Column: God’s love is made manifest to others through our marraige

Deacon Tony Zimmerman is the lead archdiocesan consultant for the office of marriage and family life.
Deacon Tony Zimmerman is the lead archdiocesan consultant for the office of marriage and family life.

by Deacon Tony Zimmerman

Waiting in an airport to catch a flight is usually boring unless one is headed to a family celebration or an exotic vacation destination.

I was having one of those boring waits recently when a celebration of sorts arrived at the gate.

The celebration I experienced was a celebration of the joy of married life. An elderly couple, Joseph and Sara, arrived with a grandson, daughter and son-in-law to await the next flight to Kansas City.

This couple has been married for 66 years. He was 95 and she was 90 years old. However, they were like newlyweds. He called her his Miss America.

They sat close and held hands and looked with such love at one another that they lit up the whole waiting area. To my delight, they sat behind me on the plane where the talking and teasing continued until landing.

My hug for my wife who picked me up at the airport seemed to linger a little longer and was more joyful. I realize looking back that the love that this couple showed to one another brought alive a sense of how much I have been blessed to be married to my wife and what a great vocation we have in marriage.

Has anyone ever told you that your marriage is important to the church and our world? In the introduction to the rite of marriage is written: “Married Christians, in virtue of the sacrament of matrimony, signify and share in the mystery of that unity and fruitful love which exists between Christ and his church.”

In other words, in tender everyday acts of love like this couple showed
to one another in the airport, God’s loving presence for all of us is made manifest, although imperfectly, to the world. Their 66 years of marriage and their actions toward one another speak of faithful, permanent and total love — the way God loves us. Such love is life-giving as evidenced in their children and grandchildren. It is also evidenced by the way it caused me (and I am sure others) to cherish more deeply the love they experience with their spouse or saw in the lives of their parents.

here is one more reason your marriage is important. As we all have read or heard, many couples now choose to live together for a “trial run” before marriage. Why? The studies all come to the same conclusion: they fear failure; they fear divorce; they are not sure “permanent” love is real. A recent study found young people wondering if a truly happy marriage is possible.

For all of us who are married, we need to ask ourselves what others see and experience about marriage when they look at us. If you’re not sure, do something for your marriage today.

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