Sunday, September 16, 2018

Homily for Wedding of Mary Sauline and Nick White by Mary Eileen Collingwood ARCWP

Mary Collingwood ARCWP officiates at the Wedding of Mary Sauline and Nick White

Homily: Mary Sauline and Nick White

Jesus said: If you cling to your life, you will lose it, but if you give up your life for me, you will find it. (Matt 10:39)

I dare say, married life is an evolutionary experience—for it embraces the dying to self and letting go to create a new order of living.

The Jesuit theologian and paleontologist, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, states that “The incarnational commitment of divine love renders Christianity a religion of evolution, which makes death and letting go integral to its very life.”

At this moment in history, we have a church that finds itself at a crossroads of staying with the church of the centuries, or changing and daring to create new structures and systems of organization that are inclusive of all.

So, too, on a very personal level, today Mary and Nick let go of the former lives they have known, and take on the uncertainty and challenge of committed married life.

They are committing themselves to becoming who they are called to be. They are letting go of the old order and risking a new one. And to this, they are committed. For their consciousness has been changed. And change is primary to any new venture or creation.

Marriage for Mary and Nick includes two people who strive to grow together in their differences for their mutual happiness; who work for the achievement of their common ideals. Yet no one really knows what the future will hold.

Therefore, the decision to marry, made on the basis of insufficient information, requires a tremendous amount of faith.

Faith in yourselves as individuals, and in the strength of your relationship;

faith that you will be able in your marriage to deal with whatever the future holds.

The joining of your lives into one common life will not begin and does not end with this service and this sacrament of marriage.

The commitment to be bound to another person for life is never made once and for all, but must be renewed again and again.

It is not easy for us to make a commitment to new patterns of relating if they require mutual self-surrender to one another in love. One must make a deliberate choice to learn about and put into practice egalitarian ways of relating, which involve leaving familiar ways to create a new direction.

It is a continuing process to which you will give yourselves publicly today.

Each day you must make again the decision to engage in life together with one another.

Loving relationships are acknowledged not just in one day, at one event, but are a cumulative and ongoing shared expression of care, respect, trust and hope.

Marriage is a vision of life together in which you will live in a unity of body, mind and spirit. It is a relationship in which neither takes life from the other,

but in love and grace, new life is formed between you both which is deeper and more creative than each living alone.

The love that is born in this union may lead to the creation of new life in children and a safe place for their learning and growing.

In marriage you dare to make the commitment to love each other for the rest of your lives. You do this not because you believe it will be easy, but as a grand hope that you both share.

Mary and Nick announce their love as a sign of the beginning of a new journey into life together. Treading into the unknown future with freedom and grace,

they make this commitment before us with a real sense of responsibility and care. They invite our support in sustaining their relationship and our joy in celebrating this act of love. 

Therefore, on this their wedding day, let us join them in this sacred moment

and surround them with our love. For we are most human and most divine when we are most loving toward one another.

Mary and Nick, as the author Beatrice Bruteau writes in her book, The Grand Option, “You are the new and ever renewing act of creation. You are all of us, as we are united in you!”

Through your love for and commitment to one another, you can mirror the path to new life, ever changing, ever new. Let your married life be that grand hope we all need today!

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