Friday, August 14, 2020

From the Beginning: Marriage

I bought this beautiful print of the betrothal of St. Joseph and Mary for our wedding anniversary. I love all the details. It is also the Vigil of the Assumption of Mary and I love that my thoughts automatically fall upon Mary, how she's clothed in all virtues. I've been pondering this from the Gradual: O Virgin, Mother of God, He Whom the whole world cannot contain, shut Himself in your womb, becoming Man. It just so happens that today's readings for the Feast of St. Maximilian Kolbe all have to do with marriage (Mt. 19:3-12). His recollections of Mary, whom he refers to as the Immaculata, are so full of insights. He worked tirelessly to promote consecration to Jesus through Mary. See 33 Days of Morning Glory by Fr. Gaitley or other books on Total Consecration. But I digress.  

Note how the Pharisees try to pit Jesus' teaching against that of Moses, but Jesus reminds them that His teaching is God's original plan for man and woman. It is countercultural, then and now. Even the disciples are discouraged thinking this is too hard and better not to marry, but Jesus supplies all that's lacking (My grace is sufficient for thee. ~2 Cor 12:19). It really takes Three to Get Married :) 

Some Pharisees approached Jesus, and tested him, saying,
“Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause whatever?”
He said in reply, “Have you not read that from the beginning
the Creator made them male and female and said,
For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother
and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh?

So they are no longer two, but one flesh.
Therefore, what God has joined together, man must not separate.” 
They said to him, “Then why did Moses command
that the man give the woman a bill of divorce and dismiss her?”
He said to them, “Because of the hardness of your hearts
Moses allowed you to divorce your wives,
but from the beginning it was not so.
I say to you, whoever divorces his wife
(unless the marriage is unlawful)
and marries another commits adultery.”
His disciples said to him,
“If that is the case of a man with his wife,
it is better not to marry.”
He answered, “Not all can accept this word,
but only those to whom that is granted.
Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so;
some, because they were made so by others;
some, because they have renounced marriage
for the sake of the Kingdom of heaven.
Whoever can accept this ought to accept it.”  

This is such a beautiful reminder that although God asks much of us, impossibly high standards, He also gives all the necessary graces to fulfill His commands. We are seeing this in our own lives, being married for 26 years. My heart overflows with gratitude for all our Lord is doing in our lives, pouring grace upon grace to live as new creations in Christ.  


Mirka Breen said...

Marriage is the most challenging and most worthwhile obligation we undertake. It's sad to see the casualness with which people who take vows just move on when the ambers cool or the challenge feels overwhelming.

Barbara Etlin said...

Happy 26th anniversary, Vijaya!

Jenni said...

Happy 26th anniversary! We are just a couple years behind you at 23 next month. It just gets better and better.

Vijaya said...

Thank you so much. Yes, it does get better and better, Jenni. I do feel sad about the couples who drift apart--and I pray they return to their vows. Marriage is definitely work, but such good work, so worthwhile, as you say Mirka.

Sam Kates said...

Happy anniversary!

Vijaya said...

Thank you Sam.