(c)Mateo Ivankovic 2018
March 28, 2018
Wednesday of Holy Week
Dear Family of Mary!
“Dear children! I am calling you to be with me in prayer in this time of grace when darkness is fighting against the light. Pray, little children, confess and begin a new life in grace. Decide for God and He will lead you towards holiness; and the cross will be a sign of victory and hope for you. Be proud that you are baptized and grateful in your heart that you are a part of God’s plan. Thank you for having responded to my call.” (March 25, 2018 message)
“Be proud that you are baptized and grateful in your heart that you are a part of God’s plan…”
Baptism is at the heart of the Easter Liturgy! Every Easter Vigil, Catechumens are baptized before the whole congregation, in a long and meaningful Rite! This Baptism is the reception of Christ’s salvation. Indeed, we should be very proud that we have been baptized. We have been rescued, adopted, given a heavenly family, and counted as one of God’s children.
In the Office of Readings for Holy Week, we read St. Basil’s wonderful explanation of Baptism. I couldn’t resist sharing it with you:
From the book On the Holy Spirit by Saint Basil, bishop
(Cap. 15, 35: PG 32, 127-130)
By one death and resurrection the world was saved
When mankind was estranged from him by disobedience, God our Savior made a plan for raising us from our fall and restoring us to friendship with himself. According to this plan Christ came in the flesh, he showed us the gospel way of life, he suffered, died on the cross, was buried and rose from the dead. He did this so that we could be saved by imitation of him, and recover our original status as sons of God by adoption.
To attain holiness, then, we must not only pattern our lives on Christ’s by being gentle, humble and patient, we must also imitate him in his death. Taking Christ for his model, Paul said that he wanted to become like him in his death in the hope that he too would be raised from death to life.
We imitate Christ’s death by being buried with him in baptism. If we ask what this kind of burial means and what benefit we may hope to derive from it, it means first of all making a complete break with our former way of life, and our Lord himself said that this cannot be done unless a man is born again. In other words, we have to begin a new life, and we cannot do so until our previous life has been brought to an end. When runners reach the turning point on a racecourse, they have to pause briefly before they can go back in the opposite direction. So also when we wish to reverse the direction of our lives there must be a pause, or a death, to mark the end of one life and the beginning of another.
Our descent into hell takes place when we imitate the burial of Christ by our baptism. The bodies of the baptized are in a sense buried in the water as a symbol of their renunciation of the sins of their unregenerate nature. As the Apostle says: The circumcision you have undergone is not an operation performed by human hands, but the complete stripping away of your unregenerate nature. This is the circumcision that Christ gave us, and it is accomplished by our burial with him in baptism. Baptism cleanses the soul from the pollution of worldly thoughts and inclinations: You will wash me, says the psalmist, and I shall be whiter than snow. We receive this saving baptism only once because there was only one death and one resurrection for the salvation of the world, and baptism is its symbol. (from On the Holy Spirit by St. Basil)
During the Baptismal Liturgy on Easter Vigil, we all renew our Baptismal Vows. We can begin a new life of grace, as Our Lady calls us to do in her message. What a great moment of grace!!! I can’t wait!
In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!
© Mary TV 2018
PS. On Good Friday we will begin the Divine Mercy Novena of St. Faustina. I will send out the prayers for each day, with a message from Our Lady!! This Novena is so powerful. Let’s pray it with Mary!