MALOLOS City, Bulacan , Nov. 1, 2016 – Four inmates were finally able to receive the Sacrament of Matrimony with their long-time partners on Oct. 29 at the Bulacan Provincial Chapel, Malolos City as part of the Prison Awareness Week initiated by the Diocese of Malolos’ Volunteers in Prison Service.
With Bulacan Provincial Jail (BPJ) chaplain Fr. Ricardo C. Moraga celebrating the Holy Mass and officiating the marriage rites, the brides and grooms were reminded that married life should be governed by “the presence God”.
“For the meantime, you shall be separated by the bars of the prison yet you should be united in mind and heart through prayer,” explained Rev. Arvin Ray C. Jimenez, who gave the homily.
An extraordinary relationship
Urging the couples to always pray for one another, Jimenez said the sacrament of marriage is primarily “a sacrament of God’s love.”
“We love because God loved us first (1 John 14:19). God loves our four brother-inmates that is why He gave them … their wives,” he said. And referring to the brides he added: “It is the concretized love of God that you share with your husbands.”
“Your married life will be an extraordinary relationship and it will entail sacrifice from the husbands and the wives,” stressed Jimenez. “Your love and commitment to one another should keep your relationship alive… Remain faithful to one another,” he said.
Reflecting further upon the liturgy’s first reading, 1 Corinthians 13:3-13, he said the couples should be “patient, enduring, and hopeful”. These three virtues, Jimenez said, will help them succeed in their married life.
‘Hope for a new life’
“Wives, you should be patient [with your] husband because you will need to visit them in prison in order to be together. You need to endure certain sacrifices that will be necessary to keep your relationship. And hope should always be alive in your hearts that the time will come that you shall be together freely,” Jimenez said.
“On the other hand, husbands should be patient as you stay in prison as a consequence of the past. You need to endure many difficulties here in your cells. But you now have your wives as your source of hope, hope for a new life, and hope that in the future, everything will be well for you,” he added.
Present during the event were members of the Volunteers in Prison Service of the Malolos Diocese, and members of different organizations involved in the prison service. Family members and relatives of the couples and all the BPJ inmates were allowed to witness the wedding ceremony. (ARCJ / CBCPNews)