February 26, 2022
+ It is an understatement to say that I am honored to officiate at this service today.
Both Annette and Mark are two people I consider close and very dear friends.
I am very grateful for their friendship in my life.
And nothing gives me more delight than to see close and dear friends celebrate the love they have for each other.
Today is a glorious day.
It really is.
What we celebrate today is love, yes.
The love between Annette and Mark and the love we have for them.
But we celebrate so much more today as well.
We celebrate the fact that this marriage is a shining example of resurrection, of the dawn that comes after the darkest night.
Now, I warned them both about what I would preach today, because this is my standard Nuptial homily.
In fact, a few weeks ago, I even foreshadowed this homily in one of my Sunday morning sermons.
Of course, that Sunday I also said that the last person you would ever imagine to stand up and preach a sermon about how romantic, marital love is a grace from God is from a celibate, asexual priest.
But sometimes you need someone like us to give a perspective on love and marriage that those who actually do it and live don’t have.
But, I believe it.
And I preach it because it’s true.
And it never loses its truth.
Rather, it becomes truer to each couple I preach it about.
And let me tell you, it is very true to Annette and Mark today.
My standard wedding homily is this:
Marriage is one of the best examples of grace that I have seen.
Now, my definition of grace is this: it is a gift from God we receive that we did not ask for nor necessarily deserve.
It is a gift we cannot give ourselves.
We cannot control grace.
We cannot manipulate it or make it do what we want it to do.
Grace just happens.
God grants grace in its own time.
In its own place.
And we must simply be open to it, and be thankful for it, and just… let it happen in our lives.
And be very, very thankful to God when it does.
Annette. Mark. What we celebrate today is truly a grace.
I am so thankful for this grace you have been given by God.
I mean, look at this:
And here you both are!
And it’s amazing!
Here you are today!
And it’s all good.
And it’s all beautiful.
You both deserve today.
You both deserve this love, being surrounding by people who love you, living into this grace from God in your life.
You deserve the best in your lives.
That is what we celebrate today.
That is what we are joyful for today.
I’m not promising that the future is going to be hunky dory and sweet all the time.
You both know that it isn’t always going to be like that.
I’m not promising that all the dark clouds have passed away for good.
But right now, right here, none of that matters.
There are no dark clouds here.
There are only blue skies and a future filled with hope and joy.
I am so happy, Mark and Annette, for this day.
I am so thankful to God that you have found each other again.
I am so happy for you and for all that you have and will have.
It really is wonderful!
So, with that…I think it’s time to get you both married.