The Marriage Covenant: Stewardship of the Domestic Church

Few occasions in life are as abundant with celebration as a wedding.  It’s a universal time of festivity.  Jesus himself, with a little prompting from his mother, contributed to the wedding gala at Cana by ensuring a good supply of wine.  Whether lavish or modest, weddings exude optimism for the future and gratitude for the past.  They bring together far-flung families, long-lost cousins, old and new friends.  And all of this happens to celebrate two people willing to commit themselves in love to a covenant for life.  That’s something to celebrate.  For the Christian steward, this covenant relationship is one that will bear witness to Christ in the world.  The Catholic Church teaches that marriage between two baptized persons is a sacrament, a sign of Christ’s active presence; and each couple’s relationship expresses in a unique way the unbreakable bond of love between Christ and his people.


For the Christian steward, this covenant relationship is one that will bear witness to Christ in the world.

The Second Vatican Council’s Dogmatic Constitution on the Church states that the family is “the domestic  church.”   (Lumen Gentium  #11)  This beautiful phrase tells us that this family created by marriage will be where husbands, wives and their children encounter Christ together in a deeply personal way.  This domestic church is the bedrock from which flows a commitment to community, a life of stewardship, and union with the Church.
Pope Francis has called an extraordinary Synod of Bishops in October to examine “the pastoral challenges to the family in the context of evangelization.”  Clearly, the importance of the domestic church is uppermost in his mind.  In a letter to families around the world, Pope Francis wrote that this special synod would be dedicated to the “challenges of marriage, of family life, of the education of children; and the role of the family in the life of the church.”
Whether or not you have a wedding or an anniversary in June, take time to celebrate a good marriage – this institution which establishes a new domestic church.  Take time to pray together, play together, and reflect on how being good stewards of the marriage covenant reveals the unbreakable bond of love between Christ and his people.

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