The words above, found in last Sunday’s readings for Palm Sunday, St Cyril of
Alexandria interpreted in a way that has
always stuck with me. St Cyril says it was not despite the fact that the Son
was God that He emptied Himself but because He was the Son: The outpouring of
love from the Son to the Father is such that it is normal for the Son to give
Himself totally in this way. God is, by His nature, a perfect relationship in
which the persons are completely constituted by their relations.
It was the love of my wife that brought this teaching alive for me. It was the love of my wife that taught me that in giving myself I achieved happiness and if I could give myself totally, as God can because He is, I could gain total happiness. It was the love my wife that demonstrated to me what it is like to see, in human terms, what an outpouring of love and devotion looks like.
My wife is my teacher in the school of charity. I look at her with fascination, how she waits upon me, how she showers me with affection and a never ending kindness. She has abandoned everything for me and in doing so she has given me a living example of what the relations of God are like in their love and how a Christian should love.
God gives us the sacrament of matrimony so that through our love we can understand that He is love and he also uses marriage to explain His relationship to the Church. The letter to the Ephesians says ‘For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Saviour… “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This is a great mystery, and I mean in reference to Christ and the church’ (Ephesians 5:23 & 31-32).
When I see how my wife loves me with her total, innocent and absolute commitment I understand how I am supposed to love God. Her purity of heart, her truthfulness of feeling, the way she treats me is the way I am meant to approach God. Everything she does presents a beautiful lesson to me in Christian living which lets me see what I could be if my heart were open to Jesus in the right way. I am truly blessed to have been loved so much and I am grateful to God that He has given me a wife who can teach me so much about Himself and how He wants me to live as a Christian.