Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Theology of Marriage

Theology of Marriage

When Fr Edison approached us about offering testimony to you, about to wed, I believe it was not coincidence, but a nudge from God, leading him to call on us to offer to you that which we truly believe; the call to aid and enlighten as you prepare to enter into the most paramount journey of your lives.

Quoting a statement from Pope John Paul II “The very preparation for Christian marriage is itself a journey of faith. It is a special opportunity for the engaged to rediscover and deepen the faith received in baptism and nourished by their Christian upbringing. In this way they come to recognize and freely accept their vocation to follow Christ and to serve the kingdom of God in the married state.”

Did you ever look at marriage as a vocation? We’ve surly heard the more common descriptive concerning marriage such as institution, but I really never considered it a vocation. Even now, as God leads me to speak to you, I learn more and understand one more piece of this marvelous mystery.

What you’re about to enter into is a covenant, so special, so glorious that it has been raised by our Lord to the dignity of a sacrament. The unending circle of our Christian faith bonds us more intricately into the woven intimacy of one flesh with each other and Christ. In other words, God sees this and claims “This is very good.”

I think to the most casual observer, we can all agree that our society has evolved into one in which the atmosphere is thick with the temptation to become complacent to so much of which clearly goes against God’s wish for us. Our divorce rate is nothing to write home about. I can attest to that on a much more personnel level and but for the grace of God, have I been tempered and reminded of his unchanging plan for us, always more perfect than I could ever imagine.

Scripture begins with the creation of man and woman, and thus the first original marriage, continues to speak again and again of its mystery, God’s plan for it, his meaning for it and concludes, leaving us with the vision of the “wedding feast of the Lamb.” It’s no coincidence; Jesus begins his public ministry at a wedding. Again and again, his teachings revolve around marriage, even commenting on the guidelines given by Moses, reiterating marriage’s “indissolubility”, according to the will of God. Through the good times and the bad, in sickness and in health, till death do us part. Forever, period.

There is a perfect plan for us all, one in which we are guided (if we choose to be) as we journey down roads that we cannot possibly see but for all the twists and corners, roads that with faith, we too can walk on water like Peter, overcome any and all obstacles in the mystery of life, including the sting of death. God reasoned, “It is not good to be alone” so he created woman to be man’s helpmate, companion, mother of his children, mother of all life. This may seem so insignificant but if we look deeper, God’s perfect plan is revealed over and over. We were meant to be with one another, as one; one body, one blood, one perfect unity with Christ, who in us and through us spread the harvest of our covenant, to our children and to their children, until we all meet at the wedding feast of the Lamb.

It started with your baptism, the long journey that to God is but a breath, taking you through your childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and now to this sacred sacrament of marriage. I can’t imagine life without my wife to be there for me, as I for her, two minds and souls, melding, nurturing, loving, as God asks of us. Through the origin of sin were we granted the pain of childbirth and the sweat of our toil but by the grace of God are we enabled to rise above our frailties be filled with the holy Spirit, radiate peace and spread love. The Catechism, 1615 words it so eloquently, stating “By coming to restore the original order of creation disturbed by sin, he himself (Christ) gives the strength and grace to live marriage in the new dimension of the Rein of God. It is by following Christ, renouncing ourselves, taking up our own crosses will we be able to “receive”
the original meaning of marriage and live it with the help of Christ. This grace of Christian marriage is a fruit of Christ’s cross, the source of all Christian life.” How wonderful it is to know that our marriage is a fruit, a fruit of that wonderful cross, graced with Christ’s blood, the blood of the new and everlasting covenant.