Darkness! Then the light of a single candle shines into the church and all the people gathered for the Easter Vigil can see it. The light shines out into the darkness and the darkness is powerless against it.
Jesus was born into a family! The Church presents us with several opportunities to reflect on this reality in the octave of Christmas. Reflection on the Holy Family is not merely of historical interest but is reflection on a shining example of how to practice the virtues of family life in our own families here and now.
“Each family finds within itself a summons that cannot be ignored, and that specifies both its dignity and its responsibility: family, become what you are.” These are strange words written by Pope Saint John Paul II in Familiaris Consortio. Family, become what you are. It is strange to speak of becoming what one already is or of being what one has not yet become. The family already is and has not yet become the domestic church.
The following article is based on a paper written for my Pauline and Catholic Epistles class.
II Corinthians 11:1-11
Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States
Brothers and sisters:
If only you would put up with a little foolishness from me!
Please put up with me.
For I am jealous of you with the jealousy of God,
since I betrothed you to one husband
to present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning,
your thoughts may be corrupted
from a sincere and pure commitment to Christ.
For if someone comes and preaches another Jesus than the one we preached,
or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received
or a different gospel from the one you accepted,
you put up with it well enough.
For I think that I am not in any way inferior to these “superapostles.”
Even if I am untrained in speaking, I am not so in knowledge;
in every way we have made this plain to you in all things.
"You can’t force friendships upon people, but you can create opportunities for friendships to happen. A great way to help people, especially young people, feel like they belong to a community is by introducing them to people in the community in a setting that is more like “happy hour” and less like a classroom."
Clearly love is important to marriage. That is why love is central in the marriage vows: “I take you to be my wife. I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you all the days of my life.” At least, that is what it would seem based on this reading and based on my own experience in my marriage preparation. However, as I was reading and reflecting this week, I was struck by another word in the vows: “I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.”
Since Marriage is ordered toward the increase and sanctification of the people of God, its celebration displays a communitarian character that encourages the participation also of the parish community.