Saturday, July 14, 2012

There's a Wedding in my Family

 As I mentioned in an earlier blog post my trip to Honduras, as exciting and fulfilling as it was, will not be the highlight of my year. Why? Because I will be traveling to Boston this week to witness the marriage of my niece, Michelle, to Kevin Donahue.

  A little bit of Catholic theology is in order for my readers who are not Catholic.  You may have noticed that I used the word witness to describe my role in the wedding ceremony.  That is because for us the minister of the Sacrament of Matrimony is the couple themselves.  The priest, the best man and the maid of honor serve as witnesses to the event.  For any family, including ours, a wedding is a big event.  It marks the passing of the family torch on to the next generation.  As a hopelessly incurable romantic I'm sure that my eyes will not be dry when I see my brother Michael walking Michelle down the aisle. Michael and his wife Laureen must surely be proud of Michelle.  She has worked hard in recent years to get her MA in education and to obtain a Massachusetts teaching certificate. More importantly she has found a wonderful man to be her husband.  Next weekend will indeed be one big celebration.

   The wedding will be over sometime before 6:30 on Saturday night.  The marriage will be just beginning. We Catholics count matrimony as one of the seven Sacraments.  What does it mean to call marriage a Sacrament?  In this case it means that every day of their lives Kevin and Michelle will be a living sign of Christ's love for His people in everything they do.  Many good Catholic couples do not fully realize this. They think that the Sacrament is simply a blessing on their marriage at the time of the ceremony. It is that, but so much more.  It is loving each other deeply. It is struggling to get through hard times. It is forgiving the failures that every marriage must endure.  As newlyweds they may be tempted to think that such moments will never happen, but they will. Forgiveness is one of the keys to making a marriage grow.

   An old saying goes "A wedding is a moment, a marriage is a lifetime."  My prayer for Kevin and Michelle and for every married couple is that they share a lifetime filled with many joys and blessings.

   Next week look for a reflection on the big event.

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