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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

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Ezra 9:5-9
Tobit 13:2-4, 7-8
Luke 9:1-6

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the “thing”

“My God, I am too ashamed and confounded to raise my face to You, O my God, for our wicked deeds are heaped up above our heads and our guilt reaches up to heaven.” —Ezra 9:6

When Ezra heard “this thing,” he tore his cloak and mantle, plucked hair from his “head and beard, and sat there stupefied” (Ezra 9:3). Ezra fell on his knees and stretched out his hands to the Lord. Why was Ezra traumatized? It was because both Israelite laymen and priests married non-Israelite wives. Ezra knew they were doomed by entering into “mixed marriages.”

If Ezra were alive today, he would probably immediately drop dead from so many “mixed marriages.” The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches in Sections 1633 - 1637 that although the couple has obvious problems when a Catholic and Protestant marry, that marriage is not as “mixed” or as mixed up as when a Christian marries a nonbeliever or a non-practicing Christian, even if the spouse is technically in the same denomination.

Even when a practicing Catholic marries a non-practicing Catholic, we have reason to mourn like Ezra. When someone in love with Jesus marries someone not in love with Jesus, there will be challenges in such a marriage relationship. If a Christian can’t share Christ with his or her spouse, their love may never develop to its fullest potential, since Jesus is Love incarnate (1 Jn 4:8). May all married persons have a committed relationship with the Bridegroom Jesus (see Mk 2:19) and accordingly share that relationship with their spouses.

Prayer:  Father, may every married person be married to Your Son.

Promise:  “Jesus now called the Twelve together and gave them power and authority to overcome all demons and to cure diseases.” —Lk 9:1

Praise:  With simplicity of faith, Randy, a four-pack-a-day smoker, was instantly healed of that addiction by a humble prayer empowered by the Holy Spirit.

Reference:  (For a related teaching on the Sacrament of Matrimony, order, listen to, or download our CD 1B-1 or DVD 1B on our website.)

Rescript:  "In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat for the publication One Bread, One Body covering the time period from August 1, 2021 through September 30, 2021. Reverend Steve J. Angi, Vicar General, Chancellor, Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio January 12, 2021"

The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.