Marriage and Life
In the dialogue between Jesus and the Pharisees on the subject of divorce, Jesus declared that the law of Moses permitted divorce (Deuteronomy 24:1) only because of the hardness of their hearts (Mark 10:4–5; Matthew 19:8). In citing Genesis 1:27 and 2:24, Jesus proclaimed that concerning human marriage, permanence has been the divine intent from the beginning (Mark 10:6–8; Matthew 19:4-6a). He reaffirmed this with the declaration that what God has joined together, no human being must separate (Mark 10:9; Matthew 19:6b).
Jesus’ teaching on marriage is so important, that Jesus said to the disciples: “Amen, I say to you, whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it.” (Mark 10:15) In other words, whoever does not put total dependence upon and obedience to the Gospel will not enter the kingdom of God. (cf. Mt 18:3–4)
There is an intimate connection between marriage and life: marriage is the fundamental institution for life. The love between husband and wife is meant for welcoming, forming, and educating new life. The inseparability of the unitive and procreative aspects of the marital act is expressed in the love between spouses, the responsibilities of mothers and fathers, and the rights of children.
The Church will never waver in her teaching that marriage is the union of a woman and a man. Marriage is the union of two distinct persons: man and woman, who, in the Sacrament of Matrimony, signify the union between Christ and his Church. From the beginning, man and woman are made for each other.
The Church’s teachings on marriage and sex are deeply connected: Human sexuality is ordered to the conjugal love of man and woman, and the physical intimacy of the spouses is a sign and a pledge of spiritual communion. (CCC 2360) Many people in the world view sex as a recreational activity; that it may be deliberately made sterile and that sex has no moral or social significance. This downgrading of the sexual act to mere pleasure, rather than the true and complete union of man and woman, has increased the isolation between them, because sex becomes focused on self-pleasure, rather than on mutual self-giving. Instead of two persons giving to each other, they take from one another.
The love between husband and wife is ordered to a lifetime of communion with God and each other, such that it is open to creating a new human being which they will love and care for together. Even as God gives to husbands and wives a share in His creative power, there will be some spouses who cannot bear children. But such couples are no less loved by God, and they can still have a married life that is filled with love and meaning. Their love for each other becomes complete and fruitful when it is open to the needs of the poor, to the needs of orphans, and to the needs of the world.
On the other hand, when married couples deliberately suppress the creation of new life by using contraception, they deny the inherent meaning of married sexuality and it harms their unity. With the use of contraception, a spouse treats the other more like an object rather than a person. The widespread use of contraception in society has resulted in an increase of premarital sex, cohabitation, adultery, divorce and abortion. When contraception fails, many couples resort to abortion. Not respecting married love’s power to create new life has eroded the respect for life and for the sanctity of marriage.
Pet Blessing This coming Monday, October 4 is the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi. Parishioners are invited to bring their pets on Sunday, October 3 for the Parish Pet Blessing.
October is Respect Life Month Every October, the Catholic Church in the United States celebrates Respect Life Month, and the first Sunday of October is observed as Respect Life Sunday. As Catholics, we are called to cherish, defend, and protect those who are most vulnerable, from the moment of conception to natural death. During the month of October, we pray especially for the protection of the dignity of human life.
Immediately after Mass today, Fr. Bill will celebrate the Anointing of the Sick in the main church.