by Sister Moira Debono, Religious Sisters of Mercy, Catholic Church
Marriage is an expression of faith on various levels.
“It was not through the law that the promise was made to Abraham and his descendants that he would inherit the world, but through the righteousness that comes from faith. For this reason, it depends on faith, so that it may be a gift, and the promise may be guaranteed to all his descendants, not to those who only adhere to the law but to those who follow the faith of Abraham, who is the father of all of us, as it is written, I have made you father of many nations. He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into being what does not exist. He believed, hoping against hope, that he would become the father of many nations, according to what was said, “Thus shall your descendants be.” (Romans 4:13,16-18).
Faith is a word that we usually associate with religion. But, there are different kinds of faith. Besides religious faith, there’s the faith that when I push the plastic switch on the wall expecting the light fixture above me, made of glass and metal wires, to light up the room. I push the switch and – it does! Amazing! What gives us the faith that will happen? Well, we’ve been told that it is electricity that flows through the wires in the wall (again, I believe the wires are there, but I wasn’t there when the house was built) that gives us the light and we’ve probably learned about this invisible electricity in some high school science class, though we might not remember all the details. We’ve been witnesses to this marvel in other instances, too. We “know” it works. So, we have faith that it will continue to do so. And we tell others, “Go ahead, turn on the light, it’s dark in here.”
Marriage is an expression of a faith on various levels, too. Those words of consent, those validating statements of the spouses to each other express faith in more than one dimension. Let’s say them slowly: “I, (your name), promise to take you, (your spouse’s name) for better, for worse, etc… until death do us part.”
The spouses promise that they will be there for the other! For their lifetime! What an expression of loving friendship! Of honouring another! Of acknowledging the care another deserves! Of trust in another! When that mutual commitment is heard one to another, what humility must be felt! This is human faith in another. “I will be there for you.”
How are spouses to fulfill such a commitment? Seems overwhelming at times. This is another level of faith: faith in God, God who created this awesome relationship. Those words of consent are words of faith in God, words of trust in God’s accompaniment on the journey. That’s why they are best said in church before a community.
As an early Christian wrote to his wife: “[husband and wife] side by side … face difficulties and persecution, share their consolations,” they worship together and more. It’s not always idyllic, but the journey of marriage is on the road of faith. As the quality of a road makes or breaks a journey, so marriage demands faith that will carry it to its completion. Consider people you know who have been on the road of faith in their journey of marriage; may they be an inspiration for you today as Abraham has been for all the ages.
Father of all the living, we pray for all married couples. May they value the gift of faith in their lives. May they be attentive to the guidance of the Holy Spirit in the events of a day so as not to miss Your Presence with them like Abraham who unexpectedly entertained his three guests. May they lovingly protect the gift of faith they share, strengthen and enrich each other and proclaim the Easter victory of your Son through the example of their lives. AMEN.
Watch Love Cradle of the Family – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j09plkKSvuU
Canberra Declaration Daily Prayer Points for October
- A Miracle for Marriage
- Truth to be Exposed
- A Spirit of Repentance in the Church
- Revival and Transformation in our Nation
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