When others see you interact with your beloved, do they see Christ? In other words, do they witness an example of what the Church means when it teaches that marriages are to be sacraments?
Being a living sacrament doesn’t mean we have a perfect union, that we never argue, and we always gaze joyfully and lovingly at our sweethearts. It means that Christ is in the union and he helps us get through the imperfections and arguments so that we can renew that joyful and loving gaze.
Around us are couples who are struggling and individuals who are divorced. Pope Francis has said (Sept. 10, 2015) that we are called to be “instruments of the mercy of Christ and of the Church” especially “towards persons whose marriages have failed.”
“Christian couples and families,” he said, “are often in better conditions [than clergy] to proclaim Jesus Christ to other families, to support, fortify and encourage them. What you live as a couple and as a family … the profound and irreplaceable joy that the Lord makes you feel in your domestic intimacy — between the joys and sorrows, in the happiness of the presence of your spouse, in the growth of your children, in the human and spiritual fruitfulness that He grants you — all this is witnessed, proclaimed and communicated outside so that others, in turn, will put themselves on this path.”
The decision to marry and the challenges of merging two individual lives into one, in today’s culture of sex without commitment and individualism without responsibilities, are very troubling to the young couples around us. We also know couples who are wounded by poverty, health, death, abandonment or violence.
Jesus, through Pope Francis, is calling us to “have the courage to come into contact with these families, in a discreet but generous way, materially, humanly or spiritually, in those circumstances where they find themselves vulnerable.”
- What bad examples have affected my relationship with my sweetheart?
- What good examples have affected my relationship with my sweetheart?
Strengthen your relationship:
Whom do you both know who could benefit from your example? Whom might you mentor if you spend time with them in friendship? What will you do this week to nurture opportunities to help others learn from Christ’s involvement in your relationship? Pray together asking the Holy Spirit to make you aware of opportunities.
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© 2017 by Terry Modica of Good News Ministries