I recently heard a radio program where they were exploring the idea that the Summer of 2015 was the Summer that love died. They argued this because of the number of celebrity break-ups: Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner; Britney Spears and Charlie Ebersol; Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas and Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale. Not to mention Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog! So sad.
One of the commentators asked the question that I was asking myself, “Who cares?” The answer however, rings true: Love and Marriage are in such disgrace, in such decay that we need to hold on to those ideals, the fairy tale marriages, longing with hope that love is not dead. It’s true. People are dissatisfied with marriage. Marriage has run out of wine
. Perhaps, instead of looking at celebrities as marriage role models, we need to look to the Eucharist. (And read this whole deacon-structing marriage series!)
, we spoke about Marriage being a foretaste of Heaven and throughout the series we’ve looked at what it means to love totally.
It was just a matter of time until we ended up speaking about the Eucharist.
If you’ve been going to Mass for the last 5 weeks and paying attention, you’ve noticed that we’ve been reading the sixth chapter of the Gospel of John, also known as the “Bread of Life Discourse
”. In the Gospel of John, the section when Jesus makes the claim that he is “the bread come down from Heaven” and that “the bread that I will give is my flesh” begins with the feeding of the multitudes
. We hear the last installment of this “mini-series on the Eucharist” today (21st Sunday, Ordinary Time, Year B
) at Mass. We have spent the last seven weeks looking a Marriage and all the while I kept thinking that I should be writing about the Eucharist; well, here we go. It is no coincidence that today, as we begin wrapping up our deacon-structing series on Marriage, the themes of Marriage and the Eucharist converge at Mass.
If you ever have to explain the Eucharist to someone, the best image you can use is that of Marriage. Marriage is a total self-giving. It is a pouring out of one-self for the other. Marriage is a free, faithful, fruitful and total giving. This is the kind of love God has for us. This is the kind of “one-flesh-union” that God wants to have with us. This union, this “Communion” is what happens in the Eucharist.
- Christ gives himself freely: “No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord.” (John 10:18)
- Christ gives himself faithfully: “I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (Matthew 28:20)
- Also Christ’s self giving is fruitful: “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)
- And finally, Christ gives himself totally: “Take, eat; this is my body….” (Matthew 26:26; Mark 14:22).
That is why today’s second reading is the one where St. Paul says to the Ephesians that husbands must love their wives as Christ loves the Church (Ephesians 5:25).
This is Part 8 of a ten-part series on marriage. Read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 9, and Part 10.
This passage from Ephesians 5:22-32 is always a cause for discontent and therefore deserves its own blog entry. Why don’t you write to me
) and share your thoughts on it and then come back next week
and let’s go through it together?
Photo - CNS/Joey Kelly, EPA
Every week, Deacon Pedro takes a particular topic apart, not so much to explore or explain the subject to its fullness, but rather to provide insights that will deepen our understanding of the subject. And don’t worry, at the end of the day he always puts the pieces back together. There are no limits to deaconstructing: Write to him and ask any questions about the faith or Church teaching: