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The Celebration of the Christian Mystery

403

Marriage in the Lord

1612

The nuptial covenant between God and his people Israel

had prepared the way for the new and everlasting covenant in

which the Son of God, by becoming incarnate and giving his life,

has united to himself in a certain way all mankind saved by him,

thus preparing for “the wedding-feast of the Lamb.”

104

1613

On the threshold of his public life Jesus performs his first

sign—at his mother’s request—during a wedding feast.

105

The

Church attaches great importance to Jesus’ presence at the wed-

ding at Cana. She sees in it the confirmation of the goodness of

marriage and the proclamation that thenceforth marriage will be

an efficacious sign of Christ’s presence.

1614

Inhispreaching Jesusunequivocally taught the originalmean­

ing of the union of man and woman as the Creator willed it from the

beginning: permission given by Moses to divorce one’s wife was a

concession to the hardness of hearts.

106

Thematrimonial union of man

and woman is indissoluble: God himself has determined it: “what

therefore God has joined together, let no man put asunder.”

107

1615

This unequivocal insistence on the indissolubility of themar-

riage bond may have left some perplexed and could seem to be a

demand impossible to realize. However, Jesus has not placed on

spouses a burden impossible to bear, or too heavy—heavier than the

Law of Moses.

108

By coming to restore the original order of creation

disturbedby sin, hehimself gives the strengthandgrace to livemarriage

in the new dimension of the Reign of God. It is by following Christ,

renouncing themselves, and takingup their crosses that spouseswill be

able to “receive” the original meaning of marriage and live it with the

help of Christ.

109

This grace of Christian marriage is a fruit of Christ’s

cross, the source of all Christian life.

1616

This is what the Apostle Paul makes clear when he says:

“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave

himself up for her, that he might sanctify her,” adding at once: “For

this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined

to his wife, and the two shall become one. This is a great mystery,

and I mean in reference to Christ and the Church.”

110

104

Rev

19:7, 9; cf.

GS

22.

105 Cf.

Jn

2:1-11.

106 Cf.

Mt

19:8.

107 Mt 19:6.

108 Cf.

Mk

8:34;

Mt

11:29-30.

109 Cf.

Mt

19:11.

110

Eph

5:25-26, 31-32; cf.

Gen

2:24.

521

2336

2382

2364

1642