Yahoo
Shared with Permission from Group Administator: The Marian Movement of Priest