Civil Marriage


When we were still in college seminary, as part of vocation month and vocation promotion, we go to different schools and have talk with the graduating students about vocation especially the vocation to the priesthood and religious life. I, personally, started my talk by defining what vocation is. Vocation comes from a latin word, “voco”, “vocare” which means calling, a call from God. And this call is a universal call, meaning it is not an exclusive call, but a call for all. What is this call? This is a universal call for HOLINESS. And this universal call for holiness can be lived out in three states of life. These are the states of life that need our fundamental choice in order to attain eternal happiness. As commonly we heard they are (1) priestly and religious life, (2) married life and (3) single blessedness. Whatever choice we have, we are call to live that life towards holiness, therefore, no one is higher than the other and no one is inferior to the other. They are all equal, a state of life towards holiness.

Context of the time and culture are to be taken very careful in our understanding of different concepts and ideas so that we cannot be led on wrong interpretations and use it as an argument to different time, context and culture. The context of Old Testament, for example, is of different context in the New Testament. Paul, another example, is writing to the different churches depending to the needs of the church and the call of the time. The Patriarchal culture during that time is the great influence for Paul’s teaching. Addition to it is his notion of the parousia and his fundamental choice for celibacy.

Finally, marriage and family life must be pattern to the relationship of Jesus Christ to His people. Christ is the head and the Church is his body. Therefore there is only one body. It is a very close relationship. The suffering of one part is the suffering of all. The joy of one is the joy of all....