Take advantage of the cold weather today – especially if you’re married. No, this isn’t a wink, wink, nudge, nudge comment. It merely implies that today you have a variety of readings to chose from – either the Ordinary or the for the Optional Memorial of our Lady of Lourdes. If you do this, you’ll see how sacred that spouse of yours truly is.
In the Mass for Ordinary time, we read about God’s wonderful design in the creation of a suitable partner for Adam. We’ve all read this passage numerous times, but how many times have you read the footnotes to this? Let me post them here for you now…
* [2:18] Helper suited to him: lit., “a helper in accord with him.” “Helper” need not imply subordination, for God is called a helper (Dt 33:7; Ps 46:2). The language suggests a profound affinity between the man and the woman and a relationship that is supportive and nurturing.
* [2:23] The man recognizes an affinity with the woman God has brought him. Unlike the animals who were made from the ground, she is made from his very self. There is a play on the similar-sounding Hebrew words ’ishsha (“woman,” “wife”) and ’ish (“man,” “husband”).
* [2:24] One body: lit., “one flesh.” The covenant of marriage establishes kinship bonds of the first rank between the partners.
* [2:25] They felt no shame: marks a new stage in the drama, for the reader knows that only young children know no shame. This draws the reader into the next episode, where the couple’s disobedience results in their loss of innocence.
When you read these footnotes, do you get the impression that either one is greater than the other? No, just as we celebrate the mystery of the Trinity – where our faith tells us The three divine persons are co-equal, co-eternal, and consubstantial and deserve co-equal glory and adoration so too is this mystery manifested when a man and woman commit to the covenant of Holy Matrimony and the two of them become one flesh. I cling to my wife not out of fear or weakness but because she is me and I am her – we are one in love.
Then if you read from the Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes, we see even more how important that covenant of marriage is for it was at a wedding in Cana that the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ was revealed to His disciples and it was there they began to believe in Him…
Jesus did this as the beginning of his signs at Cana in Galilee
and so revealed his glory,
and his disciples began to believe in him.
Do something great for our Lord on this cold, cold February morning (or afternoon (or evening)) – give your spouse a hug and a kiss because YOU deserve it. After all, you are one with each other.
Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine
in the recesses of your home;
Your children like olive plants
around your table.
One edit – My children would, like, knock over the olive plants around my table – and then blame the cats for doing it.
I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to sin no more and to avoid the near occasion of sin.
God’s will, not mine, be done.
Be not afraid; just have faith.
Jesus, I trust in You.
He must increase; I must decrease.
Lord, if You wish, You can make me clean.
But you man of God chose righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience and gentleness. Compete well for the faith.