Sharing God’s Creative Work: Growing Old Together
Submitted by Deacon Jim Krupka
Marriage is the experience of entirely belonging to another. This is not belonging in the sense of possession. It is belonging in the sense of a covenant of love. As couples grow old together, they experience the freedom of knowing they are with someone who has elected to be faithful with God as a partner. In this partnership, anything is possible. Life is a sharing of God’s work every day.
Pope Francis says, “It is a profound experience to contemplate our loved ones with the eyes of God and see Christ in them.” We do that when we give ourselves totally to each other. Indeed, our loved ones merit our complete attention. Jesus is the model of that kind of love. We can model Jesus’ offer, “What do you want me to do for you?” (Mk 10:51). This should be daily life in a family. The Pope describes the prize of this kind of love. He says we can get “a tenderness which can stir the joy of being loved in the other.”
The words of Genesis, St. Paul and Jesus give us a theology of marriage and family. Throughout time God describes this covenant love and often uses married love to explain his love for us. This love is faithful and unbreakable. The love is kind and merciful and brings richness beyond anything else. Covenant love is not automatic. It takes “all in” commitment. Pope Francis reminds us that no family drops down from Heaven as a perfect product. We grow and mature in love. It is a vocation in communion with the Holy Spirit. All of us are called to keep moving toward better selves. The same applies to marriages and families. The Pope calls us to make this journey as families walking universally together. God promises something greater than we imagine as we walk this path.
This article closes my series drawing from Pope Francis’s Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, On Love in the Family. I encourage you to read his entire message. It is the length of a short book, but worth the read.