one flesh, indivisible
"A man shall leave his father and mother and cling to his wife, and the two shall become as one." —Matthew 19:5
This "is the case between man and wife" (Mt 19:10):
- A husband loves his wife sacrificially, as Jesus loves us (Eph 5:25). He must give up his life for his wife (Eph 5:25). In imitation of Jesus, he tells his wife: "This is my body to be given for you" (Lk 22:19). Thus, he gives up his schedule, interests, and availability for the good of his wife. He is "occupied with pleasing his wife" (1 Cor 7:33).
- A wife recognizes her husband's position as her head (Eph 5:23). She simply submits to his headship (or orders her life under his) in imitation of Jesus in relation to His Father. In this posture of subordinating her life to his, God works through "the reverent purity of [her] way of life" not only to win over her husband (1 Pt 3:1-2), but even to highlight the way of submission for the whole Church (Eph 5:23-24).
- By visibly loving each other, a husband and wife can convince the world that Jesus loves the Church (Eph 5:32-33). How many people feel that God doesn't care about them? Love your spouse, give up your body and your life for your spouse, and lead the world to the love of Jesus.
Prayer: Father, may married couples love each other so much that many people come to realize that Jesus loves them.
Promise: "Let no man separate what God has joined." —Mt 19:6
Praise: St. Maximilian was a pioneer in using communications media to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ: radio, theater, film, and literature. Yet Jesus used his most obscure act, selflessly giving up his life to save another man in a concentration camp which was closed off from the outside world for years, to touch the world with the gospel.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 18, 2015
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