THEME: TWO WINGS OF MARRIAGE
READINGS: Tobit 8:5-7 /Psalm 127 /John 15:12-16
[Dear reader this is the homily of a wedding which took place on 7th September, 2013, in Accra.]
Marriage could be likened to a bird. Kweku and Esi, from the readings you have chosen, I want to call your attention to two important elements of marriage that could be likened to the two wings of a bird. The wings of marriage are love (gospel reading) and prayer (first reading). As a bird can fly over mountains and across valleys so with love and prayer a couple can fly over the ups (highs) and downs (lows) of marital life. Esi and Kweku, with the sweet combination of love and prayer you can soar over the difficulties and challenges of marriage.
WING OF LOVE: As a bird is only able to fly when it has some energy, so sacrifice, friendship, sincerity and un-conditionality can energize the wing of love (in marriage).
Sacrifice energizes love that is why Jesus says: ‘greater love has no one than to lay down his life for others’ (gospel reading). Therefore, Kweku and Esi be prepared to sacrifice for each other, so as to energize your love.
Another thing which energizes love is friendship that is why Jesus says: ‘I no longer call you servants, but friends’ (gospel reading). Esi and Kweku, your journey to the altar began with friendship which you still enjoy. Your wedding does not mean the end of your friendship; rather it means a greater bond of friendship. So, whatever you have been doing as friends enhance it as wife and husband. [Some marriages have broken down for lack of friendship.]
The third source of energy for the wing of love is sincerity or transparency. Thus, Jesus says: ‘I call you friends because I have made known to you all that I have heard from the Father’ (gospel reading). Kweku and Esi, as long as you remain transparent to each other [with no hidden agenda] your wing of love is energized.
Jesus says: ‘you did not choose me, but I chose you’ (gospel reading). Similarly, Kweku and Esi, each of you chose the other without any conditions, so don’t place any conditionality on the way you will love each other as husband and wife. By this way you can energize your wing of love.
WING OF PRAYER: As a bird cannot fly on only one wing, so love alone is not sufficient to sustain a marriage. Some actors and actresses have each married several times and each time they claimed to have loved their spouse, but the marriage was not sustained because the wing of prayer was absent.
That there is a link between the wing of love and the wing of prayer could be seen from the fact that at the end of the above gospel reading on love, Jesus speaks of prayer: ‘whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you’. The great importance of prayer in marriage can be seen from the fact that the first thing Tobias and Sarah did on the night of their wedding was to pray (first reading).
Like the wing of love, the wing of prayer needs to be energized. In this regard, Kweku and Esi energize your wing of prayer with faith, contrition [genuine sorrow for and confession of sins], humility and good deeds.
CONCLUSION: Kweku and Esi, I pray that your marriage will be, not like an ordinary bird, but like an eagle with majestic wings of love and prayer to fly over the highest mountains (ups) and the across the widest and deepest valley (downs); and that if you have to go down the valley, you will do so with the swiftness of an eagle! Amen!
Enjoy a prosperous, fruitful and happy marriage! Amen!
By Very Rev. Fr. John Louis
Photo Credit: Flickr