So there we have it!!
There is SO MUCH BEAUTY here
There is SO MUCH GOODNESS here
There is SO MUCH CHALLENGE here too
Paragraph 1638 says, “‘From a valid marriage arises a bond between the spouses which by its very nature is perpetual and exclusive; furthermore, in a Christian marriage the spouses are strengthened and, as it were, consecrated for the duties and the dignity of their state by a special sacrament.’”
The bond lasts until DEATH
The bond is PERPETUAL
The bond is EXCLUSIVE
Paragraph 1645 says, “Polygamy is contrary to conjugal love which is undivided and exclusive.”
VERY IMPORTANT FOR ALL OF US!!
Marriage on its own is not just a piece of paper
It’s not just a declaration of love
Yes you get a piece of paper and you declare your love
What is marriage?
It is a special sacrament instituted by Christ that gives grace
Paragraph 1642 says, “Christ is the source of this grace. ‘Just as of old God encountered his people with a covenant of love and fidelity, so our Savior, the spouse of the Church, now encounters Christian spouses through the sacrament of Matrimony.’ Christ dwells with them, gives them the strength to take up their crosses and so follow him, to rise again after they have fallen, to forgive one another, to bear one another’s burdens, to ‘be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ,’ and to love one another with supernatural, tender, and fruitful love.”
This is a sacrament of DISCIPLESHIP
This is a sacrament of FOLLOWING AFTER JESUS
This is a sacrament of SERVICE
What does Jesus call us to do?
Jesus says, “If you want to be my disciple, deny yourself, pick up your cross, and follow me.”
Christ gives every married couple that strength
WHICH IS AMAZING!!
We don’t do it perfectly though
This is a high call
This gift is also a challenge
This grace means that you are going to have to do things that are impossible for humans ON THEIR OWN
Marriage exists in the natural order
We are talking about the SUPERNATURAL ORDER OF GRACE
Every one of you who is married knows that it requires supernatural grace to be able to say yes everyday, take up your cross, and rise again after you have fallen
Every day forgive one another
That call is so huge and important
And there is the call to be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ
That call comes from St. Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians Ch 5
Sometimes people cringe at this
“Wives be submissive to your husbands in everything out of reverence for Christ.”
There can be some hesitation in this
What is happening?
What do we think St. Paul is saying when he says that?
The husband is the head of the family
The wife is invited to submit to her husband
What does that really mean?
The whole section begins with, “Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ.”
SUBMIT TO ONE ANOTHER OUT OF REVERENCE FOR CHRIST
Husbands AND wives BOTH have this mutual call for submission
What is submission?
It is to place yourself under the mission of the other person
This is why it is so important
This is why from the outside it can look hostile, like tyranny
From the inside, it hopefully makes sense
Because I will NEVER submit myself under the mission of someone I do not trust
I will NEVER put myself under the mission of someone I don’t share their vision for the world
So by saying, “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ,” that is their MUTUAL SUBMISSION
As its basis is MUTUAL TRUST
From the outside, it sounds way out of line
From the inside…
The picture is not of a church mouse
The picture is of MUTUAL SUBMISSION
You submit to the other person because you place yourself under their mission because you TRUST THEIR MISSION
BECAUSE YOU TRUST THEM!!
Some Catholics and other Christians will believe that the husband is the father and the head of the house
He is the leader called to lead
Yes that is right and a biblical view of marriage
THEY STOP THERE!!
They stop thinking in Christian terms
They think if the husband is the head of the house that means that he is in charge and what he says goes
Wait a second…
You’re just appealing to a Christian vision of what it means to be a husband
But then you STOP on the Christian vision of what it is to LEAD
You also have to have the Christian vision for what it is to LEAD
Jesus is the head of the Church
What does it look like to be the head as Jesus?
What does it look like to lead as Jesus?
Is that DOMINATING?
Is that BEING SERVED?
Is that being waited upon hand and foot?
Jesus Christ’s leadership is how can I be of service?
Jesus leads by laying down His life
He does not lead by being the CEO of the family
Too many Catholics and Christians have embraced this biblical idea that the father is the head of the household but they have FORGOTTEN to also embrace the biblical idea of what it is to be the HEAD
To be the HEAD is to be the CRUCIFIED ONE
To be the HEAD is to be the ONE WHO LAYS DOWN HIS LIFE
To be the HEAD is to be the ONE WHO RACES TO THE BOTTOM AND SERVES FROM THE BOTTOM
Jesus Christ says, “The Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Fathers, husbands, are YOU willing to be the HEAD?
St. Paul says in Ephesians Ch 5, “Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the Church and gave himself for her, handing himself over for her.”
THAT IS THE CALL RIGHT THERE!!
How do I lead?
FROM THE BOTTOM!!
How do I lead?
FROM THE CROSS!!
THAT IS A HIGH CALL!!
We are not able to do this without the grace that comes from Jesus
Paragraph 1641 says, “‘By reason of their state in life and of their order, [Christian spouses] have their own special gifts in the People of God.’ This grace proper to the sacrament of Matrimony is intended to perfect the couple’s love and to strengthen their indissoluble unity. By this grace they ‘help one another to attain in holiness in their married life and in welcoming and educating their children.’”
This grace is intended to let them love even more and more like Jesus Christ
What about the wife?
What is it to follow?
To follow is not to be like that church mouse
What is the image of the Body of Christ?
The Body of Christ is active
So the head of the Church is active and serves
He lays down His life for His Body and His Bride, the Church
The Church does what?
The Church is in constant relationship with our head
We are in constant relationship with our Bridegroom
The Bride, the Church, is in constant relationship with Jesus Christ
Would you ever describe the Church as a mouse?
Would you ever describe the Church as being small, ineffective, and lacking in power, lacking in strength, lacking in responsibility, lacking in the strength to move forward and bring the Kingdom of God into the world?
In many ways, Jesus is the Bridegroom
The Church is the Bride
The husband is the bridegroom
The wife is the bride
Neither of them are diminished by marriage
They both have complementary roles
Their roles go back and forth
They are dynamic
No one in this relationship is the mouse
No one in this relationship is the weak one
They are a couple, equal in dignity, and given the source of grace, Jesus Christ Himself
Paragraph 1643 says, “‘Conjugal love involves a totality, in which all the elements of the person enter-appeal of the body and instinct, power of feeling and affectivity, aspiration of the spirit and of will. It aims at a deeply personal unity, a unity that, beyond union in one flesh, leads to forming one heart and soul; it demands indissolubility and faithfulness in definitive mutual giving; and it is open to fertility.”
We can call these the four marks of God’s love
God’s love is always FREE
God’s love is always TOTAL
God’s love is always FAITHFUL
God’s love is always FRUITFUL
When God enters into a covenant with us, it is always free
He is never coerced into it
That is one of the reasons that free promise of love for each other is necessary for Matrimony
It is FREE
It is TOTAL
It is DEFINITIVE SELF-GIVING
I GIVE YOU MY WHOLE SELF
It is FAITHFUL
YOU AND NO OTHER
It is FRUITFUL
It is open to life and open to fertility
If a marriage has aspects that are working against this or impeding this, they are not entering into marriage
If the couple does not intend these four marks, they are not entering into marriage
Fr. Mike is praying FOR YOU!!
Please pray for Fr. Mike and for each other!!
I cannot WAIT to see you tomorrow!!