25th Sunday in Ordinary time – 23rd September 2018

Dear Parishioners,
An extract from Pope Francis speaking with recently married couples in Dublin.

Nowadays we are not used to anything that really lasts for the whole of our lives. If I feel hungry or thirsty, I can eat; but my feeling of being full does not last even a day. If I have a job, I know that I might lose it or I may have to choose a different career. It is even hard to keep track of the world as it changes all around us, as people come and go in our lives, as promises are made but often broken or left unfulfilled. Perhaps what you are really asking me is something even more basic: Is there anything precious that endures at all? Even love itself? We know how easy it is today to find ourselves caught up in “the culture of the provisional”, the ephemeral. That culture strikes at the very roots of our growth in hope and love. How can we experience “the truly lasting” in this culture of the ephemeral?

Here is what I would say to you. Of all the kinds of human fruitfulness, marriage is unique. It is about a love that gives rise to new life. It involves mutual responsibility for the transmission of God’s gift of life, and it provides a stable environment in which that new life can grow and flourish. Marriage in the Church, that is, the sacrament of matrimony, shares in a special way in the mystery of God’s eternal love. When a Christian man and a woman enter into the bond of marriage, the Lord’s grace enables them freely to promise one another an exclusive and enduring love. Their union thus becomes a sacramental sign of the new and eternal covenant between the Lord and his bride, the Church. Jesus is ever present in their midst. He sustains them throughout life in their mutual gift of self, in fidelity and in indissoluble unity. His love is a rock and a refuge in times of trial, but more importantly, a source of constant growth in pure and lasting love.

We know that love is God’s dream for us and for the whole human family. Please, never forget this! God has a dream for us and he asks us to make it our own. So do not be afraid of that dream! Cherish it and dream it together each day anew. In this way, you will be able to support one another with hope, strength, and forgiveness at those moments when the path grows rocky and it becomes hard to see the road ahead. God binds himself to remain faithful to his covenant, even when we grieve him or grow weak in our love. He tells us: “I will never fail you nor forsake you!” (Heb 13:5). As husband and wife, anoint one another with those words of promise, every day for the rest of your lives. And never stop dreaming!

Fr John


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