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Holy Family Cathedral » News » Fr. Louis: A Reflection on Marriage and World Marriage Day

Fr. Louis: A Reflection on Marriage and World Marriage Day

by Fr. Louis Obirieze, Associate Pastor

 

The Wedding Feast at Cana

The Wedding Feast at Cana

Dear Parishioners,

May the Peace and love of Christ be with you. We present to you the February 2014 edition of your favorite news bulletin Holy Family Cathedral News. It is loaded with invaluable information that will engage your minds.

As the year 2014 progresses, Christ has called us to follow Him. This involves making difficult decisions and choices and going through difficult situations at times. Trusting God to meet the necessary life challenges and continuing to follow him no matter what, is not an easy path to follow. It is our prayer that the graces to follow him till the end shall rest on you.

As members of Holy Family Cathedral, and in particular as your associate pastor, it has being a thing of joy filled with pastoral experiences. Each of us has been called by God in various ways and to different assignments. As parishioners and to whatever way of life, profession or vocation God has called us, is an effective action of witnessing. When we are obedient to God, it brings success to our vocation, profession and to our life in the world. We must pray if we want to succeed, just as Mary the Mother of Jesus patiently and prayerfully waited on the Lord.

Holy Family is a family animated by ecclesial communion – a genuine community of faith with communal dimension rooted in the reality of the Church as one, where faith, culture and life are brought into harmony. It is a family marked by mutual trust, openness, inter and intra personal relationship and genuine spirit of communion. My experience at Holy Family has taught me all the more of the universality of the Church, oneness and the beauty of Church tradition. I feel very much at home.

Celebrating the National Marriage week and the World Marriage Day in this month of February, the Holy Mother Church encourages us to celebrate the gift of family and marriage, to affirm and support both the engaged and the married couples. To understanding Marriage, it is imperative to note that marriage is not a human invention but purely Divine. Seeing our parishioners every Sunday coming to Mass as a family and participating in the Eucharistic celebration reminds us that marriage is a unique relationship of indissoluble bond that reflects the relation between God and His people.

It is incontrovertible on both ontological and theological level that marriage is a natural institution willed by God, and a sacrament between a man and a woman. Through the reciprocal giving of self which is proper and exclusive to them, the man and woman (husband and wife) tend towards the communion of their being, by which they perfect each other in other to collaborate with God in the procreation and education of new lives. As an effort to strengthen individual marriages, reduce the rate of divorce and build a stronger culture of marriage, Pope Benedict (xvi) in his address to Latin and Caribbean bishops advised that “no effort is therefore wasted in promoting anything that can help to ensure that each family founded on the indissoluble union between a man and a woman accomplishes its mission of being a living cell of society, a nursery of virtue, a school of constructive and peaceful coexistence, an instrument of harmony and a privileged environment in which human life is welcomed and protected”. Therefore strong marriage and family benefit the society in many ways.

Marriage and family in our contemporary society have lots of challenges. The challenges come as a result of broken marriages, divorce, infidelity, lack of genuine love, addictions and distortion in some behavioral pattern etc. The secular life of today in its attempt to redefine marriage and family has embraced lifestyles which are incompatible with the sacrament of marriage and the Christian faith. Pope Francis affirms that in the culture of relativism and ephemeral, it is very important to reaffirm the family which remains the essential cell of society and the church. The family is the foundation of coexistence and a remedy against social fragmentation. We are challenged in our parish to provide remedies that would make for a good pastoral care for marriage and family, especially to those who are in marital crisis.

If we pay more attention to family catechesis and prayer life of the family, with a renewed parental commitment for child upbringing, the marriage and family will manifest to all people the savior’s living presence in the world, and the genuine nature of the church. As we celebrate this year’s World Day of marriage, we encourage you to make God the center of your marriage because unless we stand by God we cannot stand. As the Psalm 127:1 says, unless the Lord builds the house, in vain do its builders labor. May this celebration provide you with the opportunity to have an in-depth reflection on your marriage and family life. And find in one another a source of mutual support and encouragement.

As we celebrated Catholic Schools week, Holy Family Cathedral School stands out in its moral, ethical and spiritual development of our children. In doing this, it becomes a place of encounter with the living God who in Jesus Christ reveals his transforming love and truth. This is the fundamental goal of Catholic education. The cathedral school with credit to the Rector of the cathedral and the principal of the school has a reputation of providing an environment which enables our children to build and deepen their relationship with God. This ultimately fosters an academic culture, aimed at the pursuit of truth and growth in virtue. With your support, Holy family will continue through Catholic education to promote human and spiritual development of our children.

As we thank you for your support, it is our prayer that God will continue to bless you in this month of February.

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