September 16, 2013

The Catholic Church closely safeguards the sanctity of marriage because it is a reflection of Christ’s union with his bride, the Church, Pope Francis said.

Jesus often uses the imagery of a bridegroom to help people see the nature of his relationship with the church, the pope said Sept. 6 during his morning Mass in his residence at the Domus Sanctae Marthae.

“I think this is exactly the most profound reason why the Church safeguards the sacrament of marriage so much and calls it the great sacrament, because it is precisely the image of the union of Christ with the Church.”

Another parallel between a nuptial banquet and the faith is that Christians are called to be joyful guests gathered together, the pope said.

While there will be great trials and moments of pain in life, “a Christian is fundamentally joyful,” he said, because everyone is invited to a great celebration: “the nuptials of Jesus with the Church.”