“In my wretchedness, and with cloak and mantle torn I fell on my knees.” –Ezra 9:5

Ezra was wretched, ashamed, confounded, and heaped with guilt (Ezr 9:5-6). He was so distraught because of mixed marriages. Many Jewish people had married Gentiles (see Ezr 9:2).

In our society, where men are even trying to “marry” men and women trying to “marry” women, we find it hard to relate to Ezra’s anguish. However, in the new covenant, we have even more reason to be concerned about mixed marriages. In the old covenant, when Jews married Gentiles, they married those who were not among the chosen people. However, Christians who marry non-Christians do not share with their spouses the new nature in Christ. Non-Christian spouses are creatures of God but not His sons and daughters. That’s why some who became Christians after they had been married considered leaving their non-Christian spouses (1 Cor 7:12). That’s why Paul taught that widows were free to remarry “on one condition, that it be in the Lord” (1 Cor 7:39).

Although the most severely mixed marriages are when Christians marry non-Christians, other mixed marriages of much lesser but still significant degrees are when Catholics marry non-Catholics or when committed Catholics marry lukewarm Catholics. The Lord does not want married couples to be unequally yoked. For love of God and all people, let us pray, as Ezra prayed, for a miracle.

PRAYER: Father, restore Your order to marriages and society.

PROMISE: “Take nothing for the journey, neither walking staff nor traveling bag; no bread, no money.” –Lk 9:3

PRAISE: God gave St. Pio the gift of reading hearts, particularly when hearing Confessions. He overcame demons and cured diseases by the power of God.

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