For best results follow the Maker’s instructions - GYC Thanksgiving Mass

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Home > Archbishop > Homilies > For best results follow the Maker’s instructions - GYC Thanksgiving Mass

I remember one day passing a church which had a notice board in front of it. On the notice board was the picture of an open book and then under the image were the words, “For best results follow the Maker’s instructions”. The message grabbed my attention. I have not forgotten it.

The open book, of course, was the bible and the message was clear: for the best results for our lives we should follow what God teaches us about human life.

I am sure you have brought many items which have a small print booklet which explains how the item works and gives a number of instructions about how to best look after the item. You know that the advice is good and reliable and that it is sensible to follow these instructions. The manufacturer is the one who best knows the product. The manufacturer wants to ensure that we do not do things that will inhibit the effectiveness of the product. So if we are sensible we will follow the maker’s instructions.

Today I want to speak about marriage. We are all aware that it is a hot topic in our society.

I would like to look at what is God’s plan for marriage and family. To do this we go back to the Book of Genesis which describes the work of creation.

The high point of God’s wonderful creative work was the creation of human beings. The Book of Genesis says “male and female he created them”. Man and woman were created equal but different. Indeed male and female are complementary to each other. Men need the gifts of woman, and women need the gifts of man. Each contributes to the other. This is the wisdom and intention of the Creator.

Then the Book of Genesis says, “This is why a man leaves his father and mother and joins himself to his wife and they become one”. They become one. Jesus in his teaching on marriage emphasises this when he says that they are no longer two but one, and comments that what God has joined man must not divide. This is a profoundly sacred union ordained by God as the way human life is to be lived.

Something quite extraordinary happens when a man and a woman marry. There is a profound union that results so that they can no longer consider themselves separate from one another. This is far more than a friendship, or a partnership, or some legal commitment, or even a loving union. God has ordained that a man and a woman who are made to complement one another become one. There is a union so deep that it is beyond just the two individuals involved.

This plan of God for human life provides a path for human happiness, and, more importantly it creates a platform, an environment, for the creative act of the love of a man and woman. From their love given physical expression a new human being is created. This new human being needs the complementary contribution of both the man and the woman. A child is the result of their creative potential. The new life is the fruit of the man and the woman. Parents know that their child carries something of each of them. The child knows that he or she is the fruit of this singular and unique union. They know their identity. Indeed they inherit a whole heritage of the generations before. They can trace their origins back in time. They have the security of their clear sense of identity.

It is the security of knowing that they are the fruit of a self-giving love of their father and mother that reassures them that they are loved and cherished by their parents. They can grow up with a confidence and assurance of who they are. It is the love and stability that lays the foundation for their own human flourishing.

This is the plan of God. This is what God had in mind when he created human beings. As the Book of Genesis says, “And it was very good”.

Now we all know that this beautiful plan of God is not realised perfectly. Human beings are marred by sin. We all fail. We all fall short. Marriages break down. Children are born out of wedlock. Love fades.

That is why God sent his only Son. He came to redeem human life. He came to help us find the way through the struggles of life. God the Son became one of us to redeem human love. He came not to condemn but to save. God’s plan for marriage is good and God has sent his Son to redeem human love. We can say, “For best results follow the Maker’s instructions”.

Archbishop Julian Porteous