An initiative of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Good Friday: Marriage and the Cross

Today is Good Friday, part of the “Easter Triduum,” the Church’s remembrance of and participation in Jesus’ Passion, death, and Resurrection. On Good Friday we remember Jesus’ crucifixion, death, and burial.

In his apostolic exhortation Familiaris Consortio, Bl. John Paul II reflected at length on the connection between marriage and the cross:

“The communion between God and his people finds its definitive fulfillment in Jesus Christ, the bridegroom who loves and gives himself as the savior of humanity, uniting it to himself as his body.

He reveals the original truth of marriage, the truth of the ‘beginning,’ and, freeing man from his hardness of heart, he makes man capable of realizing truth it its entirety.

“This revelation reaches its definitive fullness in the gift of love which the Word of God makes to humanity in assuming a human nature, and in the sacrifice which Jesus Christ makes of Himself on the Cross for His bride, the Church. In this sacrifice there is entirely revealed that plan which God has imprinted on the humanity of man and woman since their creation; the marriage of baptized persons thus becomes a real symbol of that new and eternal covenant sanctioned in the blood of Christ.

. . .

Spouses are therefore the permanent reminder to the church of what happened on the cross; they are for one another and for the children witnesses to the salvation in which the sacrament makes them sharers.”

Bl. John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio (no. 13, emphasis added)


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