Remain Calm: The Victory of Marriage Comes Through Its Crucifixion
Notice whom Christ is raising from the dead here in this classic icon of Easter Sunday: it’s the first married couple. Marriage has been under attack since the beginning. It’s nothing new. And Christ always raises it up.
In light of last week’s Supreme Court decision, which effectively legalized same-sex “marriage” nationwide, it may seem like marriage is facing unweatherable storms, and that Christ is asleep on the boat. The temptation to despair or “freak out” like the disciples on the stormy sea is understandable, but let us never forget: God is in control and, in the end, the truth is always victorious. “Do not let your hearts be troubled” (Jn 14:1). Remain calm. Nothing should shake our peace.
How can we remain calm when all seems so dark? By remembering and trusting with total confidence in God’s method of victory: victory comes through death and resurrection. In fact, God reveals the full truth about marriage precisely in and through the Cross.
As so many saints have attested throughout history, the Cross is where Christ the Bridegroom consummates his marriage with the Church, his Bride. We must ponder this, we must let this sink in if we are to understand properly what is happening in our world today: marriage, it would seem, is going the way of its crucified exemplar. It’s being mocked, rejected, spat upon, scourged, and nailed to a tree. But give it “three days” and watch what happens.
“On the third day, there was a wedding in Cana” (Jn 2:1). Jesus and Mary are always about the business of restoring God’s wine to man and woman’s relationship, but it comes through the pierced side of the Bridegroom and the “yes” of the Bride, the “woman” at the foot of the Cross. Setting our gaze here, remaining here at the “marriage bed of the Cross” is what will properly orient us amidst all the craziness now unfolding.
Our world today talks a big line about sexual orientation, but the most fundamental orientation of sexuality is to point us to the death and resurrection of Christ. Recall the eclipse of the sun that took place on Good Friday (see Lk 23:45). Is the truth of marriage not experiencing a similar eclipse? But here’s our sure hope: Sun-day is not far off. When “the third day” dawns, marriage will be resurrected and the truth of our sexuality will shine like the sun! The world will see the light and be re-orient-ed.
That’s what the sun does: it orients us. That’s why the Bride (the Church) traditionally prays her liturgy towards the East (the Orient), because the rising of the sun, as the psalmist says, is the symbol of the coming of the Bridegroom (see Ps 19:5). And when the Bridegroom comes, “nothing will be concealed from its burning heat” (Ps 19:6). The world will see the glory of God revealed through the theology of the human body.
This is God’s promise. We can count on it. It’s literally written in the stars. And this is what gives us hope in the midst of this present darkness. As surely as night turns to day, the truth about marriage will appear on the horizon and light up the earth.
Now, it is true, we must suffer the eclipse. And I’m guessing things will get darker before they get brighter. Yet, as St. Paul reminds us, we should consider the sufferings we must now endure as nothing compared to the glory to be revealed (see Rom 8:18). Be not afraid! “Weeping comes in the night; but at dawn there is rejoicing” (Ps 30:6)!
(Article used with permission from The Cor Project)
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