Welcoming future participants in the Congress on the Family, which will take place in Jonkoping, Sweden from May 14-16, the Holy Father taught on love and marriage on Wednesday. Through the love present in marriage, he said, we are given an idea of the love that awaits us in Heaven.
The Pope’s words on marriage came during his English-language greeting of the general audience in St. Peter’s Square.
The message of the congress to the world is one of joy, said the Holy Father, “because God’s gift to us of marriage and family life enables us to experience something of the infinite love that unites the three divine persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit.”
Noting that “human beings, made in the image and likeness of God, are made for love,” he proposed that through the love between spouses, parents and children and siblings “we are offered a foretaste of the boundless love that awaits us in the life to come.
“Marriage is truly an instrument of salvation, not only for married people but for the whole of society,” he underscored.
He went on to explain that “like any worthwhile goal,” it is demanding, challenging and calls us to sacrifice for the good of another while also inviting us to “nurture and protect the gift of new life.”
The stable family, the Holy Father added, is the “first and most fundamental school for virtuous living and the qualities of good citizenship.”
The Diocese of Sweden’s congress aims to shed light on “Love and Life” through the three days of prayer, discussion and addresses. The talks will focus on God’s plan for men and women in marriage, the rights of children and social changes and challenges for Christian families today. Programs for children and youth have also been organized for the congress.
Pope Benedict concluded his message to participants by encouraging all people to “promote a proper understanding and appreciation of the inestimable good that marriage and family life offer to human society.”