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On Your Wedding Day

May 26, 2022 Our Catholic Faith No Comments


On this splendid day, for which you have waited with joyful anticipation, you are surrounded by many of those you love, and who love you: family and friends.
We share your joy to see this moment, when your love for one another will begin a new and deeper reality: the ultimate sharing. The uniting of your bodies and souls.
Love seeks union, to be with the one who is loved.
You indeed love each other very much. It is part of loving to want to give more and more. You want to be together, for all of life, with all that entails. Love gives all. This is indeed a beautiful gift.
But that of itself does not explain why we find ourselves here, in this place. Why are we gathered in this chapel which is inspired by faith, calling for a response of faith, its architecture and adornment pointing to the holy and to God, its supernatural source?
You were drawn to celebrate your nuptial ritual here by the beauty of this place. You have experienced the truth that your hearts were made to love beauty. This chapel in which we are gathered eloquently proclaims the highest beauty: of God and His love.
The arched and vaulted ceiling points upward, like hands in prayer seeking God. Love ever reaches for God by speaking with and praising Him. Stained-glass windows organize the fire of created light into a beautiful design, communicating something of the One whose power illumines it. God seeks to be one with us in all He has made and in all He does.
We are gathered in a place of prayer and worship, a place to seek and proclaim He who in love gave us the life which makes loving possible. Here, in our holy Catholic ritual we pray, proclaim the Word of God and bless. We acknowledge the Lord through faith.
From that uncreated Source, from Him who is spirit and truth, you will together receive a spiritual union necessary for a true bodily union, His love and His will for you.
Unity in the Lord is the basis of unity between all of us, and no less for man and wife.
We, God’s minister and members of His faithful people, are accompanying you also in order to witness this supreme moment. Matrimony is a social sacrament: a grace to be recognized, respected, and honored by all the members of the Body of Christ. Moments from now by His grace you will be joined inseparably as you give and receive consent to an exclusive relationship, for the whole of life open to life, and for all that comes with it.
This is the truth about love: Love gives all. You trust in God because He gives all in Christ, He who is all good, and the only One you can truly trust to guide you in love and goodness as you join your lives in Him.
God is love. Therefore love is holy. Your lives will reflect and diffuse God’s love as you grow like Him in holiness.
Love is ever open to life: In the gift of your joining as one flesh you are blessed with power by God to bring a new life into the world; a gift for man and woman alone. Like God the Creator. Love is merciful and forgiving, in God’s Son, our Redeemer. Share His love so as to share His mercy. Be gentle with one another and in your imperfections you will seek perfection together.
What will be the foundation and strength of your covenant love, one flesh with each other?
Humbly keep the Commandments. Pray with each other and, in particular, with the Lord’s people at holy Mass on the Lord’s Day each week. Seek the fellowship of believing families to strengthen and support your own marriage and family life.
Raise your children to follow your example in these ways of faith; to be holy as God is holy. There is no more precious inheritance two loving parents can bestow upon their children. There is no greater treasure possible than the final attainment of union with Love Himself in Heaven. The hope which seeks God should be for us the beauty of daily life for every vocation.
The rings you have chosen and which you will wear every day are enduring — lasting — like the love of God. I will bless them so that, as holy symbols they will ever remind you of He who is the unfailing and ever faithful source of your love for each other. Depend on Him.
The rings are made of precious material: Always hold one another, and the vows which bind you, as the most precious person in your life after God who is the source of love and life. The rings are round: unending in form. The eternal love of God upon which you stand today as your married life begins, and which will be your strength every day, is also your home and destiny when this life is through.
Thus, the greatest gift you will give to each other, and the children with whom we pray the Lord will bless you, will be to pray, and work and hope for the life of Heaven as the goal of your striving. This is faith and also the total gift of self which is the truth about holy matrimony.
We have placed before us on our altar, itself a symbol of sacrifice, a crucifix: the image of our Lord at the supreme moment of His love for us. In giving Himself up to death, to redeem us from our sins, He also irrevocably joined Himself to the Church as Spouse. He gives divine life through grace as you, husband and wife, share the gift of human life through the ultimate embrace of matrimony.
Christianity without the cross is Christianity without the Christ from whom we take our name as believers. The cross is life. All of us who are baptized live already the supernatural life of Heaven in Him by grace as members of His Body the Church. The Church was born by blood and water from the dying Christ who also rose from the dead.
Crosses will come. They are a part of every life and they will be a part of yours as well. Suffering, in faith, is also a way of loving. Our Lord Jesus, through His cross which always brings life, will do so for you if you join your crosses always to His.
Make the Lord the center of your lives through our holy Catholic faith. You will have all you need for the hope and joy you and your family will need in this life and completed in the life to come.
Matrimony is also an answer to the perennial battle against evil in which we are all joined from the moment of our Baptism.
I close with a beautiful thought from Raymond Cardinal Burke, “There is no greater force against evil in the world than the love of a man and a woman in marriage. After the Eucharist, it has power beyond anything we can imagine.”
(Homily delivered for the wedding of my nephew Riley and his bride Jingyi which took place at the Danforth Chapel of Berea College in Kentucky. May the Lord abundantly bless and increase their love each day.)
Thank you for reading and praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever. Support faithful Catholic journalism by subscribing to The Wanderer Catholic newspaper today.

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