The Celebration of the Christian Mystery
Marriage in the Lord
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.”
On the threshold of his public life Jesus performs his first
sign—at his mother’s request—during a wedding feast.
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.
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.
Thematrimonial union of man
and woman is indissoluble: God himself has determined it: “what
therefore God has joined together, let no man put asunder.”
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.
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.
This grace of Christian marriage is a fruit of Christ’s
cross, the source of all Christian life.
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.”
19:7, 9; cf.
107 Mt 19:6.
5:25-26, 31-32; cf.