By Louis Nicholas Blake
First Published: July 29, 2013
Ask yourself; are you ready and willing to mount the cross for your spouse?
Msgr. Allan Ventour, Parish Priest at the Santa Rosa Roman Catholic Church, Arima, Trinidad, W.I.; issued that challenge as he delivered a “no holds barred” homily on Friday July 26, 2013.
He was speaking to a congregation who gathered that evening to celebrate the feast of the patron saints of married couples; Saints Joachim and Anne.
Look At The Cross: What do you see?
“Look at the cross!” he said while holding up a crucifix; Jesus Christ nailed to the cross. “Yes, you may see suffering, pain, death and destruction. But the very essence of the cross is the love of God!”
The Msgr. said God looked at us and asked: “Are YOU worth that I mount the cross for YOU?” The answer Msgr. Ventour said is in John 3:16; “Yes God so loved the world that He gave his only Son that whosoever believes in Him may not be lost, but may have eternal life.”
The Cross: at the centre of every marriage
Married couples, Msgr. Ventour said, are the living examples of God’s love because the cross (or sacrifice) is at the centre of every marriage. There are times when a spouse would say or think “I feel sorry that we got married”.
There are times when a spouse would say or think “I want to walk out of this marriage”. There are times when couples are unfaithful, when they take each other for granted. Those are the times of the cross in marriage. Those are the times, Msgr. Ventour said, we need to ask God to “help me mount the cross for my spouse and to allow my spouse to mount the cross for me.”
“The very essence of marriage is the cross,” he said, “the cross is there to show you and explain to you what love is all about.”
Husbands are you willing to mount the cross for your wife? Wives are you willing to mount the cross for your husband? Msgr. Ventour asked.
The Cross in Marriage
He told a few stories of his interaction with married couples who were challenged to mount the cross for their spouses. One was about a wife who was so angry at her husband she referred to him as “it”.
Another story was about a husband who after over 30 years of marriage did not fully appreciate how good his wife was to him. His wife fell ill and had to be hospitalized for three weeks, and over that time the husband had to look after himself. So for example instead of having home cooked meals, he had to buy fast food. He didn’t enjoy eating while his wife was ill; he ate because he had to eat.
Love One Another As Jesus Loved
Msgr. Ventour urged couples to take time to say thanks to their spouse. He told couples to make time over the weekend to sit together as a couple with a crucifix between them and reflect on the meaning of the cross in their marriage.
“The cross is the love of God; it is love to the end, no holding back,” he said. In John 13: 34 Jesus says to His disciples “Now I give you a new commandment: love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also must love one another.”
Msgr. Ventour ended his homily by urging married couples to “love as Jesus loved.”
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