Monthly Archives: February 2024

Awe-Inspiring Marriage. Reflection for marriages Mark 9, 2-10

GOSPEL
This is my Son, the beloved.
Reading from the holy Gospel according to Saint Mark 9, 2-10
Jesus took Peter, James, and John
and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves.
And he was transfigured before them,
and his clothes became dazzling white,
such as no fuller on earth could bleach them.
Then Elijah appeared to them along with Moses, and they were conversing with Jesus.
Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, “Rabbi, it is good that we are here!
Let us make three tents:
one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
He hardly knew what to say, they were so terrified.
Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them; from the cloud came a voice,
“This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.”
Suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone who but Jesus alone with them.
As they were coming down from the mountain, he charged them not to relate what they had seen to anyone,
except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead.
So they kept the matter to themselves,
questioning what rising from the dead meant.
The Gospel of the Lord.
Awe-Inspiring Marriage.
The things of God awe us to unimaginable limits. God is very great, and we are very small. Therefore, living life as if God did not exist is to remain in a very shabby aspect of life. Missing out on the things of God means missing out on everything that really matters. Living a marriage based on the things of this world is lackluster. Living a marriage facing God is awe-inspiring, dazzling… contemplate it, and you will be radiant.
Applied to Married Life:
Javier: Darling, tonight, instead of going out for dinner as we had planned, I would like us to stay at home and watch together how the gifts of the Holy Spirit influence our Sacrament. Does that sound good to you?
Laura: Well, I was really looking forward to the dinner, but the topic seems super interesting.
(As night falls)
Javier: If you agree, let’s go over each gift and take turns saying how it influences our marriage. Alright? I’ll start with the gift of understanding. This gift allows us to deepen our faith and understand God and His ways. And certainly, the Sacrament is very much His. I would love to continue discovering more about this mystery with you.
Laura: And me. The second one is the gift of Wisdom. To savor the things of God and especially the conjugal charity that unites us. For example, today, we have given up a delicious dinner, but here we are together savoring the things of God between us.
Javier: Very well. I like that example. Another gift is the gift of counsel. How important it is to seek God’s will when we try to advise each other. It’s important that we advise each other not from the indignation of “you’re not doing things as I told you,” but from God’s counsel.
Laura: I love it. Gift of Fortitude. It allows us to be perseverant in our commitments in the face of difficult situations. For this, it is essential that we support each other greatly and help each other to be faithful, for example, to daily conjugal prayer or to the commitments we have in our personal purification journey. In a way, we have to put our gift of fortitude at the service of the other’s weakness and tendency towards comfort or conformity.
Javier: Totally agree. The gift of Knowledge: Well, it’s easy because it’s what we are doing right now. Looking to God, His presence in everything that happens. Helping us interpret things from His salvation Plan.
Laura: Piety. Very important. Knowing ourselves as children of God and always treating each other as children of God. If we only carry this forward, we’ll do great.
Javier: Fear of God: Being aware of the consequences it would have for our marriage to push God away, to forget the sacramental grace, as if He is not the one who does everything between us. That would be marital suicide.
Laura: Phew, that sounds harsh, but it’s true. It’s killing the love of communion. Can we write all this on a board and put it in our room? I would like not to forget it and review it from time to time. These are the gifts we have received, and we have to make use of them.
Mother,
Spouse of the Holy Spirit, pray for us.

Perfect imperfects. Reflection for marriages Matthew 5, 43-48

GOSPEL
Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Reading from the holy Gospel according to Saint Matthew 5, 43-48
Jesus said to his disciples:
“You have heard that it was said,
You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.
But I say to you, love your enemies,
and pray for those who persecute you,
that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good,
and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.
For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have?
Do not the tax collectors do the same?
And if you greet your brothers and sisters only, what is unusual about that?
Do not the pagans do the same?
So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
The Word of the Lord.
Perfect imperfects.
One is perfect when they love perfectly, not when they have achieved all virtues. And love is perfect when it loves everyone in all circumstances.
The first characteristic of the perfect one is that they don’t go around being “perfect” in life, but see everyone else as much more perfect. The second is that they are not focused on growing in their own perfection, but on God and the needs of their spouse. The third is that they know themselves as children of God, the giver of all and the doer of all. The only perfect one.
Applied to married life:
Ramón: Marta, I admire how much you love the Lord and how much you want to love me.
Marta: Ramón, I admire your faithfulness and perseverance in the love of God and love for me.
The Lord: You are not far from the kingdom of God.
Mother,
Lead us to Him. Thank you, Mother.

