Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wedding Homily #1

    On behalf of Kevin and Susan, welcome and thank you for coming to share in their joy during this special moment in their lives.  It is traditional in the church for the priest to offer a few words of reflection.  Since I came to priesthood later in life, I am fortunate to have personal experience of thirty years of marriage to draw upon in these comments. 
    If you are anything like me, there are movies that can suck us in whenever they are on TV.  One of those movies for me is “The Music Man”, especially the older, classic one.  Now Professor Harold Hill and Marian the Librarian never get married in that movie, but I like to think they were on their way to getting that done next.  Now I can see a bit of Professor Hill and the librarian here in Kevin and Susan.  Kevin's is not a con man like the good Professor was but he had a “bit of the devil” in him in his younger years.  He certainly put Susan firmly in his sights several years ago and did not give up in trying to get her to be his wife.  Susan is not a librarian, but she does certainly seem to know what she wants in life and has a sensible way about going to get it. 
    One of the most forgettable songs in the movie is “My White Night”.  I cannot even hum a bit of it for you.  However, it has some amazingly useful words.  At one point the lyrics say, “I would like him to be more interested in me than he is in himself; and more interested in us than in me.”  If every bride and groom could live by those words, what wonderful home lives they would have.  Let me rephrase those words for you.  If Kevin loves Susan more than he loves himself and loves the two of them together more than he loves Susan; while Susan loves Kevin more than herself and loves the two of them together more than she loves Kevin we will be celebrating their 25th and 50th anniversaries sometime down the road.  The very examples of love that you both grew up with in your own families should be useful to you.  Family life is important to you both and this new expanded family you will share will be full of love and joy.
    Susan and Kevin have chosen to get married here in the Church in the presence of God adding yet another dimension to their wedding day and their marriage.  God is part of every marriage ceremony here in the Church as He has been a part of your lives up to this point.  As we heard in the 2nd reading today, “hold onto what is good, love one another with mutual affection,... do not grow slack in zeal”.  These are powerful words and a strong challenge.  I can speak from personal experience that your words to each other, at times, will be taken the wrong way and will cause pain.   Be quick to apologize,  be quick to reach out to the other, be even quicker to acknowledge that you may have been wrong.  Remember that Christ lives in each of you; strive to see God in each other every day.  Pray privately every day and pray together every day.  I know that sounds strange, but let me add a bit more.  Spouses  need private time and couple time.  In that private time, I usually spent some time in prayer.  If I did not, my wife noticed and called me on it.  She could tell, just in how I was relating to her, if I was praying or not.  So, do pray in private and together.   I also invite you to pray with the community wherever you decide to live by staying connected to God through His local Church. 
    This day will soon, perhaps too soon, come to an end.  There will be glitches (there always are), it will not be absolutely perfect.  But your memories of it will be perfect.  To paraphrase my wife, “It wasn't a perfect day, but there were perfect moments”.  That is a good model for your married life.  Not every day will be perfect, but you can forget the bad and remember the good.  Look for those perfect moments and cherish them.  God willing, there will be thousands upon thousands of days and perfect moments for you to spend with each other as a married couple and with the children you plan on bringing into the world. 

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