Holy Family

Holy Family

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Feast of the Seven Holy Founders

Good morning. “Love and marriage, Love and marriage, Go together like a horse and carriage.”  These lyrics to a song made popular by Frank Sinatra for most folks seem like the right formula for a happy marriage.  So what about “Love and suffering?”  Well, that is exactly the formula Jesus proposes in this morning’s Gospel, and Peter will have none of it. “He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and rise after three days. He spoke this openly. Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. At this he turned around and, looking at his disciples, rebuked Peter and said, "Get behind me, Satan. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do” (Mk 8:31-33).  Jesus in the Gospel this morning informs us that indeed suffering is part of love. Because God loves us He sent His Son to suffer and die for us. Jesus goes on in Mark's Gospel to say that we must all do likewise.  This seems like an odd notion for those of us who find ourselves living in a culture whose mantra is to ‘live life and live it to its fullest.’  I often hear as a marriage counselor from individuals who are contemplating leaving their partner because of changes in the circumstances surrounding their relationship, the loss of a job or a debilitating illness.  I hear such things as “I didn’t sign on for this.” or “I deserve better than this.”  The idea that suffering and loss are any part of a loving relationship is so foreign to so many people.  The idea that one can and should have love without suffering may fit well with the lyrics of a love song by Sinatra, but it does not fit with what true love is. What love is, is mutual self-giving, and the surrendering of one’s own wants and desires, yes even unto Calvary. Oh! And we do sign on for it; remember “For better or worse?” Make a great day!

Today we celebrate the feast of the Seven Holy Founders.

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