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    Fr. Joseph Jenkins

  • The blog header depicts an important and yet mis-understood New Testament scene, Jesus flogging the money-changers out of the temple. I selected it because the faith that gives us consolation can also make us very uncomfortable. Both Divine Mercy and Divine Justice meet in Jesus. Priests are ministers of reconciliation, but never at the cost of truth. In or out of season, we must be courageous in preaching and living out the Gospel of Life. The title of my blog is a play on words, not Flogger Priest but Blogger Priest.

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Mystical Spouse of the Holy Spirit

mary.mother.of.jesus.01Given that Mary is understood as a mystical spouse of the Holy Spirit, it is fitting that there is no physical consummation of the marriage between Joseph and Mary. While they will share love and a common life, in many ways their bond was more that of father and daughter than the usual husband and wife. We live in such an over-sexed world that this relationship seems absurd or impossible. This makes it all the more valuable. While physicality can be a legitimate and wonderful component to spousal love, too often it eclipses the chaste sacrificial love which should also exist between lovers. By stripping away the physical element, the Holy Family gives witness to the greater love which should be present in every nuptial union. Their celibate love is also a testimony to a discipline which is so sorely absent in many relationships, today. People want everything and they want it now. Pleasure is pursued and worshiped. People think that their lives are enriched by seeking as many experiences and relationships as possible. Our culture laments and feels sorry for the person who dies a virgin. Sexual activity is regarded as a rite of becoming an adult, even if as a pretense during the teen years. Couples use sex as a form of recreation. Later they cohabitate with the excuse that it makes financial sense; the truth is that it makes fornication easier. When they finally get married, there are often problems. Why? Their actions already demonstrate that they see no vital link between the marital act and marriage. They get married for the ceremony or to make parents happy, not because they repent from sin and want the graces of the sacrament. Where is sacrificial love in all this? Where is their high regard for purity and virginity? Where is the discipline and reverence that will sustain them? Ask such people about Joseph and Mary and they will laugh at you. They cannot believe that there was no sexual intimacy between the spouses of the Holy Family. Their mindset and values are very far removed from those of the Gospel.

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