When Marriage Is Like a Boat in a Storm

“Marriage, as a vocation, calls you to steer a tiny boat – wave-tossed yet sturdy, thanks to the reality of the sacrament — across a sometimes stormy sea. How often do you want to say, or better, cry out, like the apostles: ‘Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?’ (Mk 4:38).

“Let us never forget, though, that by virtue of the sacrament of matrimony, Jesus is present in that boat; he is concerned for you and he remains at your side amid the tempest. In another Gospel passage, as they rowed with difficulty, the disciples saw Jesus coming to them on the waters and welcomed him into their boat. Whenever you are buffeted by rough winds and storms, do the same thing: welcome Jesus into your boat, for once he ‘got into the boat with them … the wind ceased” (Mk 6:51).

“It is important that, together, you keep your eyes fixed on Jesus. Only in this way, will you find peace, overcome conflicts and discover solutions to many of your problems. Those problems, of course, will not disappear, but you will be able to see them from a different perspective.”
— Letter Of His Holiness Pope Francis to Married Couples
For the “Amoris Laetitia Family” Year, 2021-2022

World Marriage Day is a special opportunity for married couples to renew their vows, between themselves, and to work together as best as possible to be true to both the meaning and the spirit of the words they spoke on their special day.

The Day is also for those who desire to be married but, for whatever reason, have not met the person with whom they will live the rest of their lives.

It is an irony that World Marriage Day is the day before Valentine’s Day, that merchandizing moment. We celebrate God’s handiwork in bringing man and woman together, and, for more than a few folks, mark the next day in gift giving.

We already have the gift: God’s tender mercy, watching over us day by day, month by month, year by year, decade by decade, no matter the circumstances, happy or sad, light-hearted or greatly serious. We are, as Pope Francis states, Jesus is at our side in the tempest, as much as the calm seas.

What a great gift, indeed.

As to those we care about among us who silently “endure” the day, alone, easy for any of us, but, take heart. Your vocation is calling you. How and when your answer arrives is in God’s good time. Being single is part of the sacrament that has us prepare to know when “the one” has come into your life. And, what a silently magnificent day that will be.

As God’s children, we are constantly in His care. You and I are not alone, something to celebrate in an angry, dark, morose, and tearful world.

We have the joy, and we want to share it. With the Lord “in the boat”, our “catch” of mutual respect, understanding, and care fills our craft and, as we pray together as husband and wife, the seas calm.

Today is a beautiful day, the first day of our long journey presenting ourselves to the world, saying “We stand together, as one, in a celebration of grace. We are filled with joy!”

Michael Throop