Amoris Laetitia 11: Iconography

amoris laetitia memeRemember to check the actual document Amoris Laetitia. Many people have already finished reading it, but we’ll take our time here. One paragraph a day isn’t a fast pace, but maybe we’ll talk about something you missed in your earlier pass through the document.

Today we explore the meaning of the icon and how Pope Francis applies this principle to living married couples:

11. The couple that loves and begets life is a true, living icon – not an idol like those of stone or gold prohibited by the Decalogue – capable of revealing God the Creator and Savior.

Couples reveal something of God: do you believe this? Or is it just an exaggeration?

For this reason, fruitful love becomes a symbol of God’s inner life (cf. Gen 1:28; 9:7; 17:2-5, 16; 28:3; 35:11; 48:3-4). This is why the Genesis account, following the “priestly tradition”, is interwoven with various genealogical accounts (cf. 4:17-22, 25-26; 5; 10; 11:10-32; 25:1-4, 12-17, 19-26; 36).

Genealogies aren’t just interesting lists of forgotten persons. They represent not only a biological reality, but a constant attention from a loving God. This is part of the mystery of God–that he can continue to love us and shower his attention on us.

The ability of human couples to beget life is the path along which the history of salvation progresses. Seen this way, the couple’s fruitful relationship becomes an image for understanding and describing the mystery of God himself, for in the Christian vision of the Trinity, God is contemplated as Father, Son and Spirit of love. The triune God is a communion of love, and the family is its living reflection. Saint John Paul II shed light on this when he said, “Our God in his deepest mystery is not solitude, but a family, for he has within himself fatherhood, sonship and the essence of the family, which is love. That love, in the divine family, is the Holy Spirit”. The family is thus not unrelated to God’s very being. This Trinitarian dimension finds expression in the theology of Saint Paul, who relates the couple to the “mystery” of the union of Christ and the Church (cf. Eph 5:21-33).

The citation is from John Paul II’s homily at the Eucharistic Celebration in Puebla de los Ángeles (28 January 1979).

Thoughts?

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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