21 Nov The Third Person in the Marriage (transcript)
Our family is God’s creation. It is God who founded our family. Ephesians 3:14 “For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name.” Your family is not your own creation. Its God the Father who formed the family today. We have to look up to the Lord in order to receive answers to mysterious and difficult questions in our life.
Many people are confused about family life, they don’t know the beginner of families is God. We read Genesis 1:26 “Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image” That means God himself is trinity and family. We should know that God himself is a family. According to his “image”. “in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” Then we read, Genesis 1:27 “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Remember what is the image of God? Male and female he created them Gods image is Love; Gods image is eternity. He is a God who is full of love. He created humankind in his image. That means a married couple is created to live life like the holy trinity. The father, son and the holy spirit, full of love, mercy, compassion, care, appreciation for each other. Jesus himself said, John 14:14 “You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” Then, John 14:13, “And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” That means the fathers glory, thanksgiving and love is when the son is glorified.
A family is God’s creation no matter what religion the family is which means we can only look up to God. We cannot look to any other family to imitate. The only family we can look to is Gods family and that small family is put into the life of Mary, Joseph and Jesus. That is a family to imitate. So, what is the speciality of this family? We have to know that every pain that a family can go through is experienced by the holy family. For example, when Mary got pregnant, it was such a big agony, but we know that Mother Mary persevered relying on Gods message and eventually Joseph accepts her as his wife. So, in the family where you are, maybe you got pregnant before you officially got married, but don’t worry, there’s someone who consoles you.
The difficulties you have as a family, couple all the difficulties you had or have, you have a model to follow, of Mary and Joseph. So, when you are in a family you have to look back into your family and surrender them to the Lord. Most times we have ask many questions whether God is alive and had great plans about me or my family and why have we gone through these difficulties. Mary and Joseph were refugees, are you a refugee family? Mary and Joseph were a refugee family they lived in Egypt out of fear. Are you going through fear? They were in fear. Poverty as a family? Mary Joseph were poor that’s why they didn’t get space in the inn, didn’t have clothing for Jesus and used a donkey for travelling. Donkeys were used by poor people. Whatever difficulties that you have, stop accusing one other. You have an example to follow, its example is coming from the very life of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. When you look at their life, we will come to know that our family has a model, an example to follow. That means any difficulty that you have, there is somebody who has already experienced the same difficulty in their life. Now the confusion that many people have is that how this particular person is my husband/wife. Whether it was a mistake? I got this husband or Wife. We read in Tobit 8:7 “Now, not with lust, but with fidelity I take this kinswoman as my wife. Send down your mercy on me and on her and grant that we may grow old together. Bless us with children.” That means Gods plan and the Lord has given a wife to Tobias, mysteriously and miraculously and he is making a life commitment to be with her forever.
We read in the book of Genesis 2:18 about how God created the partner “The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” The Lord said that “It is not good for the man” or a woman to be alone, so if ones thinking it’s okay to be alone and single unless God permitted to, its it means God has given you a wife/husband to be a partner. This is a way you can truly experience, transmit and communicate God`s love. The pure love of God is transmitted in a small little way, that’s in the form of marriage. Gods profound love is being transmitted to human being to share, care, and to experience one another. If God has created the family, he is the father of all families, if you have any difficulty with your life partner, you have to ask Abba Father to give an answer and intervene, it is only God who knows the real personality of this person.
Even after years, you will still learn who your partner is, their nature and character. Its only God who knows because he founded families, he is the one who has created it. That why without God, a family cannot survive, therefore if there is any problem in the family, difficulty in the relation, it’s because we have avoided God in the family. We can never hold a family without God. We read in the book of Tobit 6:17 “When you go into the bridal chamber, take some of the fish’s liver and the heart, and place them on the embers intended for incense, and an odour will be given off, As soon as the demon smells the odour, it will flee and never again show itself near her.” If you are planning to go into a marriage because it’s a union created by God, the devil is angry and upset because he wants to break families, he hates families, married couple who are married through the church; that why you need to pray. So now, it says in the scriptures “Then when you are about to go to bed with her, both of you must first get up to pray. Beg the Lord of heaven that mercy and protection be granted you. Do not be afraid, for she was set apart for you before the world existed. You will save her, and she will go with you.” Your partner was prepared by God for you before you were born. “And I assume that you will have children by her and they will be like brothers for you. So do not worry. When Tobias heard Raphael’s words that she was his kinswoman, and of the lineage of his ancestral house, he loved her deeply, and his heart was truly set on her.” When you surrender your life together as a family to the Lord, the devil will depart and will never be seen anymore. Now that means when you enter into a relationship, marriage, sacrament, there will be so many things behind and hanging on to you. Maybe the past, unfaithfulness, infidelity, sexual immorality, you need a cleansing, you need a sacrament, deliverance, confession. That’s the way you can get out and break those bonds like the past sins.
