“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, then I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me.” (RV 3: 20)
Our Lord is so gentle; He wants to “enter our houses and dine with us,” but only when invited. When we meditate on His words and when we are used to listening to Him, we can recognize His “voice and open(s) the door.”
“God loved us, and send his Son as expiation for our sins.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Yet I hold this against you: you have lost the love you had at first. Realize how far you have fallen. Repent, and do the works you did at first.” (RV 2: 4-5)
St. John reminds us today of two things. First—“you have lost the love you had at first”; love needs to be protected; we can lose “the love we had at first.” Second—“do the works you did at first”; love is in actions not in emotions; love needs to “do the works”; we can always go back and start with “the works we did at first.”
“I am the light of the world, says the Lord; whoever follows me will have the light of life.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“At that time there shall arise Michael, the great prince, guardian of your people; it shall be a time unsurpassed in distress since nations began until that time.” (DN 12: 1)
This is God’s strategy: before any difficulties first His protection and His grace come. Before “a time unsurpassed in distress since nations began until that time,” St. Michael comes—“at that time there shall arise Michael, the great prince, guardian of your people.”
“Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to stand before the Son of Man.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Please help them in a way worthy of God to continue their journey. For they have set out for the sake of the Name and are accepting nothing from the pagans. Therefore, we ought to support such persons, so that we may be co-workers in the truth.” (3 JN 1: 6-8)
There are many ways we can support a new evangelization and a service to our brothers and sisters, helping them to grow. For some of us it is organizing Programs for fiancees and married couples and organizing on-going formation—Marriage Harbor. But there is also another way, especially for those who can’t be coaches and share their time—“please help us in a way worthy of God to continue our journey.” Your donations, even small, could be a great support for our mission, “so that you may be co-workers in the truth.”
“God has called us through the Gospel, to possess the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“But now, Lady, I ask you, not as though I were writing a new commandment but the one we have had from the beginning: let us love one another.” (2 JN 1: 5)
We can have difficult moments in our lives, difficult moments in our relationships, some conflicts or just feeling alone and misunderstood. The only solution is not looking for who is right or deserves more care, but “lov[ing] one another,” remembering that our ability to love comes not only from us, but is God’s gift given to us in our sacrament of marriage.
“Stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Therefore, although I have the full right in Christ to order you to do what is proper, I rather urge you out of love, being as I am, Paul, an old man, and now also a prisoner for Christ Jesus.” (PHMN 1: 8-9)
There is quite often a dilemma in our lives: “to order you to do what is proper” or “urge you out of love.” When we receive orders, we are required to do them, but when we are asked “out of love,” we are free to do them, and when we do them, we are answering also “out of love.”
“I am the vine, you are the branches, says the Lord: whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“But when the kindness and generous love of God our savior appeared, not because of any righteous deeds we had done but because of his mercy, he saved us through the bath of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he richly poured out on us
through Jesus Christ our savior, so that we might be justified by his grace and become heirs in hope of eternal life.” (TI 2: 4-7)
Not because “of any righteous deeds” and not because we deserve it, “but because of his mercy, he saved us through the bath of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.” The same happens when we are givers of self—it is not a reward for our spouses nor a nice gift to motivate them to do the same for us, but an unconditional gift, coming from generous hearts.
“In all circumstances, give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Similarly, older women should be reverent in their behavior, not slanderers, not addicted to drink, teaching what is good, so that they may train younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, chaste, good homemakers, under the control of their husbands, so that the word of God may not be discredited.” (TI 2: 3-5)
Our Programs and the way in which we did them are not very original—they came from the Bible and were inspired by St. Paul VI. The main inspiration from the Bible are: the older need to train the younger (in our Programs: our coach couples help in “teaching what is good”); they can learn how “to love their husband”; to be a good wife and a good husband, we need a very solid training.
“Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he wrongs you seven times in one day and returns to you seven times saying, ‘I am sorry,’ you should forgive him.” (LK 17: 3-4)
We often ask Our Lord for forgiveness, and “if we repent, He forgives.” God expects the same from us. Forgiveness is an important part of our lives; without forgiveness we can’t build any relationship. It is not easy if “he wrongs you seven times in one day,” but this is what Our Lord hopes for us.
“Shine like lights in the world, as you hold on to the word of life.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Christ did not enter into a sanctuary made by hands, a copy of the true one, but heaven itself, that he might now appear before God on our behalf.” (HEB 9: 24)
We are always protected by God’s love. He is with us here on earth, but also in Heaven, “that he might now appear before God on our behalf.” Whatever is important for us is important for Him; whatever is our concern is His concern; we are truly His beloved children.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Gospel Acclamation)