Friday, June 1, 2012
Feast of Saint Justin
Good morning. Feeling lonely in a relationship doesn’t mean the relationship is over or the love is gone. No, it just means something needs to change. Unfortunately, there is no one answer to the loneliness some couples come to experience in their marriage. Often it is due to the busyness of each other’s lives outside the marriage, other times it is the failure to move beyond past hurts and failings, the inability to see the other apart from those things of the past. Perhaps it is due to the reluctance to be vulnerable, to be open and revealing to the other. There are many things which may be cause for feeling lonely in a marriage, and no matter what they are they mostly all come down to normal human weaknesses and human frailties. There are many times when like the Wedding Feast at Cana the wine will run out, when it seems there is no more love to give, times when one or the other needs to forgive and move on, to make anew.
One of the major struggles in marriage in dealing with this issue of loneliness is our struggle with dying to our self, of stepping aside from our emotional needs toward being able to truly empathize and attend to the wants and needs of the other. Too often, when we recognize weaknesses in our other, instead of seizing this opportunity to love the other, to heal the other, and forgive the other, we instead seize that opportunity to further distance ourselves. We criticize or use it to fuel past issues and arguments. Today’s first reading from I Peter 4:8 offers some insight into overcoming these times of loneliness and uncertainty in our relationships, he says to “let your love for one another be intense, because love covers a multitude of sins.” We must allow our love for each other to override our stubbornness, our selfishness, our fears, and to reach out to one another in love, to overcome the ever vexing question: “Why am I always the one that has to give in?” Well, you don’t have to, instead let your stubbornness win out and then assess whether you are any closer to your desired outcome. Is the loneliness gone? No, it is only in our willingness to step outside ourselves, in dying to our self that we are able to bring new life into our marriage, and put an end to the loneliness.
In today’s Gospel we likewise find some answers to this issue of loneliness in marriage. Our reading begins with Jesus saying to a fig tree "May no one ever eat your fruit!" (The tree is later found to have withered and died) and then we find him chasing the moneychangers out of the temple. The reading this morning from the Gospel of Mark reminds us of the need to attend to our relationship with God with love. Too often, our relationship with God tends to be like that of the people in the Gospel story, we tend to look to God as a means to serving our own personal wants and needs. We basically are doing business with God instead of having a loving, caring relationship with Him. Too often we do likewise in our marital relationship. If we do not allow ourselves to overcome our own selfish needs, our marriage like the fig tree will wither and die. Like Saint Justin, whose life we celebrate today, we must be willing to look honestly inside ourselves and allow ourselves to be open to change. We must be willing to let our love be intense, put aside our own stuff, and allow love to override whatever is holding us back from truly reaching out to each other. Make a great day!
Today we recall the good life, gifts, and work of Saint Justin.
Posted by Donald Gatwood at 7:25 AM