by Bishop Antoine-Charbel Tarabay, Maronite Catholic Diocese of Australia
We must face the challenge of upholding God’s will for the family and for marriage.
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:28-30).
Our Lord invites us first to come to Him, then to accept the yoke, that is, the kind and ordering harness of His commandments by which he guides us; and, when we are before Him, and willing to conform ourselves to His direction, we are then, decisively, to learn from Him. In coming to Him, we approach the source of life; in submission we find peace; and in learning we receive illumination, not only of mind, but also of heart.
The commandments of the Lord correspond exactly to our needs, and in following them with gentle and humble hearts, like his heart, we can face the challenges of our times.
One of the challenges which we are facing today is the increasing number of families not knowing how to respond to the postal vote on same-sex marriage. The challenge is even more difficult when a member of the family is found to declare themselves to be same-sex attracted, and perhaps to desire to live in a same-sex relationship, even aspiring to be married. This, and the entire campaign around same-sex marriage, is heart-breaking for all families, especially the traditional families. They do not know how to deal with it.
Whatever may occur in their family relations, there is a clear path in the spiritual dimension: to offer one’s pain and suffering to the Lord, joining it to his sacrifices, and taking upon ourselves his yoke. Even if we are hurt in what we do, even if our principled opposition to changing the nature of marriage causes us to suffer persecution, yet his yoke is easy and his burden light, for it would be far, far worse for us were to be complicit in following the wrong course, and not defending our beliefs and not discerning God’s will for the family and for marriage. The single greatest source of distress for today’s family is the loss of the revealed divine truth, and its replacement with a mere human and materialistic approach to a very essential matter.
Lover of All People, Good and Wise Physician, make our hearts gentle and humble as is yours. Grant us the grace to approach You in trusting submission, and to accept with gratitude the gift of Your yoke, no matter what we may suffer. For by your Word, we are united to each other as a team which labours in Your fields, guided by Your will, and nourished and rested by Your hand. May Your Living Holy Spirit illuminate our minds with Your teachings, making little ones to understand in simplicity and confidence. Thank you for the Blessed Virgin Mary and St Joseph her most chaste spouse, who guarded the infant Jesus in the holy house in Nazareth. Thank you that they are a model for marriage and family life. We pray they will remain our inspiration for marriage in our nation in Jesus Name Amen.
Watch Loving All People – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBIHVmIcM80
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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Daily Zoom video one hour prayer calls at 7AM, 1PM & 8PM to pray for marriage and family. To register and get log in details for the Zoom conference call go to www.prayercall.com.au