The Covenant of Marriage

September 20th, 2015 | Posted by K Graham in Bulletin Message | Spiritual - (Comments Off on The Covenant of Marriage)

Dear Parish Family: The following is continued from last weekend’s excerpt from the catechism’s beautiful teaching on marriage, paragraphs 1602-17: The nuptial covenant between God and his people Israel had prepared the way for the new and everlasting covenant in which the Son of God, by becoming incarnate and giving his life, has united to himself in a certain way all mankind saved by him, thus preparing for “the wedding-feast of the Lamb.” On the threshold of his public life Jesus performs his first sign – at his mother’s request – during a wedding feast. The Church attaches great importance to Jesus’ presence at the wedding at Cana. She sees in it the confirmation of the goodness of marriage and the proclamation that thenceforth marriage will be an efficacious sign of Christ’s presence. In his preaching Jesus unequivocally taught the original meaning of the union of man and woman as the Creator willed it from the beginning: permission given by Moses to divorce one’s wife was a concession to the hardness of hearts. The matrimonial union of man and woman is indissoluble: God himself has determined it “what therefore God has joined together, let no man put asunder.” This unequivocal insistence on the indissolubility of the marriage bond may have left some perplexed and could seem to be a demand impossible to realize. However, Jesus has not placed on spouses a burden impossible to bear, or too heavy – heavier than the Law of Moses. By coming to restore the original order of creation disturbed by sin, he himself gives the strength and grace to live marriage in the new dimension of the Reign of God. It is by following Christ, renouncing themselves, and taking up their crosses that spouses will be able to “receive” the original meaning of marriage and live it with the help of Christ. This grace of Christian marriage is a fruit of Christ’s cross, the source of all Christian life. This is what the Apostle Paul makes clear when he says: “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her,” adding at once: “‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one. This is a great mystery, and I mean in reference to Christ and the Church.” The entire Christian life bears the mark of the spousal love of Christ and the Church. Already Baptism, the entry into the People of God, is a nuptial mystery; it is so to speak the nuptial bath.111 which precedes the wedding feast, the Eucharist. Christian marriage in its turn becomes an efficacious sign, the sacrament of the covenant of Christ and the Church. Since it signifies and communicates grace, marriage between baptized persons is a true sacrament of the New Covenant.

God bless you, Fr. Max


Gift of Education

September 5th, 2015 | Posted by K Graham in Bulletin Message | Spiritual - (Comments Off on Gift of Education)

Dear Parish Family: I would like to devote this column to our students of both Arma and Girard. We are starting a new academic year. This is a good opportunity to reflect on the gifts of thought and reason which God has given to us and the gift of an education which millions of our ancestors did not have. Since knowledge is precious, and ignorance can be deadly, we must resolve to take full advantage of this gift of education. A good education squandered in youth is very difficult to make up for as an adult. And cramming all night before a major test usually produces dim results. Therefore let us decide now to be studious students, determined to study and learn. There of course is nothing wrong with fun and games, but only after our scholastic duties are done. We must remember that God wants us to be smart Catholics, well educated and equipped mentally to spread his kingdom. It does not please God if we keep ourselves ignorant either deliberately or through sloth. God gave us a mind; he wants us to strengthen it. So let us always put homework ahead of video games and our favorite band. We will enjoy them more anyway if all of our academic duties are finished. Know that all of you students and your families will be in my prayers during this entire academic year! God bless you, Fr. Max