DOCTRINE OUTLINECATECHISM EXCERPTSRELATED VIDEOS FOR THE CLASSROOM

27th Sunday of Year B

CENTRAL IDEA

Marriage

By Kevin Aldrich

Overview of
Doctrinal Homily
Outlines

Kevin Aldrich

Written as an aid for homilists and a resource for the faithful, this doctrinal homily outline (1) provides insights into the Lectionary readings, (2) explicates a doctrine of Catholic Faith or morals from them, and (3) shows specific ways lay persons can live these truths.

Click on title to read everything from Kevin Aldrich.  What follows are only excerpts of what you will find on his blog. 

First Reading

  • As St. John Paul II pointed out, each human being—starting with Adam—exists in a kind of solitude, separate from the natural world and from other persons, including God, but he is created to be in relationship with all of them.
  • Adam and Eve were created married. Husband-wife is the most fundamental and essential human relationship. It gives rise to the second fundamental and essential relationship: child-parent.

Responsorial Psalm

  • Fruitfulness is the primordial blessing of family life. From putting God first in their lives, the husband’s work provides for his family, the wife is fruitful, and the children are full of promise.

Second Reading

  • Since all human beings come from the hand of God, and since Christ, as man, had a true human nature, we and he (as man) have a common origin as children of God. He is our brother. Christ offered himself for God’s children. He makes us holy and we are being made holy by our free actions in cooperation with his grace.

Gospel

  • In God’s plan, the family is the normal way that children will be brought to be in a right relationship with other human beings and with God. A child can easily accept the kingdom of God in a family in which father and mother live this one-flesh union of love.

DOCTRINE

Conjugal Fidelity

  • We have witnessed in the last century a slowly building and now a crashing tidal wave of forces aimed at the destruction of marriage and the family. First, contraception in the 1930s, then serial monogamy among celebrities, the sexual revolution of the 1960s and “shacking up,” then radical feminism, no-fault divorce, abortion in demand, reproductive technologies that made possible procreation without sex, homosexual “rights,” internet pornography and “hooking up,” now homosexual marriage, and finally, most recently, the “truth” that gender (of which there are, it is claimed, many more than two) is something people assign themselves.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION

Witness Conjugal Fidelity in Deed and Word

  • All Catholics must be living witnesses of the virtue of chastity. Married Catholics must be witnesses of conjugal fidelity—that their love be mutual, exclusive, and permanent. This places on us difficult moral demands in deed and in word. 

27th Sunday of Year B

FRANCISCAN FRIARS (17:43) – Paragraphs 1601-1620 – Fr. Daniel J. Mahan, S.T.L., pastor of St. John the Apostle Catholic Church in Bloomington, Indiana, and St. Jude the Apostle in Spencer covers the entire Catechism in 111 videos, giving an outline of the content along with clear easy to follow explanations. The series is based on the 2nd Edition of the Catechism.


“The following paragraphs from the Catechism of the Catholic Church resonate with the biblical readings for this Sunday. They were chosen either because they cite or allude to the specific readings, or because they treat topics found in the readings.”  —Homiletic Directory

This Week’s Themes

CCC 1602-1617, 1643-1651, 2331-2336: conjugal fidelity
CCC 2331-2336: divorce
CCC 1832: fidelity, a fruit of Spirit
CCC 2044, 2147, 2156, 2223, 2787: the fidelity of the baptized

Upcoming Sundays

Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

CCC 101-104: Christ, unique Word of Scripture
CCC 131-133: Scripture in life of the Church
CCC 2653-2654: Scripture as a fountain of prayer
CCC 1723, 2536, 2444-2447: poverty of heart

Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

CCC 599-609: Christ’s redemptive death in the plan of salvation
CCC 520: Christ’s self-emptying as an example for us to imitate
CCC 467, 540, 1137: Christ the High Priest

Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

CCC 547-550: Jesus performed messianic signs
CCC 1814-1816: faith, a gift of God
CCC 2734-2737: filial confidence in prayer

Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time

CCC 2083: commandments as a call for a response of love
CCC 2052, 2093-2094: the first commandment
CCC 1539-1547: holy orders in the economy of salvation

NOVEMBER 2021

Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time

CCC 519-521: Christ gave his life for us
CCC 2544-2547: poverty of heart
CCC 1434, 1438, 1753, 1969, 2447: almsgiving
CCC 2581-2584: Elijah and conversion of heart
CCC 1021-1022: the particular judgment

Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

CCC 1038-1050: the Last Judgment; hope of a new heaven and a new earth
CCC 613-614, 1365-1367: Christ’s one perfect sacrifice and the Eucharist

Solemnity of Christ the King: Christ the origin and goal of history

CCC 440, 446-451, 668-672, 783, 786, 908, 2105, 2628: Christ as Lord and King
CCC 678-679, 1001, 1038-1041: Christ as Judge
CCC 2816-2821: “Thy Kingdom Come”


Featured Excerpts

READ IN CONTEXT/VIEW FOOTNOTES – Click on any paragraph to go to page in the USCCB online version of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Order Hard Copy of the text in English and in Spanish.


