“Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary. Of her was born Jesus who is called the Christ.” (MT 1: 16)
So simple, modest title: “the husband of Mary,” and with this beginning, the history of our redemption started. When we recognize our identity, when we do everything possible to fulfill this vocation, miracles are coming because it is not about us and what we can do, but about God, His love to us, Who ga us vocation, the mission to discover and to complete. When we do our part, God’s part comes. And makes simple things universal, outstanding, and beyond our imagination.
“Blessed are those who dwell in your house, O Lord; they never cease to praise you.” (Verse before the Gospel)
“Then Elijah appeared to them along with Moses, and they were conversing with Jesus.” (MK 9: 5)
“They were conversing with Jesus.” It looks like it will be our lifestyle in Heaven—conversing with Jesus, like Elijah and Moses.? Also, Our Lord is speaking with His Father, speaking, not praying. Today God asks not to converse with His Son but to listen to Him. Maybe time for conversation will come later?
“From the shining cloud, the Father’s voice is heard: This is my beloved Son; listen to him.” (Verse before the Gospel)
“Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.” (MK 2: 17)
Whenever Our Lord sees weakness or sin, He comes with support. If we are focused on seeing our spouses’ mistakes and sins, naturally, Jesus will leave us (as “those who are well) and will go to our spouses (because He “did not come to call the righteous but sinners”). Our idea of extreme ownership helps us recognize our own mistakes, our own sin, and protects our relationship from our spouses’ idealistic vision.
“The Lord sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor and to proclaim liberty to captives.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Unable to get near Jesus because of the crowd, they opened up the roof above him.” (MK 2: 4)
Sometimes it also happens with our spouses and us. We are “unable to get near”; maybe stress at work, maybe our last “conversation” or his night rituals (not with me, but with a bottle of wine and TV) or … many other things. But “unable” doesn’t mean impossible; it just means—be more creative. There is always something not conventional (like coming by a roof, not by doors); it is only a matter of our creativity and determination. When we really want to “get near,” our hearts will lead us to how to do it.
“A great prophet has arisen in our midst, and God has visited his people.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“You will be hated by all because of my name, but whoever endures to the end will be saved.” (MT 10: 22)
We have no idea when “the end” will happen, so probably the only way to “endures to the end” is to reach every end with endures: end of the day, end of the training, end of the conversation, end of the getting up punctually, etc. We want to be on time—someday in the future, able to make 50 push-ups—maybe in 3 years, emotionally very stable—we dream about it, but we do not create any vision, we have no real motives and no strategy what to do today. The lack of “endures to the end” starts with no vision for the begging. Collins called it “start with the vision of the end,” we call it in our Programs—stop correcting your spouse—start with crystal clear vision for yourself: what kind of spouse you want to be for your spouse, take extreme ownership for your relationship, love your spouse unconditionally and “whoever endures to the end will be saved;” God will help him/her in everything.
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD: the LORD is God and has given us light.” (Gospel Acclamation)
‘When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home.” (MT 1: 24)
This is the basic spirituality of every pious Jewish: “Shema Israel—listen to Israel;” listen to the Lord and do what He says. His word is first. When we listen, we know what to do. This is why it is so good to have every day a time to listen, to meditate, and to put His words into action. And because we are created in His image and likeness, couples must have their daily rituals to listen and know each other from a deeper perspective. When we do this daily, weekly, and monthly, we can grow in our relationship and support each other to be the best spouses for each other.
“O Leader of the House of Israel, the giver of the Law to Moses on Sinai: come to rescue us with your mighty power!” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the good news proclaimed to them. And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me.” (LK 7: 22)
This is the best way to proclaim the Gospel: “Tell what you have seen and heard.” The Gospel and Our Lord’s mission is not a theory or nice reflection about the world, but concrete teaching about God’s love for men. When we share with other couples what we experience at the Program and how the Program has changed our lives, they can see and hear; our example can inspire them.
“Raise your voice and tell the Good News: Behold, the Lord GOD comes with power.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“A man had two sons. He came to the first and said, ‘Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.’ The son said in reply, ‘I will not,’ but afterwards he changed his mind and went.” (MT 21: 28-29)
How grateful we should be for our ability to “change our mind.” We can start a difficult conversation or argument with a spouse, and in one moment, we can say—I am sorry and change the whole situation immediately. It is good to remember that there is always time to reflect, to convert, to be better, and to love more.
“Come, O Lord, do not delay; forgive the sins of your people.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“They discussed this among themselves and said, ‘If we say ‘Of heavenly origin,’ he will say to us, ‘Then why did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ we fear the crowd, for they all regard John as a prophet.” (MT 21: 25-26)
They put a trap on themselves with their question. Now they need to answer, recognizing Our Lord’s teaching origin: of heavenly or human origin? We could have the same problem in our lives with recognition: I am called to be married, but my spouse is not good for me, or I am called to be married, am I good for my spouse? Marriage is not to be loved (only), but to love my spouse unconditionally and not happy for what I receive from him/her, but happy for being a gift for my spouse.
“Show us, LORD, your love, and grant us your salvation.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“By your perseverance, you will secure your lives.” (LK 21: 19)
Perseverance is a virtue. The dictionary describes it this way: “persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.” Married life and family life are a perfect environment to grow in this virtue: loving our differences, day by day changing our old habits and creating better ones, seeing our children grow and helping them to mature, and so on. Never, ever give up; this helps us start a new day with new hope and ideas, knowing that God is always there when we need His help.
“Remain faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.” (Gospel Acclamation)