Thursday, June 25, 2015

“A sacrament--like marriage--means living a life better than your natural instincts, so that you're modeling God. And God never gives up.”

Couples have the grace of the married state — the grace they receive in the Sacrament of Marriage — which enables them to live all the human and Christian virtues in their married life: understanding, good humor, patience, forgiveness, refinement and consideration in their mutual relations. The important thing is not to give up the effort, not to give in to nerves, pride or personal fads or obsessions. In order to achieve this, husbands and wives must grow in interior life and learn from the Holy Family to live with refinement, for supernatural and at the same time human reasons, the virtues of a Christian home. I repeat again that the grace of God will not be lacking. - St Josemaria Escriva: (1902 – 1975: Opus Dei founder, which proclaimed a universal call to holiness for the Catholic laity in day to day living)

Gospel Text: (MT 7:21-29)
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’
will enter the Kingdom of heaven,
but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.
Many will say to me on that day,
‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name?
Did we not drive out demons in your name?
Did we not do mighty deeds in your name?’
Then I will declare to them solemnly,
‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you evildoers.’

“Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them
will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.
The rain fell, the floods came,
and the winds blew and buffeted the house.
But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock.
And everyone who listens to these words of mine
but does not act on them
will be like a fool who built his house on sand.
The rain fell, the floods came,
and the winds blew and buffeted the house.
And it collapsed and was completely ruined.”

When Jesus finished these words,
the crowds were astonished at his teaching,
for he taught them as one having authority,
and not as their scribes.

In the last half of today’s gospel, Jesus tells his disciples that hearing and acting on the word of God is like building a house on rock while hearing and not acting on his word is like building a house on sand. This can be applied to marriage. Marriage needs a strong foundation in faith and a willingness to act on that faith to survive all the storms that will inevitably come.

Belief in God and his support provides purpose and strength for the efforts required for a successful marriage. Finding God in one’s spouse provides the motive and ability to love them when he or she is not at their best and to put the spouse ahead of self. Trust in God’s unwavering love provides the ability to share and survive the pains and losses that come to every human family. Even marriages that are centered on God are not perfect because the spouses are not perfect, but they are more likely to weather the trials and pains that come their way.

The divorce data in our country is a reflection on the secularization that permeates our society. Marriages that lack a strong foundation as a result of not being centered on God are likely to be like the house built on sand, blown about with every gust of wind and unable to withstand storms.

Those with long, successful marriages centered on God can encourage younger couples by giving witness to the source of their success. We can all pray for successful marriages throughout the world which are centered on God with a firm foundation that can weather the storms of life for many, many years.

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