By Maria G. Covarrubias
As Roman Catholics, “we believe that we are bound to our community by our primal story of the Paschal Mystery which is the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.” The Paschal Mystery is the focal point of our faith. The Paschal Mystery defines, shapes and heals us as a faith community.
We celebrate this every time we come together as community of faith in the Eucharistic celebration. The Paschal Mystery happened when God chose to become one of us, taking our human condition to partake in our daily life. His Incarnation bound us together to his life, death and resurrection. This mystery celebrates the great love God has for us. This is an incredible story of love!
How do husbands and wives live the Paschal Mystery? Married couples are called to love, to sacrifice for each other, to serve each other, to wait in the times of darkness and to believe in the possibility of joy and happiness. Husbands and wives receive from the Sacrament of Matrimony the gift and responsibility of translating into daily living the sanctification bestowed on them. This Sacrament confers to them the grace and moral obligation of transforming their whole lives. The Paschal Mystery is present in the daily life of a couple during the suffering, dying and rising in daily struggles.
One of the first tasks a married couple has during the early years of marriage is to create a new life. This is a hard task! Many times during this journey together, couples experience suffering, dying to their own desires and expectations to rise to a new horizon in which love and sacrifice are present as a way to holiness. Spouses are therefore the permanent reminder to the Church of what happened on the cross; they are for one another and for the children witnesses to the salvation in which the Sacrament makes them sharers.
St Paul tells us in Ephesians 5, 25-33:
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her, in order to make her holy by cleansing her with the washing of water by the word so as to present the church to himself in splendor, without a spot or wrinkle or anything of the kind - yes, so that she may be holy and without blemish. In the same way, husbands should love their wives as they do their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one hates his own body, but he nourishes it and tends carefully, just as Christ does for the church, because we are members of His body. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This is a great mystery!”
How is the Catholic view of sacramental marriage different from the one the world has?
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Maria G. Covarrubias is Director of Catechetical Ministry for the Diocese of San Bernardino.