See the daily excerpt from the preparatory catechesis for the 2015 World Meeting of Families, “Love is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive.”
32. God’s love is captured vividly in Ephesians 5, where Saint Paul extends the marriage analogy to Christ and the Church.31 Paul urges both husbands and wives to “be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ.” (Eph 5:21, NRSV) Christian marriage is therefore not a negotiation over rights and responsibilities, but rather a description of mutual self-giving. It is far more radical than mere egalitarianism. Paul does write that “the husband is the head of the wife just as Christ is the head of the church.” (Eph 5:23, NRSV) But what does this mean in context and in practice? Paul calls husbands to a self-giving love that mirrors Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. Undermining machismo and exploitation, and in profound contrast to other household codes in the ancient world, Paul teaches a dynamic in the image of God: “husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” (Eph 5:25, NRSV) Drawing on Ephesians 5, the Church speaks of marriage as a sacrament, and summons couples to this kind of cruciform selfsacrificial communion.
In its introduction, the document says its aim is to present “Catholic teaching in a way that is fresh, insightful, and accessible to contemporary Catholics and all people of good will.” The catechesis “offers a narrative beginning with our creation, soberly noting our fall and the challenges we face, but emphasizing God’s plan for our salvation. Love is our mission, and it is by loving God and one another that we will be fully alive.”
Each day in CatholicPhilly.com’s World Meeting of Families section you can reflect on the official Catholic teaching on the family presented in the catechesis, pray a special prayer together as a family or individually, and stay on top of breaking news about the events coming Sept. 22-27, 2015.
Sign up for our newsletter so you won’t miss any development about the 2015 World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia.