“Like Abraham, all husbands and wives ‘set out’ from their own land at the moment when, in response to the vocation to conjugal love, they decide to give themselves to each other without reserve,” he said.
He explained that “different situations in life, the passage of time, the arrival of children, work and illness, all challenge couples to embrace anew their commitment to one another, to leave behind settled habits, certainties and security, and to set out towards the land that God promises: to be two in Christ, two in one.”
Francis reminded spouses that their “lives become a single life; you become a ‘we’ in loving communion with Jesus, alive and present at every moment of your existence. God is always at your side; he loves you unconditionally. You are not alone!”
The pope also addressed young adults preparing for marriage, encouraging them to have the “creative courage” of St. Joseph, especially if they are trying to find stable employment. He urged engaged couples to “always trust in God's providence,” even if money is tight, because “difficulties can bring out resources we did not even think we had.”
“Do not hesitate to rely on your families and friends, on the ecclesial community, on your parish, to help you prepare for marriage and family life by learning from those who have already advanced along the path on which you are now setting out,” he stated.
Recognizing the importance of the identity and mission of the laity both in the Church and in society, he stated that married couples “have the mission of transforming society by your presence in the workplace and ensuring that the needs of families are taken into due account.”
“May Saint Joseph inspire in all families a creative courage, so essential for these times of epochal change,” Pope Francis said. “May Our Lady help you to foster in your married lives the culture of encounter that we so urgently need in order to face today’s problems and troubles.”
“No amount of difficulty can take away the joy of those who know that they are walking with the Lord ever at their side. Live out your vocation with enthusiasm,” he urged. “Never allow your faces to grow sad or gloomy; your husband or wife needs your smile. Your children need your looks of encouragement. Your priests and other families need your presence and your joy: the joy that comes from the Lord!”