It is no coincidence that Christ’s love can be expressed in sexual terms:
- His desire to be one with us
- How passionately He pursues us
- How He gives His body and allows us to take Him inside us
- He is always fully present and responsive to our needs
- He intimately knows us
- His love is permanent and unconditional
- His love heals, affirms and gives life.
Papal letters and holy scripture can seem like lofty words and inspiring ideals until we see them fleshed out in the lived experience of loving men and women.
St Paul’s letter to the Ephesians asks men to “love your wives as you love you own body.” This is motivation for husbands to be as aware of and involved with their wives as they are of themselves, intentionally conscious of her feelings and willing to share his heart and soul with her.
St. Paul also points to “respect” as a key for wives. Respect makes us open to learn from each other and to receive each other’s love. This is a call to avoid superiority and criticism which, like a cancer, destroys the tender, sexual atmosphere between a husband and a wife.
Affirmation is like the “washing with words” of which St. Paul speaks, and it can have a dramatic and life-giving effect.
When we hear Pope John Paul II say, “Couples are a permanent reminder to the Church of what happened on the cross” (Familiaris Consortio), we can immediately think of sacrifice and of the fleshy realities of the Cross and of the Eucharist. As couples give their bodies to each other totally, permanently and fruitfully, they embody a vision of passionate, other-centred love that is a complete “yes” to each other and to God.Text: Ron & Kathy Feher
Think about it…
- What parallels do see between Christ’s love for the Church and the love between a husband and wife?
- How can couples learn from Christ’s example of how to love?
- How can the Church learn from the example of married love?