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Thursday, February 8, 2001

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St. Jerome Emiliani

Genesis 2:18-25
Psalm 128
Mark 7:24-30

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the sacrament of trinitarian unity

"The two of them become one body." —Genesis 2:24

Husband and wife are not merely mentally, emotionally, sexually, or spiritually united. They are one body. Woman was made from a part of man's body (Gn 2:22). Therefore, man and woman are incomplete without each other, for she is bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh (Gn 2:23). "That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body" (Gn 2:24).

When a couple is married in the Lord (see 1 Cor 7:39), this deep bodily unity between husband and wife is taken into the unity of the Trinity. The bodily, Trinitarian unity in Christian marriage is a sacrament, a sign, of Christ's love for the Church, for she is Christ's body (Eph 5:32). Christian married couples are signs that we can be one with God and other Christians as the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are One (Jn 17:21). The bodily, Trinitarian unity in Christian marriage proclaims sacramentally: "There is but one body and one Spirit, just as there is but one hope given all of you by your call. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all" (Eph 4:4-6).

Consequently, let the whole Church love, pray for, and serve married couples. They are so important for the body of Christ. Married couples, we all need the miraculous unity of your marriage. Give your lives and marriage to Jesus. Renew your marriage covenant of love and unity for the sake of the Church and the world.

Prayer:  Father, through Christian marriages begin to displace the culture of death with a civilization of life and love.

Promise:  "When she got home, she found the child lying in bed and the demon gone." —Mk 7:30

Praise:  St. Jerome was a pagan soldier who lived an ungodly lifestyle. He was captured in battle and was chained in a dungeon. While in prison, Jerome encountered Jesus, and had a deep conversion to faith. He later became a priest, and poured out his life in service to the poor, the sick, and the orphaned.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, August 9, 2000

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 18, 2000