Saturday, September 06, 2008

Playing For Keeps...

Well it is July and that means that it’s wedding season! I just arrived home today from Dubuque, Iowa where I had the honor of serving the wedding Mass of my two dear friends. It was a beautiful wedding. As I was praying for my friends, I couldn’t help but be amazed and grateful for what God had done to bring us all to that moment. He brought two people together to love proclaim their love for one another and for Him. It was a sight to see. As I saw the couple praying together to the Blessed Virgin Mary, asking her to guide and bless their marriage, once again I couldn’t help but have a moment recognizing that this marriage was God’s Will! May all praise and glory be to Him!

After reflecting on my experiences this past weekend, I drove home asking myself why all weddings have not given me the feelings of hope and peace that I was experiencing. Every day I come into contact with individuals and relationships who desire to be in love and spend the rest of their life with the one who loves them in return. Some of these relationships mirror that of my friends who were married yesterday, but a majority of the relationships between young people today prohibit themselves from finding that true freedom and grace to enter into the true gift of Christian marriage. That’s right I said it, a Christian marriage.

You see, our culture has a completely different understanding of marriage than the Church does. For instance, in our culture you get married because it just seems like the next logical step. You have been dating your significant other for two years and now it’s getting boring - so you might as well get married.

Another thing that happens in our culture is that marriage is sometimes entered into with the safety net of always have the option of divorce in case it doesn’t work out. (FYI: The divorce rate in American is over 50%! You can’t tell me this way of operating is not true). Our culture has re-defined marriage as a playground of selfishness and lust, an experience that is temporary and played by your own rules.

But here is the good news! True Christian marriage is nothing like what I just described! If you have seen or experienced what true marriage is, you know exactly what I am talking about. My friends, a true marriage is CHRIST centered. The reality of marriage is that every time a husband and wife live the truth of their marriage, they mirror a greater reality to the rest of the world. They reveal Christ to us! When a husband and wife lay their lives down for one another and the children they bear, we see Christ at work in His Church. What a gift!

Marriage is for keeps. In Christian marriage the man and woman unselfishly pledge their lives to one another - mirroring what Jesus did for his Church. Marriage for all Christians is an experience with Christ. The husband and wife enter into a love that is so deep and so pure, that the love they share overflows into their family and community in which they live.
When two people decide to live the truth of Christian marriage, our culture will change. When we can all be at weddings and see two people giving themselves up for one another and Christ, and sharing that love with the world, our culture will change. If you are in a relationship now or feel that God is calling you to marriage, think about what kind of bride or groom you want to be.
What kind of relationship and marriage do you want to have? Allow the Lord to fill you and lead you to a true relationship and marriage in HIM!

God Bless You,

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