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Friday, August 17, 2012

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Ezekiel 16:1-15, 60, 63
Isaiah 12:2-6
Matthew 19:3-12

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the cross of unilateral faithfulness

"Let no man separate what God has joined." —Matthew 19:6

Because the Roman Catholic Church has taken Matthew 19:6 seriously, many people have left the Catholic Church. They prefer to ignore this verse rather than undergoing the great suffering of remaining unilaterally faithful in their marriage. However, Jesus wants us to carry our cross daily (see Lk 9:23). He wants us to be like Him not only in His glorious victory, but also in the way He responds to the terrible rejection He experiences daily (see Heb 6:6).

Jesus is the most divorced Person Who has ever lived. He is sinned against and cheated on hundreds of thousands of times daily. He responds to this awesome rejection with unconditional, perfectly faithful love. "If we are unfaithful he will still remain faithful, for He cannot deny Himself" (2 Tm 2:13). One of God's purposes for marriage is to be a sign (a sacrament) of the Lord's faithful love for His body, the Church.

A main purpose of even the worst marriage is still to be a sign of the Lord's faithfulness. That is why couples are married "for better or for worse, until death do you part." Many of you are suffering terribly in difficult marriages. Many are suffering separation or divorce. Your sufferings are not in vain. You are a sign of the Lord's faithful love. The Lord is working all things together for the good in and through your life (see Rm 8:28). Suffer faithfully and therefore redemptively.

Prayer:  Father, may faithfulness be as important to me as it is to You.

Promise:  "My strength and my courage is the Lord, and He has been my Savior." —Is 12:2

Praise:  Jeremy and Mary prayed a fifty-four day novena to discern whether or not to marry. Midway through the novena, the Lord blessed Jeremy with a job. At the close of the novena, they became an engaged couple.

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 30, 2012

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