In Chapter Seven, Sheen addresses the common perception of Joseph being the elderly husband of Mary. At the heart of the theory is the perpetual virginity of Mary. Sheen posits that is was easier to account for virginity due to Joseph’s old age than by virtue or, as Sheen so eloquently puts it, “To make Joseph appear pure only because his flesh had aged is like glorifying a mountain stream that has dried.” Joseph’s gift of his own virginity in their marriage becomes a gift of greater magnitude because he choose it. I like the young Joseph Sheen gives us! It makes sense that young man would walk the journey with this young Mother of God as a protector, a provider, and a model of fatherly love. Sheen ends the chapter with a challenge for married couples that part of their prayer needs to be done together as that prayer is greater than their individual prayers.
Obedience is the subject of Chapter Eight and speaks of obedience in general terms and specific to Jesus. Jesus lived a life of obedience, demonstrated in no greater way than his constant obedience to the will of His Father. How important it is for each of us to discern what God’s will is for us and then to follow it.
The Wedding Feast at Cana is the subject of Chapter Nine and is a natural continuation of obedience from the previous chapter. Jesus obeys the request of Mary in providing more wine for the feast. Sheen gives us two important lessons from this scripture account. First, we must not expect God to transform us without bringing something to be transformed. The servants brought jugs of water to Jesus. Surely, Jesus could have filled empty jugs just as easily with fine wine. But God wants our efforts and will magnify them. In other words, we’ve got to give God something to work with! Second, Mary intercedes to gain us what we need. And the reality is that we often don’t have a clue about what we need! Perhaps our request to Mary should simply be, “Mary, please intercede for us with your Son to give us whatever draws us closer to Him and to root out whatever leads us away from Him. Amen!
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