Conjugal Fidelity

I. MARRIAGE IN GOD’S PLAN

1602 Sacred Scripture begins with the creation of man and woman in the image and likeness of God and concludes with a vision of “the wedding-feast of the Lamb.”85 Scripture speaks throughout of marriage and its “mystery,” its institution and the meaning God has given it, its origin and its end, its various realizations throughout the history of salvation, the difficulties arising from sin and its renewal “in the Lord” in the New Covenant of Christ and the Church.86

Marriage in the order of creation

1603 “The intimate community of life and love which constitutes the married state has been established by the Creator and endowed by him with its own proper laws. . . . God himself is the author of marriage.”87 The vocation to marriage is written in the very nature of man and woman as they came from the hand of the Creator. Marriage is not a purely human institution despite the many variations it may have undergone through the centuries in different cultures, social structures, and spiritual attitudes. These differences should not cause us to forget its common and permanent characteristics. Although the dignity of this institution is not transparent everywhere with the same clarity,88 some sense of the greatness of the matrimonial union exists in all cultures. “The well-being of the individual person and of both human and Christian society is closely bound up with the healthy state of conjugal and family life.”89

1604 God who created man out of love also calls him to love the fundamental and innate vocation of every human being. For man is created in the image and likeness of God who is himself love.90 Since God created him man and woman, their mutual love becomes an image of the absolute and unfailing love with which God loves man. It is good, very good, in the Creator’s eyes. And this love which God blesses is intended to be fruitful and to be realized in the common work of watching over creation: “And God blessed them, and God said to them: ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it.'”91

1605 Holy Scripture affirms that man and woman were created for one another: “It is not good that the man should be alone.”92 The woman, “flesh of his flesh,” his equal, his nearest in all things, is given to him by God as a “helpmate”; she thus represents God from whom comes our help.93 “Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh.”94 The Lord himself shows that this signifies an unbreakable union of their two lives by recalling what the plan of the Creator had been “in the beginning”: “So they are no longer two, but one flesh.”95

Marriage under the regime of sin

1606 Every man experiences evil around him and within himself. This experience makes itself felt in the relationships between man and woman. Their union has always been threatened by discord, a spirit of domination, infidelity, jealousy, and conflicts that can escalate into hatred and separation. This disorder can manifest itself more or less acutely, and can be more or less overcome according to the circumstances of cultures, eras, and individuals, but it does seem to have a universal character.

1607 According to faith the disorder we notice so painfully does not stem from the nature of man and woman, nor from the nature of their relations, but from sin. As a break with God, the first sin had for its first consequence the rupture of the original communion between man and woman. Their relations were distorted by mutual recriminations;96 their mutual attraction, the Creator’s own gift, changed into a relationship of domination and lust;97 and the beautiful vocation of man and woman to be fruitful, multiply, and subdue the earth was burdened by the pain of childbirth and the toil of work.98

1608 Nevertheless, the order of creation persists, though seriously disturbed. To heal the wounds of sin, man and woman need the help of the grace that God in his infinite mercy never refuses them.99 Without his help man and woman cannot achieve the union of their lives for which God created them “in the beginning.”

Marriage under the pedagogy of the Law

1609 In his mercy God has not forsaken sinful man. The punishments consequent upon sin, “pain in childbearing” and toil “in the sweat of your brow,”100 also embody remedies that limit the damaging effects of sin. After the fall, marriage helps to overcome self-absorption, egoism, pursuit of one’s own pleasure, and to open oneself to the other, to mutual aid and to self-giving.

