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WOF Radio > Sermons > Sermon Archive for 2009 > Sermon 456 : The Theology of Marriage : 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time
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    Sermon 456 : The Theology of Marriage : 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time

    10/4/2009
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    Marriage is not just some secular act or social arrangement. Rather, it is brought about by God for God's purposes. Marriage is properly understood, first and foremost, as a theological act. The purpose and meaning of marriage is revealed in the mystery of God's own life (the Trinity) , in God's relationship to creation, and in Christ's relationship with the Church.
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Anne
I thank God for what He has been doing through your homilies here. Although it has been started long ago I only come accross today and very grateful to you. I'm not English background but your inspiring inputs will enrich my spiritual life. Thank you and May God bring your mission here to completion .
10/4/2009 9:44:30 PM
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Giovanni Secchi
Dear Fr. Robert, Your inspirational words encourage and motivate me to learn more about our Faith, and you also tell me the directions, where I can dig deeper Thank you!
The topic touches so many fields that can be discussed. In Jn 15:13, Jesus says "Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." ((gr. "hypèr tô[o]n phílo[o]n", Vulg."pro amicis suis" - “phílos” means 'friend', but (as an adjective) it could also imply the notion of "dear", "beloved". This applies to our relationship with our Lord and our brothers and sisters in Christ. But this is not less relevant and reflected in the sacrament of marriage. Recently, I have listened to an interview with Scott and Kimberly Hahn, and their reflections have been helpful, too. Referring to his book "First comes Love", Scott Hahn pointed out that the Sacrament of Marriage has to be lived out in the sacramental reality of family life as a sign post that should point us to our Heavenly home. Then the home of the family could become the hors d'oeuvres, whereas the main course is the everlasting marriage supper of the Lamb. He continued that the more the couple keeps the hearts focused on Heaven, the more Heaven is allowed to affect the marital relationship and the family. He said that renewing the marriage is life giving and holy, and this could be compared with the renewal of the Covenant that we celebrate in the Eucharist, where we share in the reality of Christ's sacrifice. He said: "God has created this world to be a school of love, and love is life giving and that requires sacrifice." - Kimberly Hahn underlined this in regard to the marriage bond and said that true joy is not opposed to sacrifice but a result of it. She summarised that both Mariage and Eucharist are
Sacraments of union and communion, both are an intimate meeting of two persons; in the Eucharist our Lord and Bridegroom invites us to receive Him and His powerful Love that is Life giving. In marriage between man and woman, the fruit of the union is the life of a child. The Eucharist nurtures us on the Lord's path to obtain everlasting life, through Christ's Cross and Resurrection.

I think such an approach is quite helpful.

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I find many bible references about the marital characteristics of the New and Everlasting Covenant.

In Jn 3:29, St. John the Baptist says he is the “friend of the the bridegroom [Jesus]”. In Mk 2:19, Jesus presents himself as the bridegroom.

In Matt 22:1-14, the parable of the marriage feast evolves the implications of the New Covenant in a marital imagery.

The Apostle St. Paul says in 2Cor 11,2
“I feel a divine jealousy for you, for I betrothed you to Christ to present you as a pure bride to her one husband.” – As there are gradual differences in the calling and in the graces that a faithful follower of Christ receives, St. Paul discusses celibacy in 1Cor 7:7, 32-34 showing his deep concern about undivided interests, not in the sense of being "more or less faithful", but in the sense of being ready to fully consecrate one's life to Jesus (the Bridegroom), so that the servant called by God can live out his special call by God as a total consecration to the apostolic ministry.

In Hosea Ch. 2 and Ch. 4, breaking the Covenant with God is characterised and described to be like adultery, like breaking the marriage bond (Hos 2:2). But God is trustful and loves His people and announces that He will restore the relationship by leading His people (=His wife) away from sin (Hos 4:16 "And in that day, says the LORD, you will call me, 'My husband,' and no longer will you call me, 'My Baal.'”). The applied language emphasises God’s Love by somehow ‘erotic’ connotations (Hos 2:14 "Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her.”)

In Isa 62 1-5, it says
“[…] as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.”,
and in Isa 61:8,10
v.8 “[…] I [[God]] will make an everlasting covenant with them.” – v.10: “[…] for he [[God]] has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.”

In Heaven, there will be ONLY the marriage supper with the Lamb, and the Salvation will ultimately result in a perfect union with God.
(see Mt 22:30; Lk 20:34-35; Mk 12:25).

In Apoc 21:9-10, the New Jerusalem is presented as the Lamb’s bride:
“Then came one of the seven angels […] and spoke to me, saying, "Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb." 10 And in the Spirit he carried me away to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, 11 having the glory of God, […]”
10/5/2009 5:48:39 PM
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