By Joel de Loera

On Thursday, February 13, Bishop Oscar Cantú celebrated the very first Diocesan Marriage and Family Mass at Holy Cross Parish. This was a meaningful way to conclude the celebration of National Marriage Week and an opportunity for married couples and families to prepare to celebrate St. Valentine’s Day. Catholics from all over the valley, from all walks of life, from all cultures and all traditions gathered around the Lord’s table to worship together as a family in Christ and to honor the sanctity of marriage and family life.

During his homily, Bishop Cantú reflected on the Gospel reading fromJohn chosen for this special Mass: “This is my commandment: love one another as I love you” (John 15:12).  He reminded us that the message of Jesus wasn’t complicated; it was simple, yet powerful. “Jesus didn’t give his apostles a catechism,” Bishop Cantu said, “he simply instructed them to love one another.” He also stressed that we as a Church must support families by helping them experience this love at home.

Our hope when planning this Mass was to offer our families and married couples an opportunity to celebrate and be grateful for the gift of their relationships, and to let them know that we, the Church, support them and admire their sacrificial love.

We look forward to our next Marriage and Family Mass in February 2021 during National Marriage Week and hope that even more families and couples can join us then.

The work that we as a Church do for the institution of marriage is beautiful, challenging, and urgent. We must never give up, and we must never lose hope!