1610 Moral conscience concerning the unity and indissolubility of marriage developed under the pedagogy of the old law. In the Old Testament the polygamy of patriarchs and kings is not yet explicitly rejected. Nevertheless, the law given to Moses aims at protecting the wife from arbitrary domination by the husband, even though according to the Lord’s words it still carries traces of man’s “hardness of heart” which was the reason Moses permitted men to divorce their wives.101

1611 Seeing God’s covenant with Israel in the image of exclusive and faithful married love, the prophets prepared the Chosen People’s conscience for a deepened understanding of the unity and indissolubility of marriage.102 The books of Ruth and Tobit bear moving witness to an elevated sense of marriage and to the fidelity and tenderness of spouses. Tradition has always seen in the Song of Solomon a unique expression of human love, insofar as it is a reflection of God’s love – a love “strong as death” that “many waters cannot quench.”103

Marriage in the Lord

1612 The nuptial covenant between God and his people Israel had prepared the way for the new and everlasting covenant in which the Son of God, by becoming incarnate and giving his life, has united to himself in a certain way all mankind saved by him, thus preparing for “the wedding-feast of the Lamb.”104

1613 On the threshold of his public life Jesus performs his first sign – at his mother’s request – during a wedding feast.105 The Church attaches great importance to Jesus’ presence at the wedding at Cana. She sees in it the confirmation of the goodness of marriage and the proclamation that thenceforth marriage will be an efficacious sign of Christ’s presence.

1614 In his preaching Jesus unequivocally taught the original meaning of the union of man and woman as the Creator willed it from the beginning: permission given by Moses to divorce one’s wife was a concession to the hardness of hearts.106 The matrimonial union of man and woman is indissoluble: God himself has determined it “what therefore God has joined together, let no man put asunder.”107

1615 This unequivocal insistence on the indissolubility of the marriage bond may have left some perplexed and could seem to be a demand impossible to realize. However, Jesus has not placed on spouses a burden impossible to bear, or too heavy – heavier than the Law of Moses.108 By coming to restore the original order of creation disturbed by sin, he himself gives the strength and grace to live marriage in the new dimension of the Reign of God. It is by following Christ, renouncing themselves, and taking up their crosses that spouses will be able to “receive” the original meaning of marriage and live it with the help of Christ.109 This grace of Christian marriage is a fruit of Christ’s cross, the source of all Christian life.

1616 This is what the Apostle Paul makes clear when he says: “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her,” adding at once: “‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one. This is a great mystery, and I mean in reference to Christ and the Church.”110

1617 The entire Christian life bears the mark of the spousal love of Christ and the Church. Already Baptism, the entry into the People of God, is a nuptial mystery; it is so to speak the nuptial bath.111 which precedes the wedding feast, the Eucharist. Christian marriage in its turn becomes an efficacious sign, the sacrament of the covenant of Christ and the Church. Since it signifies and communicates grace, marriage between baptized persons is a true sacrament of the New Covenant.112


V. THE GOODS AND REQUIREMENTS OF CONJUGAL LOVE

1643 “Conjugal love involves a totality, in which all the elements of the person enter – appeal of the body and instinct, power of feeling and affectivity, aspiration of the spirit and of will. It aims at a deeply personal unity, a unity that, beyond union in one flesh, leads to forming one heart and soul; it demands indissolubility and faithfulness in definitive mutual giving; and it is open to fertility. In a word it is a question of the normal characteristics of all natural conjugal love, but with a new significance which not only purifies and strengthens them, but raises them to the extent of making them the expression of specifically Christian values.”152

The unity and indissolubility of marriage

1644 The love of the spouses requires, of its very nature, the unity and indissolubility of the spouses’ community of persons, which embraces their entire life: “so they are no longer two, but one flesh.”153 They “are called to grow continually in their communion through day-to-day fidelity to their marriage promise of total mutual self-giving.”154 This human communion is confirmed, purified, and completed by communion in Jesus Christ, given through the sacrament of Matrimony. It is deepened by lives of the common faith and by the Eucharist received together.

1645 “The unity of marriage, distinctly recognized by our Lord, is made clear in the equal personal dignity which must be accorded to man and wife in mutual and unreserved affection.”155 Polygamy is contrary to conjugal love which is undivided and exclusive.156

The fidelity of conjugal love

1646 By its very nature conjugal love requires the inviolable fidelity of the spouses. This is the consequence of the gift of themselves which they make to each other. Love seeks to be definitive; it cannot be an arrangement “until further notice.” The “intimate union of marriage, as a mutual giving of two persons, and the good of the children, demand total fidelity from the spouses and require an unbreakable union between them.”157

1647 The deepest reason is found in the fidelity of God to his covenant, in that of Christ to his Church. Through the sacrament of Matrimony the spouses are enabled to represent this fidelity and witness to it. Through the sacrament, the indissolubility of marriage receives a new and deeper meaning.

