Gn 2. 18-24; Ps 128; 1Co 12.31-13-8a; Jn 15. 9-12
Homily of Fr. Paul Panaretos, S.J.
Two Making One LIfe
Julie and Brice, you give us an opportunity to appreciate more God’s word as we join in your celebration of the Sacrament of Matrimony. You chose St. Francis Chapel of this university because you enjoyed your first date at John Carroll. Together you made history with your first date. Because yours is the first wedding I witness here, this is our first date at John Carroll to make new history.
Making history: to begin history is part of making history. Weddings celebrate history begun as well as history yet to be lived. Your wedding is about your early history growing into this present moment and opening onto your future, as two individuals making one life together.
In choosing the selection from the Book of Genesis, you confess and proclaim that God, who has created you, has brought you together, and you implore God to favor you in your mutual love and life. The scriptural phrase, one body, is expressed by mutual love and living.
Jesus gave new emphasis to mutuality. It was a new emphasis because from the beginning God made men and women partners. Humans ceded more to men than women from the beginning, too, which frustrated God’s desire for humans. The new emphasis Jesus gave rested in his word abide: abide in my love, which was and is a mutual love sealed by divine love. “As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love.”
You allowed St. Paul to remind you and all of us that abiding, mutual Christian love is practical. It will challenge you, at times with some surprise. Christian love St. Paul reminded is patient and kind, but sometimes lovers are not. Christian love does not envy or boast, but sometimes lovers do. Christian love bears...[and] endures all things, but sometimes lovers do not. Christian love does not insist on its own way but sometimes lovers do.
That last, that Christian love does not insist on its own way brings us back to the hallmark of Christian love: it is mutual. Brice and Julie, I want to affirm what you have allowed me to see: your desire to live a Catholic marriage. I also want to remind you that at each step of making one life together, Jesus accompanies you, drawing you and your love for each other into the mutual love, which his Father and Jesus and their Spirit enjoy. You’ll never lack for Jesus’ companionship blessing your love with the love of the Trinity.
Your mutual compassion for one another will fashion you from today as a domestic church./1/ Your married life will help you save each other’s souls and welcome “children lovingly from God”/2/; your married life will also allow Jesus to work through you for the sake of the world. You will never lose your individual selves. Instead, both of you will strive to make one life together.
Even more than the way you give love, the way you receive love from each other will allow Jesus to guide you on that still more excellent way, your mutual compassion. Jesus embodied and models compassion for you and for all, and continues creating you to be the man and woman God desires you to be for each other.
I’m very proud of you and, I wish you every good thing. I congratulate you on behalf of the church. It is true that Jesus created you for one another. It is even more true that Jesus will create you each moment for everything ahead of you. Please remember that in pledging yourselves to each other you allow Jesus to work through you for the salvation of each other as well as our world. As you forge one life together Jesus begets something new: a new harmony to feel Jesus creating you and your mutual love for each other, and to help us and others feel Jesus recreating the world as the world sees you receive love as well as give it and abide in it.
1. Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, 11, of The Second Vatican Council.
2. Rite of Marriage, Ch.2: 42.
Wiki-images of Jesus' farewell to his disciples (when he said, "Abide in my love") and of wedding rings are in the public domain .