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October 4, 2015

The good news for today

Tested by religious leaders, Jesus reminds us, “From the origin of creating, God has made a sturdier male and a nurturing female. For this reason a human person will leave his father and mother and be joined to a spouse, and the two shall become one physical life. So they are no longer two but one fragile flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no human split apart.” (Mark 10)

No one except God understands the mystery of marriage. Two persons with differing attitudes, values, insights, maturity and innocence commit to a lifetime together—as a couple—to “being” together. The togetherness is at the heart of it.

You do not know another person, nor does anyone know your heart, soul, and mind. Yet, in marriage you accept somebody—that person’s values differing some from yours, that person’s past and future, that person’s freedom and individuality—now as part of your own life.

When Jesus reminds us of Genesis, He is speaking not of a primeval Eden, but of a timeless “beginning”—the “now-ness” of creation. God makes each of us “half of Himself—half of His image,” as the ancient Jewish scribes describe—the male/lifting-strength side, and the nurturing, bosom-resting side. We are incomplete; we find completion in others—in a single spouse as a rule, but in other ways that saintly celibates like St. Francis have found and pointed out.

A New Life begins with marriage, a coupling, (or “yoking,” as in the word “conjugal”). This New Life is God’s undertaking, a human leap of timeless faith in His help and presence, a committed belief in one another, and a growing love that challenges you to start life afresh each day. It is God’s work, this joining, this daily Good News.

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