Secondly, if you want to live a holy, Godly life, you must pray (Tobit 6:18). The problem is that we have forgotten to pray in our families, everything else is there. There’s a testimony from Sr. Hazel, she is one of our preachers from divine ministry, she said some years back, she became a widow when she was 28 years old and one day while she was sleeping, she became a widow, she had no husband, so after many years, she started to give her life totally in the service of God. After many years early morning she found somebody was calling her on her feet, somebody is calling her. She got up and found nobody. She then heard the voice saying do you remember the speciality of this day? And when she checked her calendar, she remembered that was her wedding anniversary day. That means it was almost 25 years of marriage. She had forgotten. Then the Lord told her like this “My daughter when you were getting married, you were not just 2 we were three. I am still alive, I am still your husband” Isaiah 54:5 we read, maybe your single, maybe you’re a single mother, widow, don’t have a husband today an thinking your all alone, but the Lord is telling you- verse 4 and 5 “ Do not fear for you will not be ashamed; do not discouraged, for you will not suffer disgrace; for you will forget the shame of your youth and the disgrace of your widowhood you will remember no more” then verse 5 “For your Maker is your husband— the Lord Almighty is his name—the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth.” Sisters and brothers, every human the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches, that God married all his people. God married the church. The church is the bride of Christ, we as the members of the Church are all the bride of Christ. Whether you are a man or a woman, every human soul, is married to Christ. That means your marriage has a third person in the marriage and that’s God and he is united to you. Whatever your difficulty, problem, you have to link to God without God, no marriage can work, that’s why the angel Raphael is telling Tobias and Sarah. You must first stand up and pray because its God who united you. And without God, there cannot be love.
A lady after one of the retreats came and said, her problem is hatred towards her husband. She cannot love the husband and her problem is she feels hatred so she cannot love. She isn’t feeling any love for her husband, so dry, as if she feels that the husband is unfaithful, not giving himself totally to God, that means he may have extra marital relationship. That’s what she is suspecting because she is not feeling an attachment and she feels like running away, getting divorce, separated because she is not feeling love for the husband. When we started to pray, the Lords spoke through Hebrews 13:4 “Marriage should be honoured by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.” Sisters and brothers, this is what God was telling her. But we know how can there be adultery in the marriage bed? Marriage is a sacrament instituted by God. Its God himself who started it, then how can be adultery in the marriage bed? That’s when we asked, we came to know, this lady, she wasn’t married in the church. Just living together with her husband. When there is no love, sacrament, when there is no God in marriage, and a couple is living together without the sacrament of marriage, that marriage cannot work. There’ll be hatred. That means she could never make a confession; she started a family life in the sin of fornication. That is why she could not love the husband. Its not the problem with the husband. We read in the book of 2 Samuel chapter 13:14, a very important incident, this is an incident of Amnon and Tamar. He would not listen to her, that means Amnon had great lust and desire for Tamar and he wouldn’t listen to Tamar. He just wanted to live with Tamar and being stronger than she he forced her and laid with her. Amnon slept with Tamar. He committed adultery with her. Then what happened, verse 15 we read “Then Amnon hated her with intense hatred. In fact, he hated her more than he had loved her. Amnon said to her, “Get up and get out!” If we go through 2 Samuel 13, Amnon is thinking his life will be fulfilled, if he starts his life with Tamar. He was thinking to live with her the first thing is to sleep with her. When they committed this sin, hatred is attacking them; not love.
Many families feel, though they are getting married, they live as enemies, there are married couples living in separate rooms, they don’t have physical relationship when they are married. The martial obligations for married couples,1 Corinthians chapter 7:1 “Now for the matters you wrote about: “It is good for a man not to touch a woman.” Verse 2, “But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband.” We continue to read, verse 3 “The husband should fulfil his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband.”
