the Bond of Marriage!
Rev. Denny Philip
Carmel MTC, Boston
8 "and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9 Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
What I have read about the bald Eagle, the symbol of United States, is that they stay with one partner until one of them dies. Being loyal to one partner for life is intrinsic in the created order. God, in the beginning of creation, endowed humanity with the wonderful experience of marriage. When God found “It’s not good for man to be alone” that does not merely mean woman was created as an assistant to cater to the needs of man. But the creation of man attains fullness only with the creation of woman, whom he takes as ‘flesh of my flesh and bone of my bone’ which is an affirmation and acceptance that one is incomplete without the other. A wedded life together, between a man and a woman, is what God intends, as expressed in Genesis and here quoted by Mark. So the institution of family, a divine intention and plan, is given the responsibility to continue the divine act of creation, nurturing and giving.
The church celebrates marriage as a sacrament as it is God that unites the two. The partner is not a choice from many but a gift from God. Every relationship is given, not chosen. So the success in a marriage depends not on the right choice but instead on the proper acceptance that God has chosen the most suitable person. Marriage is not a contract between the bride and the groom but an irrevocable covenant with God. In the Eastern tradition, the wedding ring stands as a symbol of the covenantal submission to God and not of a contract between two persons. Hence the bride and the groom receive the ring from the minister.
Sacrament is the outward expression of the unseen Grace. Through the sacrament of marriage, we are joined with the Grace that transcends human limitations. This Grace, which is an ‘unconditional positive regard’, is to be experienced in the interactions in the family. Then the couple will become a means of Grace and blessing to the people whom they come in contact with. Sacrament of marriage is something that needs to be kept undefiled.In the present context, where the concept of family itself is under question, let us dedicate ourselves to show the world through our family life, the richness and abundance of married life. May the Holy Spirit equip us for that.
PRAYERHelp me to experience the richness and abundance of Your love in the family you have given me and to speak it openly to at least one of its members today.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:If you have to give a score for the satisfaction you experience in the marital relationship (if not married, your relationship with parents) how would you rate it in a 10-point scale.