Holy Family

Holy Family

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Feast of the First Martyrs of Rome

Good morning. Often we tend to want to flee in the face of suffering or uncertainties. Don’t be discouraged! So often couples come, or one of a partnership will come, feeling so discouraged and hopeless. Pope Benedict XVI, in his Encyclical Spe Salvi (In Hope), says “It is not by sidestepping or fleeing from suffering that we are healed, but rather by our capacity for accepting it, maturing through it and finding meaning through union with Christ, who suffered with infinite love” Often couples, either due to poor preparation for the sacrament or perhaps watching too much Disney, enter into marriage oblivious to the fact that there will be disappointments. That is not to suggest that marriage, as some might suggest, is a hopeless proposition that is only about trouble and disappointment, a place where failure is a guarantee. No, it only means that we are a sinful people and no relationship and certainly no marriage is free of that fact. There will be disappointments; there will be sadness and hurt. But fear not! We are an Easter people, unlike the secular world that suggests that joy or happiness is solely about feeling good, those moments of hurt and sadness need not bring us to feeling discouraged. No, those moments actually present opportunities for growth. Those moments of sadness and hurt if approached with the awareness or faith of the people in today’s Gospel offers us hope, “When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Courage, child, your sins are forgiven.” In fact those moments of sadness and hurt in our marriage, and there will be some, offer opportunities to grow in intimacy and love. If as a couple we have the courage to face our fears of intimacy, and we accept with true humility that we are each sinful, there is much hope for finding joy and true happiness in our marriage. Fear not, we need not be discouraged; when Christ is our hope, we can find joy but it will not always be easy. Make a great day!

Today we recall the faith and courage of the First Martyrs of Rome. May we, as those first martyrs, have the grace to courageously face those who challenge the faith.

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