Today's gospel challenges us to go beyond culture wars and politics, to go beyond using the tools of violence and revenge to much more powerful weapons of holiness, silence, and prayer. It challenges us to rise to a much higher level: to recognize that there is a battle being waged about the very nature, dignity and purpose of marriage, an institution from God meant to bring people to God; an institution that God entrusted to us as the highway to salvation, that Saint Paul likens to the marriage between Christ and His Church.
Think about this. The Man-God, Jesus of Nazareth, chose to spend 30 years in the little home of Nazareth and at most three years of public ministry. In his recent book, Couples, Awaken Your Love, Cardinal Robert Sarah highlights the truth that the home is where Our Lord initiates His Kingdom and where it grows. Cardinal Sarah reminds us that the “family received the dignity of Our Lord’s presence. He went down with them and came to Nazareth and was obedient to them.” Father Paul Scalia, in reviewing Sarah’s book, says, “That one line has bestowed upon marriage and family a surpassing dignity. Certainly, there are many earthly benefits from strong marriages and healthy families. But that the eternal Son of God, came into the world and spent most of His earthly life ‘subject’ to Joseph and Mary, conveys more about the importance of marriage and family than anything else can.”
In his 1994 Letter to Families, Saint John Paul II said, “The family is placed at the center of the great struggle between good and evil, between life and death, between love and all that is opposed to love. To the family is entrusted the task of striving, first and foremost, to unleash the forces of good."
According to Cardinal Sarah, couples derive their strength from personal holiness, silence, and prayer. With these, couples can overcome the forces of evil and grow the kingdom of God in their own homes, families, and hearts. “The Home is where Our Lord Himself began and where His Kingdom grows. He reminds us that the Kingdom of God’s power lies in the domestic church. The great spiritual battles are won in the little battles that couples and families fight so that they can be places of prayer, forgiveness, communion, and love.”
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About Father Willy Raymond, C.S.C.
Father Willy Raymond, C.S.C. is President of Holy Cross Family Ministries. He entered Holy Cross Fathers in 1964. He earned a Bachelors in Philosophy from Stonehill College in 1967 and a Masters in Theology from the University of Notre Dame in 1971. In addition to English, Father Willy is conversant in French and Spanish. He's a native of Old Town, Maine and one of 12 children. He remains a diehard fan of the Boston Red Sox, even though he has served as Chaplain for the Los Angeles Dodgers.