Saturday, June 16, 2012

Homily for the Holy Marriage of Dilshan Perera and Carolynn Baker

Matthew 19:4-6; Ephesians 5:1-2, 22-33; Genesis 2:7, 18-24

In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.

There is something special and sacred about marriage. Marriage is the oldest institution known to humankind. It was instituted by God Himself in the Garden of Eden as He joined the man that He had created from the earth, Adam, to the woman He had created from Adam’s flesh, Eve, and the two became one flesh.
Individually, they were each created in the image of God, having the capacity to love another selflessly and sacrificially. But, that image became clearer still as they then could give to each other and receive from each other that selfless and sacrificial love, and thus know more fully the kind of love that their Creator and God had for them. Their union was so very close, so very intimate, that it made them to be as one flesh. Eve was Adam’s body, and Adam was Eve’s head, bone of bone, flesh of flesh, both having the love and the life of God within them.

God made them to be creators like Him, or, more precisely, pro-creators with Him. They had the ability and the potentiality within them to bear fruit and to bring forth new life. But, this could only happen with love – true selfless and sacrificial love. For, the man must truly die to himself and his selfishness and selfish ways and live for his wife, for her welfare, for her life, and for her salvation. And, likewise, the woman must truly die to herself and her selfishness and selfish ways and live for her husband, for his welfare, for his life, and for his salvation. This manner of sacrificial selflessness happens spiritually. It happens emotionally. And, yes, it happens physically in the sexual union of husband and wife.

In truth we are not so unlike the varied trees of the garden. For, we too bear the seed of our own kind within us. And, when that seed is rightly fertilized, we have the potentiality of producing fruit according to our own kind – children, likewise pro-created in the image of God. The man’s seed, alone, cannot produce this fruit. The woman’s seed, alone, cannot produce this fruit. But, when the seed is brought together, each seed dies to what it was before, and new fruit, new life is brought forth. Indeed, this was the image that Jesus used to describe His selfless and sacrificial death saying, “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” Because the Son of God selflessly and sacrificially gave Himself up for His Bride, the Church, She lives and She bears much fruit in many sons and daughters of faith to the glory of God. Moreover, God so selflessly and sacrificially loved the world that He gave His Son into death, that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but will have everlasting life.

Today, God’s sacred institution of marriage is under attack. Truly, it has always been under attack, often even amongst those who claim to hold it sacred. Divorce is the absolute opposite of the love of God that you are called to image in your marriage. This Jesus taught saying, “What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” And, likewise, men can play with words all that they want, but they can never change what marriage is or redefine it. For, marriage is, as God instituted it to be, the lifelong union of a man and woman. And, only in this arrangement and order is the image of God made manifest in the potential for pro-creation in accordance with God’s providence and blessing.

Shan and Carrie, always remember the sacred vows that you make to each other this day before God and these witnesses, and also the blessing that you have asked from God upon your union. He will bless it, richly and abundantly, in accordance with His good and holy will. But, as the institution of marriage suffers attack today, likewise will your own union be subject to many trials, temptations, and tribulations. There will be economic struggles when you will differ about how and when to spend money, and how and where to attain money. There will be philosophical struggles about the roles of men and women, husbands and wives, fathers and mothers. There will be disagreements about time and time management. And there may even be temptations from those outside of your marriage that threaten to get in between you two or sever your union. Again, you have asked God’s blessing upon your union. He will bless it, richly and abundantly, in accordance with His good and holy will. But you must remember the third partner in your marriage, Jesus Christ. And, you must not simply remember Him, but you must make Him to be the center of your marriage, the glue that holds your marriage together, the glory of your marriage. For, He is your love. He is your life. He is the forgiveness you have received from God, and He is the forgiveness with which you forgive each other. He is the grace that you give. He is the mercy that you show. He is the compassion that you have. He is the sacrifice that you make. Remember Him, give thanks to Him, and praise Him in the morning when you rise up, and in the evening when you lie down, at mealtimes, and as you contemplate important decisions. Shan, give thanks to Him for Carrie. Carrie, give thanks to Him for Shan. And, He will bless you, and keep you, and make of you a rich blessing to each other, to your family, and to countless others who witness in your one flesh union the selfless, sacrificial love and image of God.

In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

No comments: