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Arlington Catholic Herald

Jesus — the source of marital strength
Fr. Jack Peterson, YA

Marriage is a beautiful gift from God. The Book of Genesis proclaims very clearly that Adam and Eve were created by God for one another. They were intentionally fashioned by the hand of God to assist one another, complement one another, and build up one another in love and holiness. Their love mirrors the love of Christ for His bride, the church, a love that led Him to lay down His life for her. They show to the world the beauty and importance of sacrificial love. Furthermore, the home of a man and woman united in marriage provides the best environment to raise children where they can be loved, nurtured, educated and formed in the faith. A solid, healthy marriage is a cause of much joy and happiness for both spouses and children.

At the same time, we know that marriage is not easy. Jesus teaches that the two become one flesh; however, lots of things, including sin, work against this unity. The two retain their distinct personalities, don’t always share the same perspective on everyday things, and sometimes differ on important values. These differences can create a great deal of tension. Additionally, life often throws curve balls at married couples like sickness, depression and addiction. Then add the fact that everyday life often gets so fast-paced that there is limited time to work through the tensions and differences that come up. For these reasons and more, marriage is definitely not easy.

Furthermore, the institution of marriage is being attacked on many fronts today. Individuals, groups and governments are striving to redefine marriage, failing to consider God’s plan and intention for this deeply important institution as a permanent bond freely entered into by a man and a woman. People are not learning in the home the interpersonal and relational skills necessary to manage and work through life’s many ups and downs. The culture encourages instant gratification and abandoning anything that demands hard work and perseverance like the family meal, teaching the faith to the children and even marriage itself.

So, we come to one of the greatest truths about marriage; it desperately needs God and His grace. The wedding at Cana proclaims God’s great desire to bless marriage with His presence and His strength. The fact that Jesus performed His first miracle at a wedding is immensely important. His mission to redeem the world, restore humanity to God’s favor and bring new life to His children would have to include the renewal of marriage. Marriage is so critical to the health of individuals, society and the church that Jesus chose to infuse it with an abundance of the grace that flows from the cross. He gave us the sacrament of holy matrimony in which He pours out the grace needed not just to survive but to thrive in the marriage covenant.

The fact that Jesus transforms water into wine at a wedding as His first public sign was not lost upon His Jewish audience. Wine is a powerful symbol for joy in the Old Testament. Jesus desires to restore joy to marriage by infusing it with His power and grace. He pledges strength for the difficult moments when things do not make sense. He offers wisdom in dealing patiently, courageously and lovingly with those near us. He leads by the example of His life demonstrating that true love demands great sacrifice and a willingness to die to self for the sake of the beloved.

By pouring all of these graces into marriage through the sacrament of holy matrimony and by the example of His life, Jesus empowers married couples to love each other radically, build up the home on a rock foundation of faith in Him, and persevere through life’s many unexpected twists and turns. In this way, Jesus restores joy to marriage.

Mary teaches us plenty about marriage and life from the events of that day in Cana as well. When a problem arises for the newlyweds and their family, she knows exactly where to turn. Mary points the world to her Son, saying, “Do whatever he tells you.” It may well be the best advice ever given.

Fr. Peterson is assistant chaplain at Marymount University in Arlington and director of the Youth Apostles Institute in McLean.


18 posted on 01/19/2013 9:36:37 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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The Work of God

 Do whatever He tells you Catholic Gospels - Homilies - Matthew, Luke, Mark, John - Inspirations of the Holy Spirit

Year C

 -  2nd Sunday in ordinary time

Do whatever He tells you

Do whatever He tells you Catholic Gospels - Matthew, Luke, Mark, John - Inspirations of the Holy Spirit John 2:1-11

1 On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there.
2 Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding.
3 When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, "They have no wine."
4 And Jesus said to her, "Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come."
5 His mother said to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you."
6 Now standing there were six stone water jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons.
7 Jesus said to them, "Fill the jars with water." And they filled them up to the brim.
8 He said to them, "Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward." So they took it.
9 When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom
10 and said to him, "Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now."
11 Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him. (NRSV)

Inspiration of the Holy Spirit - From the Sacred Heart of Jesus

2nd Sunday in ordinary time - Do whatever He tells you At the beginning of creation there was Adam and Eve. God was pleased with them and sanctified their union by his blessing, therefore instituting the sacrament of union between a man and a woman, which is the foundation of the human race.

At the beginning of my ministry I was pleased to bless this holy sacrament of matrimony once again, by my presence at the wedding of Canna where I performed my first public miracle.

Let the children come to me, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven, do not stop them in the womb, do not destroy human life which God loves so much. I am Life; I rejoice so much at the birth of a new infant.

In my humanity, I was a bit reluctant to start my public ministry which would involve proclaiming my Word, healing the sick, casting out devils and doing many works of mercy for the salvation of men but eventually taking me straight into my sacrifice in Calvary. My mother knew about it and She suggested indirectly that I should do something for that couple and at the same time encouraged me to accomplish my mission. Her request touched my heart and to demonstrate that I will always act at the petition of my mother, I converted the water into wine.

This first miracle was also a testimony of my power as God. It was to demonstrate that I have the power to change not only the elements, but to forgive, to give life, to raise what has come from the dust and to change it into light.

Just as I transformed the water into wine, I consecrated the bread and the wine to be my flesh and my blood, in the sacrament of your salvation.

There is nothing impossible for me to do. Trust in me, allow me to transform your material existence into the spiritual reality, which I have to offer.

Author: Joseph of Jesus and Mary

19 posted on 01/19/2013 9:49:53 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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