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Ps 19_2

“Beauty will save the world,” said Russian novelist and philosopher Fyodor Dostoyevsky in his 1868 novel The Idiot.

Indeed, God, the one who is all beautiful has saved the world! He is jaw-droppingly beautiful. He is so beautiful that we cannot bear to see Him face-to-face. In the Old Testament, anyone who looked upon the face of God would die. We can get a glimpse of His beauty and grandeur through His resplendent creation. Apostles Peter, James and John were given a glimpse of this beauty during the transfiguration of Jesus, “And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his garments became white as light” (Mt 17:2). Nothing is more beautiful than what Jesus did on the cross for the salvation of our souls.

Jesus has risen from the dead. He has given us a mission: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Mt 28:19-20). As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are to image Christ to the world. We are His hands and feet, carrying on the work of bringing souls to His merciful love.

We live in a culture darkened and disfigured by sin and death. We must be a beautiful, bright light in the midst of the darkness. Our lives, our marriages must be so beautiful that others are drawn to us. In the Sacrament of Matrimony, God equips husbands and wives with the grace necessary to make Him tangible to each other. Through this grace we show kindness, compassion, mercy, patience, goodness, generosity, forbearance and self-giving love to each other. This is the beauty of the sacrament. It transforms us into living images of the beauty of God. What a task and honor!

Behold, you are beautiful, my love, behold, you are beautiful! Song of Solomon 4:1 RSV

St. John Paul II in his epic Apostolic Exhortation, Familiaris Consortio (On the Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World), had this to say about the mission of the family:

…the family has the mission to become more and more what it is, that is to say, a community of life and love…we must say that the essence and role of the family are in the final analysis specified by love…the family has the mission to guard, reveal and communicate love, and this is a living reflection of and a real sharing in God’s love for humanity and the love of Christ the Lord for the Church His bride[1]

John Paul II said the family is the Center of the New Evangelization. Is your family revealing and communicating God’s love to a world that has forgotten the true meaning of the word? In a society that celebrates the self and using others for personal gain and satisfaction, there is a great need for holy families to witness to the true meaning and beauty of love.

Further on in Familiaris Consortio, St. John Paul II lays out the task of every Christian family:

To the extent in which the Christian family accepts the Gospel and matures in faith, it becomes an evangelizing community…“The family, like the Church, ought to be a place where the Gospel is transmitted and from which the Gospel radiates. In a family which is conscious of this mission, all the members evangelize and are evangelized. The parents not only communicate the Gospel to their children, but from their children they can themselves receive the same Gospel as deeply lived by them. And such a family becomes the evangelizer of many other families, and of the neighborhood of which it forms part” (Evangelii Nuntiandi, 71).[2]

God “has made everything beautiful in its time” (Eccl 3:11). Now is the time to show our disfigured culture the beauty, goodness and truth of Christian marriage. People will be attracted to the beauty of your relationship. They will ask what is different about you. Tell them who changed you. Tell them that they can have a personal relationship with the creator of the world and that He can change them too.

“How beautiful are the feet of those who preach good news!” Romans 10:15 RSV

In the words of Jesus to His disciples in the Upper Room, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you” (Jn 20:21).

[1] John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation, Familiaris Consortio, §17, November 22, 1982; http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/apost_exhortations/documents/hf_jp-ii_exh_19811122_familiaris-consortio_en.html (accessed April 20, 2017).

[2] Ibid., 52.