Homily at the renewal of my parents wedding vows on their 42nd anniversary. This year is their 45th.
Ephesians 5:25-33 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
I have often told young couples entering marriage that they are not getting married for their comfort. This is always hard to for them to understand. In the first bloom of love – when two people are promising themselves to one another – that can seem a bit like a wet blanket.
Young couples have a hard time imagining that wedded bliss would be anything but happiness – they implicitly believe marriage guarantees fulfillment, unconditional love and the absence of conflict. Young men can’t wait to come home after a long day at the office to a perfectly clean house, where the little woman has dinner ready and piled high on the table. Young ladies can’t wait for the security, safety and protection their doting husbands will provide. Someone who finally understands them.
To try to tell the dewy eyed couple that marriage is meant to sanctify them in the most thorough and crushing and glorious way – is hard to pull off. Living 24/7 with someone who is going to know everything ugly, as well as, every beautiful thing about you – is a dangerous prospect.
To enter life with someone who, within a short time, will learn your deepest fears, the exact word to set you off, all the buttons and the proper combination of buttons, that turn you into a maniac. To have the highest hope for someone – who lets you down the most. To try to convince young couples that, like the path of our Lord, marriage is one of selflessness, sorrow, self-denial, humility, service and fellowship that leads to the highest vistas of glorious joy. That is a hard sell. Marriage was not created for comfort. But everything I am saying falls on hard ears in our day. Continue reading “Mr. and Mrs. Paul Kloss”