12 July 2015
Homily of the Apostolic Nuncio
His Grace Archbishop Petar Rajič
Our Lord Jesus shared everything with his disciples, even his own mission, which he did not jealously keep for himself, but he began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over unclean spirits. The Lord did not want any of his disciples to go alone, but in the company of another disciple, so that the two of them could support and encourage each other along the way. This vocation and mission is not only for those chosen by the Lord to be priests or religious, but it can also be applied to those in the married life. A man and a woman who have committed themselves to love one other in the sacred bond of matrimony are also invited by the Lord to be his disciples and to stay together, while constantly growing in their love for each other along their life journey. This journeying together as husband and wife, is fundamental for a good marriage, so that both the husband and wife can count on one other for love, support and the company that they can give to each other so that they may never feel alone. A successful marriage can be measured by the amount of time husbands and wives willingly spend together.
Jesus then gives some practical advice to his disciples for their journeys and he instructed them to take nothing for the journey but a walking stick – no food, no sack, no money in their belts. One could argue that this was not very practical because we know that we need food, clothes and money for any journey we might undertake. What the disciples received in fact, were instructions to be free from too much dependence on material things. In fact, life is not in what you own and your worth as a human being and child of God is not measured by the value of your goods. The Lord wants us to be free from material worries, because the more you accumulate the more you separate yourself from others. At the same time, the less material possessions you have, the freer you are to maintain good relationships with others. In the past many young couples started their married lives with nothing but their love for one another.
The importance of staying together is further emphasized by Jesus when he tells his disciples: Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave. The family home is so important. This is where we experience the fullness of life, where couples establish families and raise children, where goodness is taught and evil avoided, where forgiveness, acceptance of one another and peace are maintained. Hence, it is within the family unit that we first experience love. It does not matter if you live in a villa or a tent. You can be satisfied with even a few possessions as long as you are aware that the greatest gift of your life is the Lord’s presence in it. He is the one that unites a man and a woman in matrimonial love and brings them together as a couple and family. We find strength and courage for our life journey knowing through faith that God is with us who sends us out into the world to be his witnesses.
Married couples are even more closely united in their love for one another where a deep faith in God is present amongst both of them. And single people who have good friends with whom they share their faith, work and lives, are also called to maintain their friendships in faithfulness, simplicity, humility and love. For where there is faith and sincere love, there God is present. He is the greatest gift anyone could desire, for when the Lord enters our lives he brings us closer together to each other and he comes to stay.