Around the year AD 350, a popular and powerful bishop named John Chrysostom preached a series of sermons on the Sacrament of Marriage. John had been inspired by St. Paul’s letters to describe for his congregation the beauty of marriage and family life. He called it a wonderful path to holiness. He spoke about the way each spouse is called to be like Jesus—selflessly giving all that they have to their spouse and family and to love their family with the same dedication that Jesus has for his Church.
Chrysostom told his congregation that God wants every family to see themselves as a “little church”, a sacred place where Christ is honoured and where each family member is drawn to deeper holiness.
He urged his people to keep their marriages pure and to guard their children’s faith against the corrupting influences of the world. So moving were his sermons that the Fathers of Vatican II called Catholics to see their families as “domestic Churches.”
God wants us to see our homes as miniature versions of the Church. Every home is meant to be a place of peace, love, humility and service. It’s meant to be a house of prayer, a place where Jesus is welcomed and reverenced. May we all stand firm against any philosophy that reduces our homes to marketplaces or to merely functional living situations. May we find ways to incorporate prayer in our homes. May we make it a point to express our love and appreciation to each other. It just takes a willing heart and an openness to God’s blessing. Even if we make mistakes along the way, we can be sure that we will make progress.