We read verse 4, “The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. It’s important to read 1 Corinthians chapter 7. This is a chapter about marriage. An incident in a retreat; couple’s retreat, in the retreat, different people were attending, most of them couples but few were without husband/wife because they couldn’t come because of some inconveniences. So, a lady came with her child, for counselling and she started to share that her problem is her husband, that he is not caring for her, not caring for the child, not going to church, always being very bad, mistreating her. So, she started to tell so many bad things about the husband as if she couldn’t find anything good with her husband. So, then we asked her what the husband does, and she replied, that he is in a business that’s never free. He is not even talking to her and that he didn’t even come for the retreat. Then we asked if we can call him, she said no she cannot, he will not come, he’s very angry, very bad person. So, then we said, well just pray, and when we started to pray, we got the inspiration with the heart that he’s not a bad but a humble person. So just told her, that we feel that your husband is very good person, we feel. Then she said, how do you know, I am living with him, I know who is. We told her, we don’t know you, or your husband but we feel, that your husband is a good person. Why can’t you call him? Then she said no he will not come. Then we asked for his phone number, we can try. The she said he won’t pick up. Then we said we will pray and call. So, we prayed. Usually we never call anybody but because we got an inspiration, we just connected the phone number from her and called from her phone. Then he picked the phone we introduced and said we were talking to your wife and felt we need to call you for this retreat, if you can, then we will just talk and tell you something. Then he said, I know my wife went for a retreat, I’m a bit busy and therefore couldn’t but if you tell, I come immediately. Then we said please do come if you can, and he said he will try to come. That same night he came to the retreat centre. Then he said that he needed counselling. Then we just called him alone. Then he’s telling, you have to tell my wife, her duty. Since she got a child, her life is her child. She is disrespecting me, no time for me, never cooks for me, always her child. She’s not even doing anything for me. She is always complaining that I don’t love the child. That is my child and I love my child but she’s always complaining, and I’m getting tired. She is not coming with me, sleeping with me, always getting angry, as if her whole world is her child. I am a husband and I also have needs. I also need her love and protection but she’s never listening to what I am telling, she’s always getting angry. I don’t know what’s going on with her. You have to tell her duties. I am ready to do anything. That why I came all the way! Then we came to know that he is also suffering so much; we called the wife and started to share then told her that if he came, for a retreat, he is willing to change, and you also have to change. You should know for God a husband is more important than your child. Today, as you listen, you may be a mother of five children, but remember for you, as a mother, you are a wife before you become a mother and your duty to a husband is very important. Your husband is more important than your children because it’s with your husband you made a covenant to live with him, until death. Tobit 8:6, this is what we had prayed, a prayer they are making, what is this prayer? “You created Adam and gave him his wife Eve to be his helper and support. They became the parents of the whole human race. You said, It is not good for man to live alone. I will make a suitable helper for him.” This is why the Lord made husband and wife because the children for a married couple come second.
For a wife your husband come first and for a husband your wife; either way, before the children. Most of the time, this balancing is gone. There are many mothers who give priority to their children and totally disregard and neglect their husband. This is never appreciated or approved by God. This why many families are broken, because many mothers think their children will support them; but for God, it’s your husband whom you have to support, for a husband, you should support your wife. There are many mothers who talk ill about their husband to their children; God never approves it. It’s a duty of a wife to let their husband love their children and a duty of the wife to let the children love their father. Its duty of a husband to let their children respect the mother, that means they both have to physically respect each other. Also, the husband you have a duty to respect their mother. Many children have lots of stress and trauma when the parents fight each other. When they don’t love each other. Theres lot of sickness where there is no love, hatred, sickness. We should know that marriage is an institution of God the father. God the son, God the Holy Spirit. In their own image and light, they made us and we have a practical example in the life of Mary, Jesus and Joseph; the holy family. A family doesn’t mean there is no problem, crisis or poverty or difficulties. There will be, that’s why the marital covenant implies on these things from today until death in poverty and in riches. That means poverty and richness is a integrated part of family. In health and in sickness, both are integral part of family. In all kinds of suffering that you are making a covenant with God. In Mark 10:27, “Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.” Maybe you’re thinking, this is a question that apostles made to Jesus, this is Matthew 19:3 “Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?” Remember there are many families going through divorce, separation, agony. That’s why your reading, eagerly waiting, and praying and praying. Now the scripture teaches us in verse 4, Jesus answered ““Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female” That means Jesus is telling them what is written in the Genesis, that God created them before they were born; male and female. God created families. Verse 5 , “and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh” Its God institution. “From the beginning that two shall become one flesh” So marriage means two flesh becoming one flesh. Then verse 6 we read “and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let no one separate.
God is telling, they are asking a practical question; Jesus said they can only with God. Why are you struggling, divorce, separation? As long as there is no prayer, Raphael the angel is categorically telling Tobias and Sarah, connecting them her because its Gods plan, when before Sarah was born, she was prepared for Tobias for her. That is why the angel is just bringing them to one and they are getting married and the angel Raphael is telling that Its God who prepared them for each other. So, you have to be in constant communion with God. The day you depart from God, you will have problems, because two people cannot be linked together without God`s presence. What is common between the Tobias and Sarah? That’s the Holy Spirit, and no one else. We read John chapter 14:16, Jesus is telling, the gift the helper, “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—”. According to the scripture, if wife is a helper to the husband and the husband is a helper to the wife, both of you there is a permanent helper and that’s the Holy Spirit. That means without Holy Spirit, without God family cannot join together, it cannot work so what is the confusion in our family? There is no prayer together. That means you need to pray together.
