Today’s Gospel: Matthew 19, 3-12
Recently I watched a movie on the life of Dr. Peter Marshall titled “A Man Called Peter,” from the biography written by his wife, Catherine, a long-time favorite author of mine.
Catherine had set her sights on Dr. Marshall from the first day she saw him preach. His sermons were written on her heart. In an effort to share her feelings with him, she quoted back his words on marriage:
Marriage is not a federation of two sovereign states. It is a union–
It is a fusion of two hearts–
the union of two lives–
the coming together of two tributaries,
which, after being joined in marriage, will flow in the same channel in the same direction… carrying the same burdens of responsibility and obligation.
They were married shortly thereafter and enjoyed fruitful, happy years together until his death at 49. He had been pastor of the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C., and Chaplain of the United States Senate.
In today’s gospel, Jesus takes a hard and fast stance on marriage, faulting the people for their hardened hearts. Marriage, a vocation, requires an expansive heart, one that is flexible and willing to grow. The Church in her wisdom made it a sacrament, knowing that Divine help would be needed.
The Marshalls provide a wonderful example, riding the ups and downs which included prolonged, serious illnesses. Their story in “A Man Called Peter” illustrates our Lord’s prescribed path of fidelity and commitment that creates and sustains life both inside and outside of the family.
The Marshalls knew it was worth it. As a happily married woman of thirty-seven years who has ridden those ups and downs, I think it’s worth it too.
What can I do for my spouse today that will stretch my heart and deepen my love for him or her?
Lord Jesus, expand my heart today towards my spouse.
Deepen my love through the ups and downs we share.
Copyright 2016 Susan Bailey
Susan Bailey is an author/musician/speaker, writing for The Catholic Free Press and CatholicMom.com. She has sung on CatholicTV, EWTN and at WYD 2002. Susan blogs at Be as One and Louisa May Alcott is My Passion. Her two books include River of Grace: Creative Passages Through Difficult Times and Louisa May Alcott: Illuminated by The Message.