October 2022
"Moving Forward in the Holy Spirit"

Our theme for Give to MIC 2022!
  •  We are gearing up for our annual appeal
  •  Kick off day is Tuesday, November 15, 2022
  •  Can you help us meet our goal of $75,000?

How you can help:

Please pray:
  • for the success of the appeal
  • that the Lord would prosper the work of our hands so that we can offer the seminar to more couples
  • for the success of the three seminars in Spanish that are underway
  • for more groups to host the five-week seminar
Please tell others about the seminar and the appeal
Please consider a financial contribution to MIC

Every dollar helps us reach our goal. Last year we had 52 gifts $500 and under. That represents 67% of our donors. 

The Marriage in Christ seminar is a good experience and great program, very relevant to the days we are living in now!”      Lorin & Katie Mislan, Host Couple
PS: You do not need to wait until November 15th to donate.
All donations from today until December 30,2022 will count as part of this campaign.

You can contribute electronically on our website at www.marriageinchrist.com/supportus or by sending a check to Marriage in Christ, 601 River Ridge Parkway, Eagan, MN 55121 or you can also call the office at 651.395.6829.
Would you be like to host a Marriage in Christ seminar?
Would you like to host Seminario Matrimonio en Cristo?
Have you heard about Engaged to be Married in Christ:
Reflections on the Fruit of the Holy Spirit for Engaged Couples?
Are you reading the Bible together with Praying as a Couple: Marriage in the Bible?

Come and explore these Marriage in Christ resources at our fall showcase.
Thursday, October 27, 2022 from 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
at our office, 601 River Ridge Parkway, Eagan, MN.

Use the link below to email Fran to let us know that you will be attending.
The Gospel of Matthew:
Marriage and Israel’s Story
Part Two: October 2022
Wedding feast images continued 
Last month we reflected on the invitation to the wedding feast, the disrespect shown to the king by declining his invitation, and the inappropriate dress for a wedding celebration. This month we continue with the wedding feast imagery in Matthew (15:29–37 and 25:1–13), and then we reflect on marriage and the resurrection (22:23–33). We conclude our reflections on Matthew’s Gospel with three meditations on marriage and mission.
It is helpful to set the stage for the challenges that Jesus was to face in the passages we will examine this month. In Matthew’s gospel, Jesus’ triumphant entrance into Jerusalem (21:1–11) is followed by his dramatic entrance into the Temple (21:12–13). There, he drove out the money changers and those who were selling animals for sacrifice in the Temple, thus disrupting the sacrificial system and, in a symbolic way, indicating that the Temple and the whole sacrificial system would come to an end. And it did, when the Romans destroyed the Temple in AD 70. Matthew then recounts a series of challenges on the part of the chief priests, elders, and Pharisees about his authority to do these things (21:23). In that context, Jesus told several parables, one of which was about a landowner, his vineyard, and the wicked tenants who would be deposed. It was in that same context that he told the parable of the wedding banquet that we examined last month.
After Jesus amazed the crowd with his response to their question about paying taxes (give to Caesar what is Caesar’s), the Sadducees attempted to discredit both Jesus and the Pharisees, who also believed in resurrection, by posing a ridiculous hypothetical question about the woman who was married to seven brothers. The Sadducees’ question is based on the command in the Torah about the Levirate law of marriage (Deuteronomy 25:5–10). According to this law, if a man dies childless, his brother must marry the widow and produce an heir for him. The purpose of the Levirate law was to continue family in an age when death was the norm. But Jesus knew that in the new creation, there would be no more death; hence, there would no longer be a need for procreation—one of the primary purposes of marriage. The Sadducees were misunderstanding the need for the law. It was the wrong question.
When the Pharisees realized that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they took a turn at trying to trap Jesus, by asking which part of the law was the greatest (22:34–40). Jesus then silenced them by asking them a question that they could not answer (22:41–46). That was followed by his devastating indictment of their hypocrisy (23:1–39).
Marriage and mission
We have a vital mission as married couples! Our marriages are not simply for our own good. Our marriages, as St. Paul says, are intended to make the love of Christ for his bride the Church visible in the world. Our love makes the love of the persons in the Trinity itself more visible. Our marriages are intended to serve others: our children, our neighborhoods, our local churches, and others in need. What can that look like? What did it look like in the early church?
Christians presented to the world a new way to live human life, and a new family model that became one of the principal factors in evangelization. A second-century Christian wrote a letter to someone called Diognetus[1]. In it, he says that the Christians “marry as everyone else does and have children, but they do not abandon the newborns; they have a common table, but not a common bed” (V:6–7). In his Apology, Justin Martyr, an early Christian apologist and philosopher, reminded the emperors that they multiplied the laws about the family, which proved to be incapable of stopping its collapse. He then invited them to come to see Christian families, and promised that they would be convinced that Christians were Rome’s better allies in the reform of society, not her enemies.[2]
But it wasn’t just family life that was different. Two devastating epidemics hit the Roman Empire. One lasted from AD 165 until AD 180, and another occurred in AD 251. The first plague, which killed between a quarter and a third of the population, was possibly smallpox; the second, equally as devastating, may have been measles. 
Imagine being in a city stinking of death, piles of dead bodies all around, homes abandoned, the sick left to fend for themselves. All around you, your family and friends are dropping.  You can never be sure if or when you will fall sick too. Your priests have confessed ignorance about what the gods are doing; your philosophers are of no help either. Your most famous physician is coping with the epidemic by leaving Rome and hiding out at his country estate.
But Christians have hope. And they have love. They do not appear to fear; rather, they act as if giving their life for the sake of caring for their sick brethren is the equivalent of martyrdom. Many of them die as they live out Matthew 25:34–40. But because they give basic nursing care to the sick, both their own people and their pagan neighbors, many of the sick recover! 
Conscientious nursing care, as simple as providing food and water, cut the mortality rate of these plagues by at least two-thirds. Although many Christians died, the believers survived at a much higher rate than their pagan neighbors. And their pagan neighbors survived at a much higher rate than those who did not have Christian neighbors or relatives. The Christians did not fear death because they believed in the resurrection. They put into practice our Lord’s command to love one another.

