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Wednesday, September 22, 1999

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Ezra 9:5-9
Tobit 13:2-4, 6-8
Luke 9:1-6

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mixed marriages

"They have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and their sons, and thus they have desecrated the holy race with the peoples of the land." —Ezra 9:2

Ezra was wretched, ashamed, confounded, and heaped with guilt (Ezr 9:5-6). He was so distraught because of mixed marriages. Many Jewish people had married Gentiles.

In our society, where men are even trying to "marry" men and women trying to "marry" women, we find it hard to relate to Ezra's anguish. However, in the new covenant, we have even more reason to be concerned about mixed marriages. In the old covenant, when Jews married Gentiles, they married those who were not among the chosen people. But Christians who marry non-Christians do not share with their spouses the new nature in Christ. Non-Christian spouses are creatures of God but not His sons and daughters. That's why some who became Christians after they had been married considered leaving their non-Christian spouses (1 Cor 7:12). That's why Paul taught that widows were free to remarry "on one condition, that it be in the Lord" (1 Cor 7:39).

Although the most severely mixed marriages are when Christians marry non-Christians, other mixed marriages of much lesser but still significant degrees are when Catholics marry non-Catholics or when committed Catholics marry lukewarm Catholics. The Lord does not want married couples to be unequally yoked. For love of God and all people, let us pray as Ezra prayed for a miracle.

Prayer:  Father, restore Your order to marriages and society.

Promise:  "Take nothing for the journey, neither walking staff nor traveling bag; no bread, no money." —Lk 9:3

Praise:  Millions of men have turned to the Lord and saved their marriages via Promise Keepers, St. Joseph's Covenant Keepers, and Cursillo, and other renewal movements.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, February 22, 1999

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 24, 1999