, we saw that because God loves us freely, faithfully, fruitfully and totally, Married Love, has to be free, faithful, fruitful and total. This is why we can say that in Marriage we come closest to loving another person the way God loves us.
But can we do that? Can I love my wife the way God loves me? Can I give myself totally, pour myself totally into my wife and in turn receive her totally? I am reminded of Jesus’ words, “be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Mt 5:48) Can I be perfect like God is perfect?
No, I can’t. But I sure as hell can try.
That’s what we are being asked to do as husbands and wives.
It’s good to know that we are not alone. I am reminded of another situation that was less-than-perfect but that turned out pretty good in the end.
The Wedding at Cana (John 2:1-12) can only be found in the Gospel of John and really, compared to other miracles of Jesus, this miracle stands apart. But then again, John is not so concerned with miracles. He’s concerned with “signs.” In fact, that’s what he calls them. In the Gospel of John we never read about miracles; we read about signs. So what is this “sign” and why did Jesus choose to perform his first sign at a wedding on the “third day” even though his “hour” had not yet come?
A sign (as we learned when we looked at Sacraments
is something visible that points to something that’s not there. If you’re going somewhere and don’t know the way, you follow the signs – once you get to your destination, you no longer need the signs. And the story of the Wedding of Cana is full of signs.
For the Jewish people, Marriage itself was a sign. A Marriage is the most common image used to describe the love of God for his people. Marriage in this life, points to the Marriage in Heaven that we will all be part of: The Marriage of God and his people. All of us in Heaven will be married to God. That’s the kind of relationship that God wants to have with us: a love relationship that is total; the love relationship that exists between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
That’s why most of us can say that our marriage is Heaven, right?
The truth is that many marriages are not Heaven.
That’s because they’ve run out of wine.
In Jewish Scriptures wine symbolises love. But the “new” wine symbolises the love of God. In the Song of Songs, the couple drinks the wine – that symbolises they are drinking from the love of God. This was what God intended from the beginning. We can maybe say that Adam and Eve were drunk in the love of God. For Jewish people this is the kind of wine that will be served in the New Jerusalem, in the New Kingdom. Wine is a reminder of the life, joy and love that God wants us to have – especially in Marriage. But many Marriages have run out of wine.
We can maybe say that Marriage is under attack.
I am reminded of another beautiful Scripture story: Book of Tobit. Tobias marries Sarah, but Sarah had been married seven times, and every time the evil demon, Asmodeus, the demon of lust, killed each husband before the marriage could be consummated. According to the Book of Tobit, Marriage is under attack by the demon of lust. And today, we can say that many marriages have run out of wine.
This is Part 6 of a ten-part series on marriage. Read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, and Part 10.
So, how do we keep the wine in our marriages? How do we make sure we have new wine in our marriages? Email me [Write to me
] your thoughts and stories, and come back next week
to find out what suggestions we can find in the Gospel of John.
Every week, Deacon Pedro takes a particular topic apart, not so much to explore or explain the subject to its fullness, but rather to provide insights that will deepen our understanding of the subject. And don’t worry, at the end of the day he always puts the pieces back together. There are no limits to deaconstructing: Write to him and ask any questions about the faith or Church teaching:
[email protected] @deaconpedrogm