Bill Wacker
Director Emeritus

[1]. An apology is an explanation or defense of the Christian life usually in response to persecution. This letter dates from the second or third century. Both the author and the recipient are unknown.

[2]. For further discussion see Cardinal Reniero Cantalamessa’s 5th Lenten homily: “The Armor of Light.” Cantalamessa's 5th Lenten homily: The armor of light (aleteia.org). downloaded 9/2/2022.
Conversation Starters and Loving Actions for you!
What is your idea of a great banquet?

Would you share your fish and loaves of bread with Jesus?

What does it mean to have compassion for the sick and ailing?

Have you ever witnessed a miracle where the amount of food prepared was less than the amount that was served?

How are you preparing for the arrival of Jesus, the bridegroom? Will there be enough oil in your lamp? (See the Gospel of Matthew 25:1-13)

How do you keep your relationship with God primary amongst all the demands on your time?

What are some ways in which, as husband and wife, you improve the lives of those around you?

Tell each other Autumn jokes when you are working together. For example: What did the leaf say to the other leaf? I am falling for you!

Go for a hike and take pictures of Autumn landscapes.

Visit an apple or fruit stand and taste different varieties of fruit.

Surprise your spouse with a spontaneous date in the middle of the week.

Volunteer together at a food shelf.

Host an Autumn soup swap. Invite a few friends over and each bring a pot of soup to enjoy and swap recipes.

Clean the basement or closet together. 

Play a board game outside and enjoy the Autumn weather.

Try to warble like a turkey. See who has the best imitation.
Do you speak Spanish? Would you be willing to help us host
Seminario Matrimonio en Cristo in your area? Please contact Fran.

Follow Marriage in Christ
Come, Holy Spirit, inspire our hearts; inspire couples to desire your presence in their life, marriage, & family. Draw them to you. May we be a vehicle to reveal you to them.