Holy Family

Holy Family

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Feast of Saint Joseph Moscati

Good morning. On the surface, the reading today from the Gospel of John can perhaps be difficult to comprehend, just as the Pharisees in this passage struggled with comprehending what Jesus was telling them. The message in today’s world is the same countercultural message that caused the Pharisees to be bewildered in today’s reading. “They did not realize that he was speaking to them of the Father.” (Jn 8:27) We see this same disparity in people’s approach to marriage. Some folks pursue marriage as a complement to the world they live in, versus a means of complementing and deepening their relationship with God. For the Pharisees whose lives were about the things of this world, about affluence and position they could not comprehend what Jesus was telling them. Because their image of the Messiah was different from what they presumed it should be they could not understand; the Messiah, speaking directly to them, did not fit with the Messiah they imagined. They were awaiting a king who would free them from the Romans and rule over an earthly kingdom. We frequently see ourselves taking a similar approach to marriage, why some of us even draw up premarital agreements in the event it doesn’t fit with how we imagine it should be. What we too often do not seem to get is, in the words of Gary Thomas in Sacred Marriage: What If God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy that it isn’t about our happiness so much as it is about our holiness. Wow! Let me repeat that. It isn’t about our happiness as it is about our holiness. As a marriage counselor I so often hear “I love her, but I’m just not in love anymore.” or “We don’t make each other happy anymore.” Or “I just don’t know if we were meant to be.” So many of us have a romanticized notion of marriage, we believe it is simply about happiness instead of about the meaning of married love known to us since the beginning. Many of us take stock in our marriage in much the same way we do with other things in our lives, always longing for more, and we’re never satisfied. We all long for happiness, but as Pope Benedict XVI recently reminded us, “the glamour of this world will not satisfy’ our ‘natural desire for happiness.” What many folks seem to struggle in comprehending is that marriage is a journey, a journey we help each other take to a place beyond the things of this world, where all desires will be satisfied. Make a great day!

Today we recall the good life, gifts, and works of Saint Joseph Moscati.

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