“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the Church” – Ephesians 5:25


The Scriptures are so filled with nuptial references, one might argue that the whole story of salvation is but one great love story, the story between Christ and His Church. Consider for a moment, that Jesus began His ministry at a wedding, when at the request of His mother, He turned water into wine. He also reminded us that “in the beginning He made them male and female….and the two shall become one flesh”. Some saints have compared this joining of one man and one woman into one flesh, to the joining of one divine nature and one human nature into the “Word made flesh”. Jesus taught that we will be able to know the wolves among us, through the fruits of their work, and sent His Church on mission to bring the Gospel to all the nations. Compare this to His earlier command in the story of Creation, that man was to be fruitful and multiply. Genesis right from the start tells us that “it is not good for man to be alone”, and then there’s the “Song of Songs“!

Clearly, marriage is the key to understand the relationship between the Creator and His Creation, the one called the Christ and His new creation, the Church. Much like Eve found new life through Adam’s rib, so we the Church find new life through the waters that flowed from Jesus’ rib. The love that Jesus has for His bride the Church, must then be, as St Paul tells the Ephesians, the model by which we love our wives. But going a step further, dare we say that this example of Christ’s love, serve also as a model for our love of the Church?

Father Sebastian Walshe in his book “Understanding Marriage and Family”, explains this connection in the following way: “And so the human family is a privileged sign intended by God to lead us into supernatural realities. When we survey the principal mysteries of our faith, we find that they are expressed in terms of relationships within the human family. For example, God is a Father, who has an eternally begotten Son. This is the foundational truth of our faith. The relationship of this Son to His Church is that of a bridegroom to his bride. The love of God for His people is like that of a mother for her infant child, and so on.” He goes on to define marriage as “the lifelong communion of a man and woman, established by their free consent, for the sake of the generation and education of children”. This definition is important to clarify as today marriage has lost its universal meaning, and therefore, leaves open the possibility to succumb to the fallacy of equivocation, which Aristotle defined as “the mistake of confusing two distinct things because they have the same name.” Slogans such as “Love is love” and “Rights are rights” being some of the more recent examples.

In light of this kind of sacramental marriage, a lot of Catholics today have nonetheless chosen or are contemplating to divorce themselves from the Church. They say she’s old, has too many wrinkles and no longer looks her radiant self, so they look for new, younger brides. They say she has changed from when she first got married, so they are no longer compatible. They say she is sick, maybe even dying, and so needs too much time and attention to even just wash her. She used to feed us, but now can’t even feed herself, they protest, much like accusers of old protested that our Lord the Saviour came to save us, but couldn’t save Himself. G.K. Chesterton famously said that marriage is like “a duel to the death, which no man of honour should decline”. Adam (Hebrew word for “man”) refused this fight, and in the process brought death upon him and his spouse. Jesus, the Son of Man, stood side by side with someone with same name, namely “Sonofman” (Bar-abbas). They both faced the mob, who despite not knowing what they were doing, picked the best person possible, the only Person in fact, that could fight death itself…. and fight indeed He did. He won, bringing life to His Bride!

The battle should’ve been over but then there’s her children, a bunch of drunks and perverts wasting away their Father’s inheritance. Yeah some did well, but vast majority are in varying degrees simply lost…. she may be one, perhaps even catholic and apostolic, but she sure isn’t holy. So what to do? Leaving is always an option. There’s no law or punitive penalties for doing so, and one can always comeback anyway. It might in fact even be beneficial to leave, as the same worldly honours and rewards offered to our Lord, are still on offer today. Perhaps one can just co-habit with her for awhile, but with the understanding that one is free to explore other partners. Of course, this freedom of exploration is not to be mutual, lest she suddenly decide to excommunicate me first! Not that she would have any reason to do that, after all, I have never changed, grown old, or gotten sick, and if I am 99% of the time faithful to her, does that really make me a bad husband? Exodus 34:14 tells us what the Lord thinks.

Thankfully our Lord never looked nor looks at His bride that way! He was and is willing to lay down His life for her. We know this to be true because he gave us His Word. In the sacrament of Holy Matrimony, we too give each other words, but not just any words, as in a verbal understanding or even written contract, rather we share our vows! This is a promise we always need to remember, so that in the midst of the inevitable spiritual storms of life, we do not retreat nor surrender. Much like the young couple at Cana, we too need to invite Jesus and His Mother into our life. No invitation, no miracle. In Revelations 19:7-9, the Lord reveals to us great news: He has invited us already!! “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give glory to Him; for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath prepared herself. And it is granted to her that she should clothe herself with fine linen, glittering and white. For the fine linen are the justifications of saints. And he said to me: Write: Blessed are they that are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” The invite is for His Son’s wedding feast of the Lamb and it’s happening this Sunday, so don’t be late and do not leave early!

St Paul knows the challenges and so he pleads with us to put on “the armour of God” as we fight not only worldly rulers, but “powers and principalities…. the spirits of wickedness in high places” Ephesians 6:10-12. For the sake of our Church, the Bride of Christ, that is a duel no man of honour should ever decline.

“I ….. take thee…., for my lawful wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.”

Husband of the Mother of God, pray for us.

Protector of the Holy Church, pray for us.

Terror of demons, pray for us.

St Joseph, pray for us.

Roberto Freire


If publishing article online please attribute source Band of Christian Brothers with link to original article.



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