Saturday, September 1, 2012

A Wedding

A wedding took place today.  Not an unusual thing to have happen on a Saturday afternoon!  But this was a very special wedding for my wonderful brother-in-law Tom Smith took for his bride a very lovely Barb James.  I was honored to have been asked to perform the duties of lector during the Mass.  

One of the readings Barb and Tom chose was taken from Saint Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians.  In the particular passage chosen for the wedding, we hear Paul describe what love is and what it isn't.  Read this slowly and let it sink into your consciousness.

"If I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.  If I give away all that I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude.  Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right.  Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things."  (1 Cor 13: 2-7)

Most of us profess to love someone or something.  We throw the word "love" around very liberally and in doing so we have diluted its true meaning.  Saint Paul knew the difficulties of love.  He knew the true test love is and also knew that in order to succeed, we must turn over complete control to the Living God.  

As Barb and Tom set out on their married life, I ask God to bless them with daily reminders of the beauty of love between a man and a woman.  It is a love that reflects the love that God has for all of us.  

To those of us who have been married for some time, I challenge you to read and absorb the definition of love as outlined above.  Look at your own marriage and see if love is alive and vibrant based upon Paul's description.  Over the years it is so easy to become complacent about love that we take it for granted.  But there is no room for complacency in love.  Renew your marriage and your marital commitment to each other by looking at each element of love and refocusing your attention on that part of love and see what happens.

Above all, let all of us who have chosen the married life as our vocation, be reminded that the only truly successful marriage is one that is based on the love of God as the central focus of the union.  It may not make some days easier, but it will most certainly lead to the peace that God had always intended for us.

To Tom and Barb, may your love be always as fresh and alive as it is today, your wedding day.  May you grow old together with dignity and grace.  May you never take each other or the love that you have for one another for granted.  It is the greatest gift you have received this day and, unlike all the other gifts you receive on this day, will last for an eternity!  Happy Wedding Day!