A Starbucks Missionary

12 Jan

Image result for starbucks baristaWe all know people who have not darkened the doorstep of a church in a long time. It could be the barista who knows your latte order by heart, or the mom who sits next to you at all those basketball games.  We all have coworkers, friends, or family who do not know God.

In Sunday’s first reading, Isaiah says, “I will make you a light to the nations that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.” Guess what? He’s talking to us! The “ends of the earth” are the carpool line, the water cooler, and PTA meeting.

Be not afraid! God has given us a foolproof tool to make sharing faith painless: a joyful marriage. Marriage is an image of the love of Christ’s love for the Church, and when we live it joyfully, we become the shining light to which Isaiah refers. For tips on joyfully witnessing your marriage, see www.joyfulmarriageproject.com.

The foregoing is this week’s installment of the “Marriage Minute,” produced by the Marriage and Family Life Office of the Archdiocese, which attempts to view the Sunday readings through the lens of the Sacrament of Marriage.

The Wise Men . . . of Marriage

6 Jan

Image result for magi east arduous JesusWhen it comes to the details of the Christmas story, we don’t often think much about the Wise Men who came from the East to see Jesus. Their journey was difficult and took a long time. Why did they bother to come themselves when it would have been much easier to send a servant? Surely they had important things to do. Why would they interrupt their lives to see this baby? Yet, this week Matthew tells us they were “overjoyed at seeing the star” and meeting Jesus and Mary.

We often miss out on joy in our marriages because the path leading there looks too arduous. We settle for mediocrity because it’s easier.

As we begin this new year, let’s follow the example of the Wise Men whose efforts were rewarded with life-changing joy. For practical ways to seek joy in your marriage, go to www.joyfulmarriageproject.com.

The foregoing is this week’s installment of the “Marriage Minute,” produced by the Marriage and Family Life Office of the Archdiocese, which attempts to view the Sunday readings through the lens of the Sacrament of Marriage.

 

Still Need a Christmas Gift?

21 Dec

birth of JesusIt’s the most wonderful time of the year!”

How many times have you heard that song over the past several weeks as the barrage of “Christmas songs” has reached a crescendo as Our Lord’s birthday draws near?  It’s the most wonderful time because it’s the most wonderful day of the year!  It is the day where we began to realize the fullness of God’s love, as He takes on our humanity and pledges to never abandon us!

For married couples, Christmas is analogous to our wedding day. We committed the entirety of our being to our spouse and pledged to “take on the other’s humanity” in every aspect.  In other words, we committed to bringing joy and happiness to our beloved, just as the Christ Child pledged to bring us joy and happiness.

This Christmas, let’s recommit to bringing our spouse joy and being more concerned with his or her happiness than our own. This recommitment is the greatest gift we can give.  For practical ways to live this commitment, go to www.joyfulmarriageproject.com.

The foregoing is this week’s installment of the “Marriage Minute,” produced by the Marriage and Family Life Office of the Archdiocese, which attempts to view the Sunday readings through the lens of the Sacrament of Marriage.

Holy Bulldozer

2 Dec

cat-bulldozer-clipart-cat-bulldozer-clipart-cat-xuoljh-clipartHave you ever driven on an icy, winding mountain road, or sat in construction traffic for miles? Now think about driving on a wide, dry, flat open highway.  In which scenario can you arrive at your destination more quickly?  In which case is the journey more fun?

In today’s Gospel, John declares that his job is to “make straight his paths.” He has been tasked with unwinding, smoothing and clearing the highway between people and their Savior.

Your marriage is your vocation, which means it is your “highway” to Jesus. We all need to heed John’s admonition to straighten that path and keep it clear. How do we do this?  By learning simple ways to communicate or reconcile, by being reminded of our spouse’s wonderful qualities, by receiving encouragement from others.  In other words, by setting aside some time for marriage enrichment.  What better gift could you give your spouse this Christmas?  See www.joyfulmarriageproject for ideas.

The foregoing is this week’s installment of the “Marriage Minute,” produced by the Marriage and Family Life Office of the Archdiocese, which attempts to view the Sunday readings through the lens of the Sacrament of Marriage

 

An Advent Invitation

26 Nov

advent wreathWe all have plenty of time.

If that seems like a crazy statement, think about what you’d do if you found out there was a huge wildfire coming toward you. Suddenly, your schedule would open up, and you’d be able to do what you needed to do to secure your home and family.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus challenges us to be prepared before disaster strikes. One of the best things we can do on an ongoing basis to keep our family secure is to fortify our marriages. Often, since our marriages seem to be “okay,” we turn our time and attention elsewhere. But our marriages are our vocation, our life’s work! Don’t we owe it to our spouses to invest time in making them great?!

This Advent, why not adopt one small practice that will bring more joy to your marriage? See www.joyfulmarriageproject.com for ideas.

The foregoing is this week’s installment of the “Marriage Minute,” produced by the Marriage and Family Life Office of the Archdiocese, which attempts to view the Sunday readings through the lens of the Sacrament of Marriage.

Holy Authority

16 Nov

Image result for serving others“If you are a King, . . . save yourself.” As we celebrate the Solemnity of Christ the King this Sunday, we gain an important lesson in authority that we can apply to our families.

The scoffing onlookers (i.e., those who did not know Christ) represent the mistaken idea that authority is meant for the benefit of the one who possesses it. Christ teaches the opposite: True authority is given for the benefit of those served, while giving those in authority the opportunity to grow in virtues such as justice, mercy, and generosity.

In marriage and parenting, it can be easy to sit back and wait for others to earn our service or respect, but that is a self-serving attitude and a misuse of authority. Christ calls us to something greater and more fulfilling. Respect is gained when it is given. Joy is gained when service is offered.

For practical applications of other-centered authority and love, click here.

The foregoing is this week’s installment of the “Marriage Minute,” produced by the Marriage and Family Life Office of the Archdiocese, which attempts to view the Sunday readings through the lens of the Sacrament of Marriage.

 

The sun will come out tomorrow . . . or will it?

11 Nov
Image result for sun will come out tomorrow

“It’s the end of the world as we know it!” The old R.E.M. song sums up the fears of the disciples in this Sunday’s Gospel. The disciples wanted to know if they would receive a sign, so they could ostensibly be prepared for the end. There is a hint of procrastination in the disciples’ question. It is almost as if they were asking, “Do I have more time to do what I want before I follow you?”

What if we lived our life with such intentionality and focus that we gave a radical “yes” to Jesus’s invitation to follow Him? What would that look like in our marriage? Would our children know that we love them unconditionally? Would our spouse know that he or she is truly the most important person in our life? How would we prioritize our time?

This week, leave nothing on the table, and make sure your loved ones know how you truly feel!

The foregoing is this week’s installment of the “Marriage Minute,” produced by the Marriage and Family Life Office of the Archdiocese, which attempts to view the Sunday readings through the lens of the Sacrament of Marriage.