Marriage Homily: Wedding Feast at Cana
Wedding/ Gospel Cana
You remember the BIG wedding that took place this spring in England: Prince William and Kate Middleton? The Carters were there at the time and they saw the 1ST KISS. Maybe you were among the Millions who viewed the pageantry and WEDDING VOWS on TV. I was most interested in the HOMILY. So just as Bishop Rowan began his homily at the Royal Wedding, with a quote from St. Catherine of Siena, Brian and Caitlyn, I would like to begin with the same words for you on your wedding day. The words were meant as a challenge to the Royal Couple and now to you. The quote is: “BE WHO GOD MEANT YOU TO BE AND YOU WILL SET THE WORLD ON FIRE.”
Catherine was a professed religious, but her words underscore the essence of any Christian Vocation. That essence is living in the LOVE and JOY that God gives in that Holy Vocation. Yours is MARRIAGE.
Brian and Caitlyn, I have no doubt that you are following the path that God has meant for you. While, ( Brian growing up in Sioux City, schooling in Omaha and Washington and work in Chicago and Caitlyn growing up in Kansas City, school in Waco and work in Chicago) your journeys crossed in Chicago in July of 2008 at the School Yard Tap. There you talked through most of the night. There the FIRE was lit. Love and Joy started to grow.
Married couples usually remember their first meeting. But what is remarkable, is the PROFOUND change to Love that brings such joy. Grandpa Joe/ Grandma Mary Ann met at a St. Patrick’s Day Dance. 8 months later they married on Thanksgiving Day, nearly 65 years ago. Nearly 36 years ago JOHN and COLLEEN met at a dental party, but it was on their first date 1 week later that they in talking to each other knew they had found their true love. Beth and I met in the Briar Cliff Library over a Crunch Bar. July 29th it will be 39 years of marriage.
For you Brian and Caitlyn, like us, it was the HOUR of profound change from which each person would grow, to rise each day to a new way of THINKING, LIVING and CARING. It was the HOUR when LOVE took us through a door, where ONLY TRUE LOVE could. We were offered the chance to grow not only in, JOY and COMFORT, but when ever necessary, be ready to endure SADNESS and PAIN, because TRUE LOVE makes them INDISTINGUISHABLE.
We all seemed to know what God wanted us to be …HUSBANDS and WIVES. But still the challenge lingers, how would we ‘set the world on fire’? For some great insight, we need only to enter into the mystery of the Wedding Feast at Cana.
First: Know that marriage is a BLESSING from God to those that He has JOINED together. God established and sanctified it from the beginning. In Jewish families they deeply believed the HAND of God was upon the Bride and Groom. A Marriage was celebrated for 7 days. And the couple was treated like Royalty. So it has been for you and the Carter and Karpuk families. Your courtship and marriage is a blessing from God and has taken us on a heavenly joy ride.
Second: Know that like Jesus, we all live in God’s TIME SCHEDULE. The fact that the first miracle was at a wedding and it happened after the Bride and Groom ran out of wine…tells us, God has things happen, when they happen, for a reason. It happened at Cana, where the Glory of God was revealed at a time of IMPORTANCE and would be NOTICED. The Wedding celebration was to have joyful music and dancing. The feast was to have good food, but the KEY was the WINE. Wine is the symbol of God’s Love and Joy. God has a plan for us all… just like your first meeting in Chicago, God will reveal His path of Love and Joy for you, in His TIME SCHEDULE.
Third: Use Mary, our Blessed Mother as a guide for PRAYER in life. The first step for any of your needs and problems is to make Mary aware of them. Even those that seem trivial, like the request to provide more wine. It was NOT good hospitality to run out of wine. Mary knew what the bride and groom needed then and if you let her know your needs, she will bring them to Jesus, and Jesus being a good SON will not let one of His mother’s concerns go unsolved.
Fourth: Be OBEDIENT as the servants were obedient to Mary and Jesus. Mary told them ‘to do as He tells you to do’ and Jesus told them to fill the Jars and they did. They might have been busy, they might have had to go a long ways to get water, but they filled them to the brim without complaint. And then, when they were told to serve from the jars that they knew had the water …they did as Jesus asked. In the end they too reveled in the joy of the Water turned Wine. We are called to be servants to WORD of Jesus Our Lord: obey them wholeheartedly and without complaint and you will bring LOVE and JOY to each other and those around you.
Fifth: LIVE the MEANING of the 1st miracle at Cana! For Jesus it meant that He is now the instrument for the revelation of God’s power and glory. And it would continue, even as He died on the Cross. And through each miracle or act of love, the disciples were moved to believe in Him. For us too, the miracle of Cana can be the start of our belief in Jesus. Jesus changing water into wine, is symbolic of Him changing that what was ordinary in life to into something that adds love and joy to married life. In the miracle of marriage He changes each of you into a loving spouse …and that brings joy, a Blessing for all mankind.
Brian and Caitlyn, some people are eager to see you profess your wedding VOWS, some want to see the 1st KISS, Some can’t wait for the WINE at the reception. I know God is eager for all of this too. But I think He is even more eager for you to grow in His LOVE and JOY, so you can ‘Set the World on Fire’. Are you ready to accept the challenge?