Have you heard of the three rings associated with marriage? There is the engagement ring, the wedding ring and then suffering! But these three rings are signs of the joy of Love, of the three gifts God bestows in Matrimony.
"My husband and I divorced over religious differences: he believed he was God and I didn’t!" (I could not resist this bit of married humor)
Free, Faithful, and Fruitful: these three gifts are key to the Good News we celebrate today about marriage, which is made in heaven. Jesus is God married to his people and so he knows a lot about marriage. He knows that marriage comes directly from God and the scriptures reveal marriage as good news able to relieve Adam’s loneliness and give him a partner who completes and fulfills him in love.
This partnership was damaged by the Fall, and yet is restored and made even more splendid and beautiful by the blessing of Christ. Every couple married in Christ is a sacrament, consecrated to each other before God and filled with the grace to be truly free, faithful, and fruitful. This is the Good News of Marriage in three gifts.
God bestows on husband and wife in marriage the grace to be free, free to love one person exclusively and securely until death. This grace resides in the sacrament and is constantly available. If the marriage is not free because of immaturity, addiction, or some other impediment, it is no true marriage.
In marriage, God bestows upon husband and wife the gift to be faithful, to forgo all others so that the two become one flesh and create a dwelling place in their home for the Lord. He challenges them to create a domestic Church by faithfully praying together with the Body of Christ at Sunday Mass and praying together at home before the Sacred Heart of Jesus and his Mother Mary and Good Saint Joseph. It is amazing how powerful the Family Rosary is in forging a bond of unity and peace in the home. The family that prays together stays together.
Matrimony also has the incredible power to make husband and wife fruitful. If they are open to God and his grace they will be fruitful in building each other up to full stature, by giving life to each other. As a couple they will bear fruit in letting their mutual love bless their relatives, friends, and neighbors in every relationship. If they welcome the grace of God, they will be fruitful in welcoming children and little ones in their midst. Perhaps God might even bless them with their own children. Jesus know and teaches so much about married life especially from the Cross, his loftiest message about the price of love.
God bless you and your family and remember to pray together as a family.
Each weekday, the homily from Daily Mass at Holy Cross Family Ministries is shared online. Visit Family Rosary: World at Prayer and sign up to receive notifications of each day's homily.
“The family that prays together stays together.” -Venerable Patrick Peyton of the Family Rosary Crusade.
Copyright 2018 Fr. Willy Raymond, C.S.C.
About the Author
Father Willy Raymond, C.S.C. is President of Holy Cross Family Ministries. He entered Holy Cross Fathers in 1964. He earned a Bachelors in Philosophy from Stonehill College in 1967 and a Masters in Theology from the University of Notre Dame in 1971. In addition to English, Father Willy is conversant in French and Spanish. He's a native of Old Town, Maine and one of 12 children. He remains a diehard fan of the Boston Red Sox, even though he has served as Chaplain for the Los Angeles Dodgers.