1648 It can seem difficult, even impossible, to bind oneself for life to another human being. This makes it all the more important to proclaim the Good News that God loves us with a definitive and irrevocable love, that married couples share in this love, that it supports and sustains them, and that by their own faithfulness they can be witnesses to God’s faithful love. Spouses who with God’s grace give this witness, often in very difficult conditions, deserve the gratitude and support of the ecclesial community.158

1649 Yet there are some situations in which living together becomes practically impossible for a variety of reasons. In such cases the Church permits the physical separation of the couple and their living apart. The spouses do not cease to be husband and wife before God and so are not free to contract a new union. In this difficult situation, the best solution would be, if possible, reconciliation. The Christian community is called to help these persons live out their situation in a Christian manner and in fidelity to their marriage bond which remains indissoluble.159

1650 Today there are numerous Catholics in many countries who have recourse to civil divorce and contract new civil unions. In fidelity to the words of Jesus Christ – “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery”160 the Church maintains that a new union cannot be recognized as valid, if the first marriage was. If the divorced are remarried civilly, they find themselves in a situation that objectively contravenes God’s law. Consequently, they cannot receive Eucharistic communion as long as this situation persists. For the same reason, they cannot exercise certain ecclesial responsibilities. Reconciliation through the sacrament of Penance can be granted only to those who have repented for having violated the sign of the covenant and of fidelity to Christ, and who are committed to living in complete continence.

1651 Toward Christians who live in this situation, and who often keep the faith and desire to bring up their children in a Christian manner, priests and the whole community must manifest an attentive solicitude, so that they do not consider themselves separated from the Church, in whose life they can and must participate as baptized persons:

They should be encouraged to listen to the Word of God, to attend the Sacrifice of the Mass, to persevere in prayer, to contribute to works of charity and to community efforts for justice, to bring up their children in the Christian faith, to cultivate the spirit and practice of penance and thus implore, day by day, God’s grace.161

The openness to fertility

1652 “By its very nature the institution of marriage and married love is ordered to the procreation and education of the offspring and it is in them that it finds its crowning glory.”162

Children are the supreme gift of marriage and contribute greatly to the good of the parents themselves. God himself said: “It is not good that man should be alone,” and “from the beginning [he] made them male and female”; wishing to associate them in a special way in his own creative work, God blessed man and woman with the words: “Be fruitful and multiply.” Hence, true married love and the whole structure of family life which results from it, without diminishment of the other ends of marriage, are directed to disposing the spouses to cooperate valiantly with the love of the Creator and Savior, who through them will increase and enrich his family from day to day.163

1653 The fruitfulness of conjugal love extends to the fruits of the moral, spiritual, and supernatural life that parents hand on to their children by education. Parents are the principal and first educators of their children.164 In this sense the fundamental task of marriage and family is to be at the service of life.165


Divorce

I. “MALE AND FEMALE HE CREATED THEM . . .”

2331 “God is love and in himself he lives a mystery of personal loving communion. Creating the human race in his own image . . .. God inscribed in the humanity of man and woman the vocation, and thus the capacity and responsibility, of love and communion.”115

“God created man in his own image . . . male and female he created them”;116 He blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply”;117 “When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and named them Man when they were created.”118

2332 Sexuality affects all aspects of the human person in the unity of his body and soul. It especially concerns affectivity, the capacity to love and to procreate, and in a more general way the aptitude for forming bonds of communion with others.

2333 Everyone, man and woman, should acknowledge and accept his sexual identity. Physical, moral, and spiritual difference and complementarity are oriented toward the goods of marriage and the flourishing of family life. The harmony of the couple and of society depends in part on the way in which the complementarity, needs, and mutual support between the sexes are lived out.

2334 “In creating men ‘male and female,’ God gives man and woman an equal personal dignity.”119 “Man is a person, man and woman equally so, since both were created in the image and likeness of the personal God.”120

2335 Each of the two sexes is an image of the power and tenderness of God, with equal dignity though in a different way. The union of man and woman in marriage is a way of imitating in the flesh the Creator’s generosity and fecundity: “Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh.”121 All human generations proceed from this union.122

2336 Jesus came to restore creation to the purity of its origins. In the Sermon on the Mount, he interprets God’s plan strictly: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”123 What God has joined together, let not man put asunder.124

The tradition of the Church has understood the sixth commandment as encompassing the whole of human sexuality.


SOURCE: Catechism of the Catholic Church. 2nd ed. Vatican: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2012.

27th Sunday of Year B

Sacrament of Marriage

BISHOP ROBERT BARRON (8:04) – In 2017, Bishop Barron had the great good pleasure of presiding at the wedding of my niece, Bryna and her now husband, Nelson. While we rejoice in their love for each other, the fact that they have now become living symbols of Christ the Bridegroom’s ecstatic love for his Bride, the Church is reason, in the very deepest sense, to give thanks.


