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Wedding Reflection for Loretta and Marty
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This was a homily for their wedding.

July 12, 1987


Today, Loretta and Marty, is the first day of the rest of your lives. As trite as that may sound, I say it to emphasize—even to celebrate—this new beginning you make today. How many of us wish we could begin again and to do it right this time. How exciting and inspiring your willingness to make a fresh start, putting aside some old cares, taking up new responsibilities for one another. This is the first day.

How fitting that on this first day of your commitment to each other that you come to this place, to this sacred space, and prayerfully thank God for his blessings in your lives and ask that God to bless your love for one another. The union you pledge before your Lord is destined to be a small sign of God’s love for us. Your fidelity and persevering love is an echo for all of us to hear. Your fidelity and persevering love writes large for the rest of us to see and be reminded of that faithful and eternal love that God has shown for us. We begin your life together in the presence of the God of love, before whom you pledge your troth. How fitting, indeed!

Our society pays loud lip service to the values of fidelity and family and persevering love. The undercurrent—the push and pull of daily life is quite other. Separation, divorce, infidelity and deceit are glamorized on every side. I need not dwell on these realities. I bring them up at all simply as a fair warning to you that the path you are planning for yourselves today will face many obstacles. Maintaining your stated values will mean you must move against the current. I ask you and the rest of you family and friends gathered round you to encourage you to set your values high, and then follow them out with courage. The going will be easy, but you can do it. You have the example of a host of family and friends who have been loyal and faithful. Follow them and do not be deceived by the double standards with glamorous undercurrents so blatantly displayed by our society.

Prayer is not just asking for something from God. Before anything else prayer—any prayer—admits your dependence on God. Recognize that dependence; do not hesitate to call God’s attention to that dependence. From I, your need for help flows. Thanking and glorifying your creator come first. Being a prayerful couple is a value of the first order. Let humble prayer be a fundamental part of your lives.

Be unique. Treasure your individuality, but channel it toward the unity that you espouse toady. Foster what unites and makes for peace. Shun selfishness and be quick to root out what leads to disunity and a lack of peace.

Much more obviously could be said. Advice is easy to give. In the long run it is only seasoning. The quality of your love and the life you will live together is the substance, and only you can manage that.

My hope is that the beauty of this day and the intensity of this hour will be a constant reminder to you through the years of the importance of the work you take up today. Prayer, music, candles, the presence of loved ones and friends, all of these combine to impress you deeply with the importance of this work you begin together. We support you and encourage you. Our prayer is that the solemnity of this hour will continue to support you and spur you on in the ever-deepening process of being family.

Today is the first day of the rest of your lives.
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