Pastor’s Corner for the 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A, by Rev. Fr. Nobert Munekani SJ
Catholics believe in love and marriage. As we celebrate Love this week, let us reflect deeply on the meaning of marriage. We must ask important questions: What is marriage, its purposes, and its value to individuals, families, and society? Such reflection, using both reason and faith, is a proper beginning point and framework for this debate.
What is Marriage?
Marriage, as designed by God, is a faithful, exclusive, lifelong union of a man and a woman joined in an intimate community of life and love. They commit themselves completely to each other and to the wondrous responsibility of bringing children into the world and caring for them. Man and woman are equal; they are also different. It is this difference that points marvelously toward their complementarity. Man and woman, in their sexual difference, are made for each other. This complementarity draws them together in a mutually loving union that should always be open to the procreation of children. (Catechism of the Catholic Church #1602-1605)
Far from being a “merely” religious matter, these truths about marriage are found in the order of nature and can be perceived by human reason. The culture a person lives in can powerfully affect perception. Unfortunately, our own cultures is more and more confused on matters of sexuality, and the truth of marriage suffers from the same blurry thinking.
Marriage and Catholic Faith
Sacred Scripture and the teaching of the Church confirm these truths about marriage and deepen them. Genesis 1:27 shows us that the human person’s complementarity as male and female reflects the image of God. A man “leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one flesh” (Gn 2:23). The man joyfully recognizes the woman as “bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh” (Gn 2:23). Jesus echoes these teachings from Genesis when he stated: “…from the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female’ and said, ‘for this reason a man shall leave … and the two shall become one flesh” (Matt. 19: 4,5).
These Biblical passages help us to understand God’s plan for marriage. Man and woman enter a lifelong bond of love and life, giving themselves as equal persons completely to one another. By this self-gift, they cooperate with God in bringing children to life and in caring for them. In Ephesians 5: 25-33, Paul teaches that Christ made marriage a sign of His love for the Church. This means that a sacramental marriage lets the world see, in human terms, something of the faithful, creative, self-emptying, abundantly life-giving love of our Lord. This Christian meaning confirms and strengthens the human value of a marital union.
Marriage contributes to society because it models the way women and men live interdependently and commit, for life, to seek the best for each other. Additionally, the marital union provides the best conditions for raising children: namely, the stable, loving relationship of a mother and father present only in marriage. This relationship is a public institution because it makes a unique and essential contribution to the common good.
Marriage imparts conscientiousness in the begetting and rearing of children, gives prudence in the innumerable problems consequent upon family life and enables husband and wife to adjust to one another’s shortcomings and to bear with one another’s faults.
As we reflect on love and marriage let us pray that nothing would prevent, redefine and de-evaluate the institution of marriage.
For the sick
Let us continue to pray for the sick members of our parish especially Elizabeth Mooi, Gloria Malunga and Andrew Ledwaba
Fr. Nobert Munekani SJ