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With This Ring

with-this-ringBilbo Baggins, lost in a dark cave, discovered a ring of power. He slipped it on his finger and found that it made him invisible, which proved useful in escaping orcs, obtaining information and stealing dragon treasure. Standing before God’s altar, a bride and bridegroom exchange rings. These rings, however, do not make them disappear. These are not rings of power but rings of grace. And grace is a free gift from God which helps make you visible, helps make you real, helps form you into the person God wants you to be so that you can be there for your husband or wife as part of the way that Jesus makes himself present to them. A ring of grace is also a ring of service. We receive God’s grace in the very act of giving of ourselves for the good of another. In Christian marriage, a couple commits themselves to be people of service, service to each other, to their children, to those in need and to the Church and society. Marriage is a Christian path to becoming fully present and responsible and especially, as St. John Paul II has said, to making the invisible love of God visible and tangible through our words and deeds. This is the glorious ring of grace and service that you receive from your spouse as a sign of love and fidelity in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.