Our concept of love changes as we move through life and in the process, we, too, are changed. Consider this description of the first decades of a marriage.
“A young woman and a young man meet, fall in love, and get married. At that stage of their lives they probably were fairly immature. Their agendas were mostly their own happiness and a natural self-centeredness that comes with being young. Then, without realizing all the implications for their lives, they began to have children. From the moment their first child was born, as Jesus told Peter in John 24:18, they were led to where they 'would rather not have gone.' For the next twenty-five to fifty years, every time they turn around, a number of tiny and not so tiny hands are stretched out, demanding something of them—their time, their energy, their money, their car keys, their telephone, their sympathy, their understanding, their hearts. Whether they wanted to or not, they matured. For twenty-five years to fifty years they were forced (instinctively driven) to think of others beyond themselves.”
Ronald Rolheiser, The Holy Longing
What is often missed in those years of “going where you would rather not have gone” is that in the “going there” one learns to love as God loves, with a love that is richer, deeper and more satisfying than what was thought to be love before. This love is truly of God for we are made in the “image and likeness of God,” that is, we have the same "DNA" as their Creator who is Love. God’s plan is that the very circumstances of our lives, love, being married and having children, are not accidental but integral to the passing of the parents from infatuation to love, from self-centeredness to altruism. So it is that, through this multitude of unselfish actions and decisions, these love-seeking persons are drawn into the fullness of God and into the best versions of themselves. This is truly following Christ by doing what He did, allowing love for the people and the circumstances of our everyday lives to lead us to find God and, in the process, find ourselves and each other, too. For we are one.
Think of your married life in the light of this and how, perhaps, unconsciously you and your spouse have been, not only raising a family, but also maturing individually and together into the best versions of yourselves.
When we come together, acknowledging and honoring God this weekend, let us celebrate that all of our life is in, through and with our God of Love. Let’s say a communal “Yes” to where we are being led, by Whom we are being led and with Whom we are being led. We are Alive and in love – as the Body of Christ.
2017 WEDDING ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS AT THE CATHEDRAL BASILICA
We are preparing for the annual tradition of honoring those couples in our Archdiocese who will celebrate five, twenty-five and fifty years of Christian marriage in the Year 2017. These anniversary liturgies will be celebrated by Cardinal Joseph Tobin in the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark as follows: Sunday, April 30 - 3:00 P.M. - 5 and 25 years (registration deadline - Wednesday, April 14) and Sunday May 7 - 3:00 P.M. - 50 years (registration deadline - Wednesday, April 21). Registration forms are available at the Parish Center.