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Friday, February 14, 2014

Marriage Week

"And the two shall become one flesh, and they are no longer two but one." Mk 10:8

Some of the most powerful moments in my life, and in the lives of many priests, occurred with married couples who were willing to stretch and live their vows deeply despite very difficult family situations. Primarily through the Marriage Encounter movement, but also during weddings, I have sensed God's presence and mercy in compelling ways.

Many years ago, while helping prepare a couple for marriage, the young woman asked whether she could "sign" her vows as well as speak them. A teacher of deaf children, she wanted to be sure that her students felt like they were an important part of the ceremony. That wedding remains a highlight among the many marriages I witnessed.

We need to honor marriage all the time, but this week especially the church asks us to pause and remember all the married and the sacrament they embody. St Paul tells us that there is a great mystery in marriage because it tells us so much about Christ's love for the church. (Eph 5:32) When married couples work at their marriage and seek the unity about which St Mark writes, they help us understand Christ's love for us his body. As the Second Vatican Council reminds us, "Christ the Lord abundantly blessed this many faceted love, welling up as it does from the fountain of divine love and structured as it is on the model of His union with His Church." (GS 48)

Today, pray for a married couple that you know might be struggling in their marriage.

What do you think are the glories of marriage lived in faith?

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