Dignity as a task. Reflection for marriages Matthew 5, 20-26

GOSPEL
Go first to reconcile with your brother.
Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew 5, 20-26
Jesus said to his disciples:
“I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the Kingdom of heaven.
“You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.
But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment,
and whoever says to his brother, Raqa,
will be answerable to the Sanhedrin,
and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ will be liable to fiery Gehenna.
Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar,band there recall that your brother
has anything against you, leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court.
Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge, and the judge will hand you over to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison.
Amen, I say to you, you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
Dignity as a task.
We can see this Gospel from two perspectives: that of punishment (which usually draws more attention) or from love, which often goes unnoticed.
Let’s look at it from a perspective of love today: How much God loves me that He does not allow any brother to even call me a fool. How much God loves me that He does not allow anyone to have anything against me contrary to the love for Him. He will not accept offerings from anyone who is not in communion with me.
This is how loved and protected by Him I must feel. I no longer need to defend myself. He takes care of my defense.
Applied to married life:
Mayte: Reading this Gospel, I realize how important you are to God. He will not allow me to distance myself from you in the slightest.
Fermín: I am not worthy to have received a daughter of His as a wife. It is remarkable the dignity He has bestowed upon us. St. John Paul said that God has given us dignity as a task.
Mayte: Let us always look at each other through the eyes of God.
Fermín: So be it.
Mother,
We want to be extremely delicate with each other. Blessed be God who loves us so much.

Intimacy with God. Reflection for marriages Matthew 16:13-19

GOSPEL
You are Peter, and I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven.
Reading from the holy Gospel according to St. Matthew 16:13-19
When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippines he asked his disciples,
“Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”
They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah,
still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Simon Peter said in reply,
“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah.
For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.
And so I say to you, you are Peter,
and upon this rock I will build my Church,
and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.
I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven.
Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven;
and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
Intimacy with God.
In the Gospel, God reveals His intimacy to Peter, and Peter accepts it on behalf of the “Church Bride.” Then the Lord also shows Peter his identity and the mission entrusted to him, giving him the keys to His house and showing him who he is called to be.
In faithfulness to God, He reveals His intimacy to me and shows me who I am: a child of God and the spouse of my partner, which is my mission. If I do not fulfill it, I will have lost my identity because, like Jesus, what identifies me is my origin (a child of God) and my mission (spouse).
The Lord reveals his intimacy to us in the sanctity of being spouses. By living in communion, we approach living in His and He will show us great treasures.
Applied to married life:
Andrew: It seems to me that our marriage is going reasonably well, but my wife disagrees. I don’t know what else I can do.
Marriage Mentor: Andrew, you are what she needs, but it is necessary to first know oneself in order to truly love, and we achieve this in our relationship with God. Then you will understand what you can offer to your wife. More than you think. The next step is to enter her intimacy, her world, and she will give you the keys to her heart. On that day, you will be able to help her on her path to holiness.
Andrew: Thank you. I really appreciate it because now I see how far I am from being a good husband.
Marriage Mentor: Saint John Paul II says that man has been given from the beginning the task of being a custodian of true love. That is the beautiful mission you have. If you fulfill it, God will show you great treasures for you and through you, to the world.
Mother,
May we center our lives on the path of holiness prepared for us, so that we may reach the beauty and fullness He wants to show us. Praise be to God for creating something as beautiful as marriage. May we learn to accept it as the precious gift it is.

Let your light shine. Reflection for marriages Luke 11, 29-32

The Gospel
To this generation, no other sign will be given except the sign of Jonah.
Reading from the Holy Gospel according to Saint Luke 11, 29-32
While still more people gathered in the crowd, he said to them, “This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it, except the sign of Jonah.
Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation.
At the judgment the queen of the south will rise with the men of this generation and she will condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and there is something greater than Solomon here.
At the judgment the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation and condemn it, because at the preaching of Jonah they repented, and there is something greater than Jonah here.
The Lord’s word.
Let your light shine.
Nowadays, there is a tendency to ask for miracles, healings, and transformations without effort. It may seem that sacrifice and self-denial are things of the time of Jonah.
So, it is common to ask God for a miracle so that my husband changes because he has certain behaviors that annoy me or that I am not willing to tolerate.
This does not mean that the Lord does not perform miracles. He does, and many. But the Lord does not want those kinds of comfortable miracle expectations that separate us from the cross.
He wants me to convey His mercy to my husband. How is that done? There is only one way: to be very close to the Lord, to be in grace, to purify my soul by battling in my heart, and thus allowing the light of the Lord that resides in the deepest part of my soul to reach my husband. That light will be able to heal him. “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
Applied to married life:
Jaime: Ana, I clearly saw today in prayer. As I detach myself from my attachments and order my passions, the light of God that dwells in me will shine out more purely.
Ana: Of course, let’s say that it comes out of you less distorted and more clear. And as I purify mine, that light will also come into my interior with more power.
Jaime: In this way, we can supply each other with God’s light. What do you think?
Ana: I think it’s beautiful and a huge responsibility before God and before you.
Jaime: So, let’s strive to purify our souls so that the light of God shines for both of us.
Mother,
The sign we receive is sanctifying grace, which is effective. Indeed it is. May it not interrupt or adulterate the light of grace. Praise be to the Lord who dwells in me.