August 17, 2010

MARRIAGE: THE GOOD WINE (a wedding homily), Part 4 By Cormac Burke

To read Part 3 go here.

The marriage vow is a vow of fidelity unto death. Its bond can never be broken except by death. Our Lord Jesus Christ proclaimed this in these solemn words: "What God has joined together let no man put asunder." The knowledge that you have freely and consciously accepted this life-long and unbreakable character of marriage, and are fully determined to maintain it, gives to each of you a deep trust in the quality of the love your partner feels for you. When people who believe in divorce get married, they can never have this assurance of an unconditional love on their partner's part. The very beginnings of their marriage rest on shaky foundations.

In this Mass I pray with the Church that your marriage may be fruitful: that you may live to see your children's children to the third and fourth generation. Children are God's first gift and blessing to a married couple. Though many people today may seem to doubt this, may you never doubt it. Each child you receive from God is a sign of trust on his part, a vote of divine confidence in you. Observe that trust with gratitude, with a constant sense of the privilege of being sharers in God's creative work. If you receive your children in this way, each child will be not only the fruit of your love but also its pillar and mainstay.

May each year that passes make you love each other even more deeply and tenderly than now. May the ups and downs of life, and the weaknesses of each of you, only serve ? with God's grace ? to make your love mature and firm and serene. And so your children will find in you parents who, loving each other and loving them with a strong, unwavering, tender, wise, generous and self-sacrificing love, reflect in some way the love God has for each of us his children.

Mary was present at the Cana wedding party. She cared for the human happiness of this couple, even down to the small detail of wanting to spare them embarrassment for bad catering. How much more must she have cared for their love for each other throughout their married life. She was their friend. What an inspiration her love and friendship must have been to them in learning to love each other and their children more ? more purely, more truly, more humanly ? and in doing so, to learn to love God more. I feel no doubt that this marriage, so blessed from its very beginning, was a happy marriage indeed. But it was more: it was one of the many holy marriages of history; and that the couple of Cana, unknown to us by name, are high up among the saints in heaven.

We have seen in the Gospel Mary's concern for the happiness of the young couple at Cana. Place yourselves under her protection and intercession, so that the good wine of your present love for each other and for God may never run out, may always remain good; and so that, by the grace and divine power of the Sacrament you are about to administer to one another, you may learn to turn all the little incidents that make up life ? the apparently colorless and insipid water of everyday living ? into the richest possible wine of love for each other, love for your children, and love for God.

Visit Monsignor Cormac Burke's excellent website for related content and more.

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