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Friday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time

My dear encountered couples:

Marriage can impress upon us our sad condition. It makes evident our selfishness, it tests our patience, it unveils our anger; it lets at least one other person find out that we are not as wonderful as we would like the world to view us. Marriage is a revealer of the goodness and the badness that lies within our hearts; and God knows that. Was it only for continuing the human race that he invented marriage? Or was it also to keep us humble?

Living together with our favorite person can make us discover not only things about the other person, but things about ourselves that we didn’t know were in us. Though we have lived with ourselves all our lives, and much of it in a family situation, togetherness as husband and wife can drudge up revelations about ourselves that catch us completely off guard. “He is not the man I thought he was,” complains the wife. “She is not the woman I married,” echoes the husband. If they were both honest they might ask, “Is this really I who am acting in this terrible way?”

Over fifty percent of marriages, Christian or not, end in divorce. Needless to say, Jesus is opposed to that. If he were here in body we might find him organizing a million spouse march against divorce. And he would emphasize it is about time we stop trying to please ourselves but get serious about the happiness of others. Jesus came to patch up the rift between God and the human race. In all practicality can that ever happen? Not until we patch up the rift between one another. And if that doesn’t start in the family, where is it going to start? We have to learn not only to tolerate one another, but to love each other from the depths of our hearts. We’re a pretty long ways from sainthood, aren’t we?

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