There’s a testimony from Father Antony himself. “I am born in a family of 10 children. My Father is 94 years and mother is 84 years. We are 10 children. I recently, just one year back lost my eldest sister, now we are 9, but we were together for all these years. My parents are in marriage for 64 years together. They lived together. They are still alive and together. I have to tell the truth, mother is telling, sometimes there were so many proposals but in the end I got this man. For her my father is an unmoved mover. Not affecting anything That he is not much of help and she is telling that she had so many good proposals and in the end, she got this man. She already got 10 children, she already lived for these 60 years, still shes suspecting whether he is the same person God prepared for her. This is a human tendency, I was thinking that this was a problem why my mother is telling but when I became a priest I came to know that this is not the problem of only my mother, so many married women think their husband is a wrong choice. So many married men think, no this wasn’t the wife, if I would have another wife, my life would have been better but we are totally wrong. We need God in our marriage. Without God, you’ll be always thinking, this person wasn’t for me, but Gods ways are mysterious!” That’s why we read in Sirach chapter 26:3 “A good wife is a great blessing; she will be granted among the blessings of the man who fears the Lord.” Those who fears the Lord, God gives a wife as a great blessing. That’s how the Lord compliments. As children we know our parents are the best ones because they know they cannot survive with their own power.” So I have found, why they lived together for all these 64 years. 7:30 to 8:30 my parents pray together everyday. With all the children. There is no single day that we have slept without doing 1 hour of family prayer. Even when the guest comes, they will join and pray, this is compulsory even today. When I make a phone call, I cannot make a phone call if its 7:30 to 8:30, they will not attend the the phone. I always check, because now I am in UK, and they’re in India.
This is Gods mystery, in the marriage that you are, we read in the book of Sirach, that when I came to know there are these difficulties. This is chapter 33:15. That means my mother always used to suspect why God has given her this particular husband. Sirach 33:15 “Look at all the works of the Lord; they come in pairs, one the opposite of the other.” The scripture is telling, that they come in pairs, they come in couples but one opposite the other, Again, Sirach 42:24-25 “All things are in pairs, each the opposite of the other, but nothing the Lord made is incomplete.” Verse 25 “Everything completes the goodness of something else. Could anyone ever see enough of this splendour?” In the family where you are, Sisters and bothers, first of all accept your husband/ wife is God`s choice. When you accept that God gave me this woman you can change this person, you can intervene“. My parents know since the they attended a retreat when they had so many problems. Even today they fight. Not big fights, because they are old, they don’t have that physical strength, but words to each other. But how do they overcome? Everyday, when they pray, 7:30 to 8:30, after they have to give praise to Jesus Christ and they have to hug each other, every day in the night and that’s how they survived 64 years because of prayer, without God, it cannot work. Its Gods choice. You have to accept. Your husband is God`s choice. If now he becomes a drunkard, you also now have a duty, your also culpable. There was a lady who came one day saying, Father my problem is my husband. I asked why and then she started saying because he’s a drunkard, he’s mistreating me, he’s not even taking care of the children; she started to say so many bad things. Then we asked her how many years have you’ve been married? And then she said 18 years. Then we asked her ‘have you married in the church?’ She said no I have not, I told you my husband is a problem . Not even taking me to the church. Then I asked her how long have you been asking to take you to the church, she replied its been more than 6 months. I told her “6 months? 18 years your married, then why 6 months?” She said “I attended a retreat and came to know I have to marry in the church. He is not going to church, not believing.” Then I asked her if this man was a bad person when they got married, living together? Then she said he was a very good person, going to church, singing in the choir. Very active in the church but now he is he worst person. Husband is not the problem. The problem is that you have not married him in the church. The absence of God creates hatred, uneasiness, disunity.
Today as you read maybe your reading the family article, but the shameful thing is you are not yet married in the church and you live together for years and do you think this marriage can work? Do you think there will be infidelity? Psalm chapter 1:3 Those who marry in the church, “They are like trees that grow beside a stream, that bear fruit at the right time, and whose leaves do not dry up. They succeed in everything they do” Are you a family? Married in the church? Then its like trees planted by streams of water. That means, you are united by the Holy Spirit. You can yield fruit in its season, you have children healthy and divine and their leaves do not wither. That means your children children cannot wither. This is the life of Job the just man, his children were also protected. He was doing sacrifice. ”In all that they do, they will prosper.” Do you think there is no prosperity? lot of difficulty in your life? Let’s ask the Lord, Who created your family to reunite you? And you centre your family in God. Without God, nothing can work. Its only God that can. This is what the angel Raphael taught them. Ask the Holy Spirit to come upon us. Let your living waters flow my soul. Let the Holy Spirit take control of our families.