Meredith and Andrew, you give us an opportunity to appreciate together a mystery of Mary and the mystery you are becoming today in Christian marriage. By choosing today for your wedding, its Solemnity of the Assumption into heaven of the Blessed Virgin Mary allows us to consider destiny, very fitting as you begin your married life together. First, Mary modeling Christian destiny; then, you living it through Christian marriage.
Several are the ways to appreciate Mary’s assumption into heaven: as mystery; as her personal participation in her son’s resurrection; as dogma—an article of faith we cannot abandon and call ourselves Catholic; and as destiny.
Christian destiny is not that unwelcome, even cruel, reversal we name fate. Nor is Christian destiny predetermined, insulting human freedom to make life fruitless folly. No! Christian destiny is life with our triune God, as Jesus revealed it and as Jesus fulfilled it in his dying and rising.
Mary modeled the already of God’s saving power: My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Savior for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant. ...the Almighty has done great things for me and holy is his Name. She shared her joy by caring for her pregnant cousin.
Being saved, that is, being caught up in Jesus’ risen life at our every breath, fuels each one’s Christian life. Christians by their choices and actions grow in union with our Messiah Jesus and one another; living their union with Jesus affects others and the world, infusing the world with the effects of faith, hope and love/1/ and changing lives.
That last, Christian love does not insist on its own way, brings us back to the hallmark of Christian love: it’s mutual. Andy and Meredith, 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—our destiny. You’ll never lack for Jesus’ companionship blessing your love with the love of the Trinity.
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. Your married life, with its challenges and its privileged joys, will allow you to live your Christian destiny and help others to live it, too.
1. See Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity, 4, of The Second Vatican Council.
2. Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, 11, of The Second Vatican Council.
3. Rite of Marriage, Ch.2: 42.
Wiki-images by Jason Hutchins of exchanging wedding rings and by pabloendemico of Calceolaria cana