Wilham-Huff Wedding Homily (April 23, 2016)
1 Corinthians 12:31-13:8a
Love is not just an emotion. Love is also a choice. God the Father chose to send us his only Son. Jesus Christ chose to freely die for our sins on the cross. If love was just an emotion, I’m not sure how those two things could have happened. I, as a dad, can’t even emotionally fathom how I could turn over one of my children to be killed. I, as a person, can’t emotionally wrap my head around allowing myself to undergo a horrible torture without putting up one heck of a fight. But here’s the thing, as I said, love is a choice. God chose these things because He loves us and wants us with Him in heaven. That is love.
Scott and Ann, you have been together now for 20 years. You have chosen to come here today to move your relationship to a new, deeper level. You have decided to make the choice to love each other in a new way. In our meetings together, preparing for this day, I stressed to you that there are four things you need to understand before you can be married. 1 – You have to come here freely Ann can’t force Scott to “finally” get married after 20 years. 2 – You have to promise to give yourself totally to one another. Scott, no secret bank accounts that you hide from Ann for fishing trips. 3 – You have to promise to be faithful to each other under death separates you. 4 – You have to love each other fruitfully. Your love should be life giving. Meaning… Scott, your love for Ann should inspire her to want to be a better person. Ann, same goes for you. Your love for Scott should help him want to be a better man.
Free, Total, Faithful, Fruitful. These four things can be called by another name. Marriage. This married love is a choice you make for the rest of your lives… to each other… and to God. And if you can truly love in this new way… you will love as God loves. God freely and totally sent us His Son. God is faithful. Jesus’ death on the cross is fruitful because it gave us life. Free, Total, Faithful, Fruitful. Why is this important? Because in John’s Gospel we just heard Jesus say, “This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.”
So Ann and Scott, if you are ready and chose to love as God loves in Holy Matrimony, I now invite you up here to exchange your vows…