Aim: To realise our baptismal call to be grafted in Christ through Mary.
Baptized into Christ (Rom 6:3-11): Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Therefore, we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. 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.We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. For whoever has died is freed from sin. But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. The death he died, he died to sin, once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Baptism finds its ultimate meaning and purpose in the poignant and challenging statement of St. Paul, “To me, living is Christ” (Phil 1:21), for “I am rooted and built up in him” (Col 2:6).
At Baptism, Montfort maintains, “we have chosen Jesus as our Master and sovereign Lord and have undertaken to depend on him as slaves of love” (TD 126). That is why “St. Augustine says: ‘This vow is the greatest and the most indispensable of all vows’. And Canon Law experts say the same thing: ‘The vow we make at baptism is the most important of all vows’” (TD 127).
“But”, Montfort continues, “does anyone keep this great vow? Does anyone fulfil the promises of baptism faithfully? Is it not true that nearly all Christians prove unfaithful to the promises made to Jesus in baptism? Where does this universal failure come from, if not from our habitual forgetfulness of the promises and responsibilities of baptism and from the fact that scarcely anyone makes a personal ratification of the contract made with God through his or her sponsors?” (ibid.)
Our forgetfulness, or lack of responsibility in living up to our baptismal promises, is often accountable to two factors. First, at Baptism we did not express our personal adherence; in fact “our godparents spoke for us and we were given to Jesus only by proxy”. Second, at that time we were not initiated in the “perfect way” to live our Baptism; in fact “we did not give ourselves to Jesus explicitly through Mary” (TD 126).
“Now”, Montfort insists, “the Councils, the Fathers of the Church and experience itself, all indicate that the best remedy for the frequent lapses of Christians is to remind them of the responsibilities of their baptism […] In this regard, isn’t the consecration to our Lord through his Blessed Mother the perfect manner to obtain such result?” (TD 130). Indeed, “in this devotion we give ourselves personally and freely” – not by proxy but voluntarily – “and we are fully aware of what we are doing” (TD 126). Besides, “by this consecration we give ourselves explicitly” – not unaware but responsibly – “to Jesus through Mary’s hands” (ibid.).
Personal Reflection and Sharing
Through the years, what has been my understanding of Baptism?
How do I personally hear the call to live my Baptism “responsibly” and not “by proxy”?
What motivates my belief that consecration to Mary is the “perfect manner” to live my Baptism?