Sunday, Oct. 4, is the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B, Cycle 1).
At 9:30 a.m. at St. Peter’s, Pope Benedict XVI opens the Synod of Bishops for Africa.
This Oct. 4, the St. Francis of Assisi day will be overshadowed by the Sunday feast. Many parishes will have a “blessing of the animals” on Saturday.
Genesis 2:18-24; Psalm 128:1-6; Hebrews 2:9-11; Mark 10:2-16 or 10:2-12
Instead of our take on today’s readings about Adam clinging to Eve, the Psalm’s praise of “a good wife” and Christ’s view on marriage, we present the Church’s take. Here is a homily from the old Roman Missal that used to be read at weddings. The priest who married us read it, and we’re grateful:
“Dear friends in Christ: As you know, you are about to enter into a union which is most sacred and most serious, a union which was established by God himself. By it he gave to man a share in the greatest work of creation, the work of the continuation of the human race. And in this way he sanctified human love and enabled man and woman to help each other live as children of God, by sharing a common life under his fatherly care.
“Because God himself is thus its author, marriage is of its very nature a holy institution, requiring of those who enter into it a complete and unreserved giving of self. But Christ Our Lord added to the holiness of marriage an even deeper meaning and a higher beauty. He referred to the love of marriage to describe his own love for his Church, that is, for the people of God whom he redeemed by his own blood. And so he gave to Christians a new vision of what married life ought to be, a life of self-sacrificing love like his own.
“This union is most serious because it will bind you together for life in a relationship so close and so intimate that it will profoundly influence your whole future. That future, with its hopes and disappointments, its successes and its failures, its pleasures and its pains, its joys and its sorrows, is hidden from your eyes. You know that these elements are mingled in every life and are to be expected in your own. And so, not knowing what is before you, you take each other for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death.
“Truly, then, these words are most serious. It is a beautiful tribute to your undoubted faith in each other, that, recognizing their full import, you are nevertheless so willing and ready to pronounce them. And because these words involve such solemn obligations, it is most fitting that you rest the security of your wedded life upon the great principle of self-sacrifice. And so you begin your married life by the voluntary and complete surrender of your individual lives in the interest of that deeper and wider life which you are to have in common. Henceforth you belong entirely to each other; you will be one in mind, one in heart, and one in affections. And whatever sacrifices you may hereafter be required to make to preserve this common life, always make them generously. Sacrifice is usually difficult and irksome. Only love can make it easy; and perfect love can make it a joy. We are willing to give in proportion as we love. And when love is perfect, the sacrifice is complete.
“No greater blessing can come to your married life than pure conjugal love, loyal and true to the end. May, then, this love, with which you join your hands and hearts today, never fail, but grow deeper and stronger as the years go on. And if true love and the unselfish spirit of perfect sacrifice guide your every action, you can expect the greatest measure of earthly happiness that may be allotted to man in this vale of tears. The rest is in the hands of God. Nor will God be wanting to your needs; he will pledge you the lifelong support of his graces in the holy sacrament which you are now going to receive.”
Tom and April Hoopes write from Atchison, Kansas.