Adrienne and Bill Makens
In the Gospel Jesus is showing us that love is a commandment, when he says, “This is my commandment: love one another as I have loved you.” If we learn about love from our culture we may think love is something we feel, or something we deserve to receive. If we learn from Jesus, we learn that love is something we choose, no matter how we feel. It is not something you receive, but it is something you give. In the wedding ceremony you will promise to one another: “I will love you and honor you all the days of my life”, in good times and in bad.
Jose and Lupita
Adrienne, Bill, in order to have good marriages, we need good role models. There are many good examples for us of good marriages. One example came to my wife and me when we were fiancés. It came as a gift from a missionary priest, and I wish to pass this gift on to you. When we were college students, we worked in a mission in the mountains of Southwest Mexico. When we announced our engagement to the missionary priest, Padre Juan, he smiled and told us, “I want to give you a gift. Since I am only a poor priest, I can only give you a story.”
Padre Juan told us of a young couple who lived in one of the villages where we had worked in with him.
We will refer to them as “Jose” and “Lupita.” They were young by our standards, probably 16 or 17 years old, but mountain people marry young. They approached Padre Juan to ask him to marry them. Father knew they were people of faith. He began to question them to begin their marriage preparation.
He asked the young man, “Jose, porque quieres casarte con Lupita?” “Why do you want to marry Lupita?” Jose responded without hesitation, saying, “Bueno, Padre, porque yo quiero ser un santo.” “Padre, because I want to become a saint.”
Padre Juan said he didn’t know how to respond to that, so he turned to Lupita and asked her, “Lupita, porque quieres casarte con Jose?” “Why do you want to marry Jose?” Lupita also responded without hesitation, “Porque quiero ayudarle.” “Because I want to help him. (to become a saint)”
Padre Juan told us that he simply didn’t know what he could teach these young people about the Marriage Covenant. He continued their marriage preparation. But he said they understood, perhaps better than he, despite their young age, that their faith journey together was going to be more important than a journey apart, and they were ready to make this Covenant journey together.
Padre Juan told us, “This is my gift to you. May you both help one another to become saints.” And this story is my gift to you. May you help one another to become saints.
God calls us all to be holy. Bill and Adrienne, you have chosen to seek your holiness together in the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony, to live according to God’s commandments, and to raise your children in the Church.
May God bless you in your journey to God together. And, by your example today, may He strengthen all of us in our own Covenant relationships, with Him and with each other, and share your, and protect the heaven you protect with every fiber of your being.