Dr. Scott Hahn – The Sacrament of Matrimony

STEUBENVILLE CONFERENCES (54:01) – Dr. Scott Hahn delivered this talk, “The First Society: The Sacrament of Matrimony and the Restoration of the Social Order,” at the 2019 Defending the Faith Steubenville Conference.


Matrimony (Why Make it Catholic)

BUSTED HALO (7:36) – BustedHalo.com’s fantastic introduction to the Sacraments series: Why do we have to have a Catholic wedding? Why does it take so long to get married in the Church? Why does the Church insist we have children? These questions and more are answered in this edition of “Sacraments 101,” a web video series geared for those who’d like an introduction or refresher course on these important, tangible Catholic experiences of God.


The Powerful Sacrament of Matrimony

CHRISTOPHER WEST (12:55) – What powers are granted in the Sacrament of Matrimony and how does it relate to the other sacraments? What is the meaning and significance of the Sacrament of Marriage? Is there any connection between priests performing the mass and marital union?


Divorce and Catholics

ASCENSION PRESENTS (2:34) – Rose Sweet, author of The Catholic’s Divorce Survival Guide, clears up some common misconceptions about divorces and annulments among Catholics. Following the cue of Pope Francis, she shares her hope for divorced Catholics to return or remain in full communion with the Church.


Marriage, Divorce, and Annulment

CATHOLIC ANSWERS (9:52) – Jim Blackburn clears up some misconceptions about Church teaching on marriage, divorce, and annulment.

27th Sunday of Year B

CATHOLIC KIDS MEDIA (1:50) – A fun Catholic reflection for kids based on the readings for the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time.
RCL Benziger

Marriage, Divorce, and Annnulment

The first book of the Bible begins with the creation of man and woman, each meant for the good of the other (Genesis 1:26-27). The final book of the Bible concludes by presenting a soaring vision of the wedding feast of the Lamb (Revelation 19:7). Scripture thus emphasizes how we are founded in this partnership and how our ultimate goal in Christ is imaged in it. Built into creation’s fabric, “the intimate partnership of life and love which constitutes the married state” establishes not just a dynamic governing relations between husband and wife but engenders “its own proper laws…rooted in the…irrevocable personal consent” of the spouses (GS 48).

We believe that married couples share by their own fidelity and self-giving to each other in the very love of God. What seems virtually impossible, binding oneself to another for life, is available to us only through the grace of Christ. Thus, the Church prays: “Father, [we] see [our] high destiny in the love of husband and wife….The love of man and woman is made holy in the sacrament of marriage, and becomes the mirror of your everlasting love” (RM, Preface for Marriage III).

SOURCE: RCL BENZIGER Classroom Sessions Year B (2017-2018)

Lesson Plans (PDF)

Lesson segments: Opening Prayer, Life Reflection, Listening to the Word of God, Scripture Discussion Starters, Scripture Background, Questions for Deeper Reflection, Doctrinal Discussion Starters, and the Gospel in Life

Primary Session
Intermediate Session
Junior High Session

SOURCE: RCL BENZIGER Classroom Sessions Year B (2017-2018)

Doctrinal Discussion Starters

Throughout our lives we grow in our ability to live as God intended. The story of creation tells us that God intended for man and woman to live for the good of each other. Marriage is an intimate partnership of life and love. Such a partnership provides an atmosphere of safety and respect so that each person can freely reveal and share who he or she is.

Catholics believe that married couples by their self-giving to each other share in the very love of God. Binding oneself to another for life is possible only through the grace of Christ. The love of man and woman is made holy in the sacrament of marriage, and becomes a sign for the world of God’s everlasting love.

  • Think of the married couples that you know. How does their union reflect God’s love?
  • What ingredients do you think make up a good marriage?
  • Is it possible for a husband and wife to be best friends?
  • Do all marriages contain the kind of intimate union between two people in Christ that constitutes a sacrament?

(In your discussion be sensitive to the reality that many young people have experienced a divorce in their family. Today’s discussion may also lead to the topic of annulment. The Church believes that some marriages do not represent the kind of intimate union between two people that God intended at the beginning of creation. Therefore an annulment can be granted to those divorced couples whose marriage was never a sacramental marriage.)

SOURCE: RCL BENZIGER Classroom Sessions Year B (2017-2018)

RCL Benziger

Textbook Series Correlations

Be My Disciples (PDF)

Blest Are We (PDF)

GRADE LEVELS

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