As engaged couples prepare themselves for marriage, they look for advice for a rich and loving union. The best advice for engaged couples comes from Pope Francis himself in his apostolic exhortation “Amoris Laetitia” (“The Joy of Love”).
He says a couple should prepare for their wedding by meditating on Scripture together, saying it would not be good “for them to arrive at the wedding without ever having prayed together.” Couples should ask the Lord “what he wants of them.”
For engaged couples unsure where to begin, start with the Scripture readings for your wedding Mass. One of the most popular readings comes from St. Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians 5:25-33.
St. Paul writes that Christ’s union with us, the church, is a great mystery and that marriage is a human reflection of this intimate loving relationship. When a couple is married, that too is a mystical union.
Think how in marriage, the couple complements each other, bringing a strength to balance the other’s weakness. And how through encouragement from each other, a spouse grows into fullness as the person God created them to be. In marriage, the couple is stronger than any one of them alone.
St. Paul urges husbands to “love their wives as their own bodies,” for this is what happens when the two are joined in marriage, they “become one flesh.” “No one hates his own flesh,” he says, reminding us to “nourish and cherish” each other.
We are to look to Christ as our model in marriage. St. Paul tells husbands to “love your wives, even as Christ loved the church.” The sacrament of marriage, as a reflection of Christ’s mystical union with the church, should never be broken, for Christ’s love for the church will never fail.
The gift of the mystery of marriage was given to us so that we might more fully understand Christ’s love and union with us. This is what is astounding about marriage; it has been given so we can glimpse into Christ’s perfect love for us.
As we enter the mystery of Christ’s love, surrendering ourselves to it, we draw closer to him. His love shows us how to be loving partners in marriage.
Gonzalez is a freelance writer. Her website is www.shemaiahgonzalez.com.
Join the CatholicPhilly.com family
CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you and hundreds of other people become part of our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community and sustain CatholicPhilly.com as your trusted news source. Thank you in advance!
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Share this story