One of the last things that Jesus did before he offered his life in the crucifixion was to make a sacrament out of relationships (John 17). As Jesus and the Father are one, we too are to be one with each other, so that by our witness of unity — permanent, committed, self-sacrificing, unconditional love — we show the world what God’s love is like. We prove to the world that God’s love is real: It’s permanent, committed, unconditional, and self-sacrificing no matter how much anyone sins.
A sacramental marriage is a visual lesson for the world, a teaching about radical love: how God loves us unconditionally, for better and for worse, in sickness and in health, whether we are rich or poor, with complete faithfulness. Marriage is meant to be a life of radical love, a love that cannot be experienced outside the bonds of permanent vows.
In a sacramental marriage, the husband lays down his life to serve his wife, and the wife lays down her life to serve her husband, just as Christ laid down his life to serve us and we who are the Church, the Bride of Christ, lay down our lives to follow him and serve him.
Marriage is that sacred! This is the reason why a Catholic priest cannot marry couples who have been divorced until after an investigation proves that previous marriages were not true unions. The unity of a couple is as sacred as the unity between Jesus and the Father and as sacred as our God-ordained mission to be examples of his love.
- How is my sweetheart a gift that God has given to me?
- What will I do for my sweetheart today to serve him or her in love?
Strengthen your relationship:
Describe a time when a loving gesture from your beloved revealed to you God’s love. Even if you didn’t realize it at the time, how was this gift of love an answer to Jesus’ prayer? How is God building unity in your home as an answer to Jesus’ prayer? Read John 17:20-24 out loud, and then read it again turning it into a prayer for your relationship with each other.
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© 2018 by Terry Modica of Good News Ministries
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