In our Gospel reading today from Mark 12, Jesus is asked, “Which is the first of all the commandments?” His answer may have surprised His hearers. Do you know what His answer was? Read Mark 12:28-34 to find out!
Today’s first reading from Tobit 6-8 is the story of the marriage of Tobiah and Sarah. It may sound strange to us today, but Tobiah and Sarah were kin. This was the norm in that time. Raguel gives his daughter in marriage to Tobiah without asking her. Again, it may seem odd to us, but it was the norm then. Raguel says to Tobiah, “Your marriage to her has been decided in heaven!” Their first act as a married couple was not to consummate the marriage in a sexual way. The first thing Tobiah does is say, “My love, get up. Let us pray and beg our Lord to have mercy on us and to grant us deliverance.” The couple then joins in a most beautiful prayer. Please don’t miss this!
For so many reasons, it is so tough to be married these days. Half of all marriages end in divorce. Fewer and fewer couples are even bothering to get married. With all the negative forces out there, marriage can be a real struggle for many. That’s why we need the example of Tobiah and Sarah more than ever. Couples must give their lives first to the Lord, then to each other. Couple prayer is essential to a solid Christian marriage. Prayer is the glue that will bind a couple together. I believe this with all my heart: the couple that prays together, stays together.
Father, we beg you to strengthen marriages. Help married couples love you above all, and pray for your graces daily. Amen.