Jesus is Baptized in the Jordan
Spiritual Fruit: Openness to the Holy Spirit
The Baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River differed from every other baptism ever performed in one very important way – Jesus had no sin from which He needed to be cleansed. And yet, in spite of his sinlessness, He chose to submit to his cousin John the Baptist’s baptism of repentance.
While Jesus had no personal need of baptism, He understood that His baptism was necessary for the sake of humanity as a whole. Jesus’ baptism transformed baptism itself, and the descent of the Holy Spirit on Him during His baptism opened the way for the Holy Spirit to descend on those who enter into that baptism through their own.
As members of the Legion of Mary, we seek to promote openness to the Holy Spirit in whatever small ways we can. Through our works of consolation, conservation, and conversion, we hope to make straight a path for the Holy Spirit to act in the lives of those we meet. It is only fitting, then, that St. John the Baptist is one of the patrons of the Legion.
Jesus Changes Water into Wine at the Wedding at Cana
Spiritual Fruit: To Jesus Through Mary
In the Mystery of the Wedding at Cana, we are given a great image of the powerful intercession of the Blessed Mother. It was she who called Jesus’ attention to the shortage of wine at the wedding, and she whose consent He sought in beginning His ministry when He asked, “What would you have Me do? My hour has not yet come.”
The Legion of Mary recognizes that God, in His infinite Wisdom, always chooses to act through Mary. The Promise we make when we become permanent legionaries reflects this – “I know that you, who have come to regenerate the world in Jesus Christ, have not willed to do so except through Mary; that without her we cannot know or love you; that it is by her, and to whom she pleases, when she pleases, and in the quantity and manner she pleases, that all your gifts and virtues and graces are administered.”
As members of the Legion of Mary, we seek to consecrate ourselves to Mary so that, through this consecration, we might better consecrate ourselves to Jesus through his most Blessed Mother. In doing so, the Legion often has resource to a book entitled The Secret of Mary, written by one of the patrons of the Legion, St. Louis-Marie de Montfort.
Jesus PrOCLAIMS THE KINGDOM OF GOD
Spiritual Fruit: Christian Witness and Conversion
The Proclamation of the Kingdom of God is unique among the Mysteries of the Rosary insofar as it refers not to a single event in the life of Jesus or Mary, but to the ministry on which Jesus spent several years of His life and the Evangelists focused the majority of their Gospels.
Furthermore, to meditate on the Proclamation of the Kingdom of God is, in some sense, to meditate on the Gospel message itself. Every parable Jesus taught and every miracle He worked was designed to draw people closer to the Kingdom, and thus to eternal life. As Jesus Himself said, “I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly.” Sometimes, this involved meeting the physical needs of people, as when He fed the five thousand. Sometimes, He spoke more directly to the spiritual needs of a people who were “like sheep without a shepherd.”
The importance of the Proclamation of the Kingdom in Jesus’ life, furthermore, is reflected in the life of His Church. In fact, Pope Pius XI declared that “The Church has no other reason for its existence than to extend over the earth the Kingdom of Christ and so to render people sharers of his saving Redemption.
As members of the Legion of Mary, we seek to continue the Proclamation of the Kingdom in the footsteps of Christ our King. Alongside consolation and conservation, conversion is one of the three “C”s that form the basis of Legion spirituality. By demonstrating and modeling for others our own enthusiasm for Catholicism, we seek to draw them closer to conversion and therefore into the Kingdom.
Jesus is Transfigured on Mount Tabor
Spiritual Fruit: Spiritual Courage
It may seem counter-intuitive to associate the glory of the Transfiguration with the degradation of the Cross, but the two Mysteries are in fact deeply connected. The Transfiguration took place shortly before Jesus was to enter Jerusalem, where He would soon face His Passion, and was specifically designed to fortify the faith of His three closest Apostles to prepare them for the scandal they were about to face. Even the witness of Moses and Elijah ultimately pointed to the Cross, as the representatives of the Law and the Prophets conversed with Jesus about His approaching death.
St. Peter was right, then, to say, “It is good for us to be here,” though he could not have understood why at the time. The dazzling brightness of the Transfiguration was not merely a display of Jesus’ power, but rather a message of hope to help the Apostles through extremely difficult times. And, to this very day, the most impressive displays of the glory of God often serve the same purpose of providing hope to a world that so desperately needs it.
As members of the Legion of Mary, we consider spiritual courage of utmost importance. The Legion is modeled on the organization of an army largely because, as the Handbook states, “legionaries hope to render themselves worthy of their great heavenly Queen by their loyalty, their virtues, and their courage.” The Legion is not simply interested in fostering courage within its own ranks, however. Through our works as legionaries, we seek to allow the glory of God to shine through and provide hope for all of those with whom we come in contact.
Jesus Institutes the Eucharist at the Last Supper
Spiritual Fruit: Love of Our Eucharistic Lord
The Last Supper is unique insofar as it is the only event in the life of Our Lord in which two sacraments were instituted at once.
The words Jesus used at the Last Supper – “Take and eat, this is my Body” and “This cup is the new covenant in my Blood, shed for you” – form the foundation of the liturgy of the Eucharist and constitute the first celebration of the sacrifice of the Mass. At the same time, Jesus instituted the sacrament of Holy Orders to ensure that His people down through the centuries would have priests to continue that celebration.
As members of the Legion of Mary, we seek to promote greater levels of participation in the Eucharist both among the people we meet and among ourselves. We assign legionaries to ensure that the sick and the homebound are able to receive the Eucharist, we work to draw the lapsed members of our parishes back to Mass and thus towards consistent reception of the Eucharist, and we recognize the great value present when legionaries go beyond the required weekly attendance at Mass and participate daily through promotion into the ranks of Praetorians and Adjutorians. Furthermore, we seek to support the sacrament of Holy Orders by offering our services as legionaries to the priests whose responsibility it is to consecrate the Eucharist for the people of our parishes.