February 14 – Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time
In addition to today being the Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time, it is also World Marriage Sunday. How appropriate – Valentine’s Day! I will share with you some points about the day from the Secretariat of Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:
- The readings for today highlight our need for Jesus as the Divine Physician. The Old Testament reading from Leviticus lays out the law for those who have contracted leprosy: such persons would be declared unclean, turned out from society, and made to live apart from others in efforts not to spread the disease. If a person were to touch a leper, they would then be declared unclean as well, facing the same restrictions.
- Jesus, “moved with pity…stretched out his hand, touched him, and said to him, ‘I do will it. Be made clean.” The act of Jesus actually touching a leper would have shocked those around him. Love reaches out and touches others. Jesus touches this man, regardless of the risk of being ostracized himself. True love does not count the cost. Jesus gives all for all, unreservedly because his love knows no limits.
- Every marriage is meant to be a little icon of the love of Christ and his bride, the Church. The love shared between a man and a woman in holy matrimony points us to the self-emptying, self-sacrificing love God has for each one of us.
- The promises that married couples make to each other illustrate what this love looks like lived out in the day to day experience: to have and to hold, exclusively, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love, to cherish, to honor until death. A person gives everything to his or her spouse.
- The continuation of living life amid a global pandemic may have some married couples reflecting that this has been a season of “for worse, for poorer, and in sickness.” There are many married couples who are suffering right now: marital strain, illness, unemployment, etc. The sacrament of marriage provides the grace necessary to weather the storms of marriage and family life.
On this World Marriage Day, I thank all married couples for the witness of their sacrificial love “to have, to hold, to honor”!
Have a blessed week!