Maybe the theme of our readings this weekend could be summarized by a bumper sticker I saw recently: Love at first sight is easy to explain; after 50 years, love is a miracle!
As I have walked with couples preparing for marriage, I have been struck by how much energy and effort go into planning the wedding ceremony and reception; the same amount of energy and effort need to go into the relationship for the marriage to work. Because each of us is unique, because our personalities can be completely different, because of the family culture and practices we grew up with, etc., it is a struggle for “two to become one flesh.” None of us is perfect. We all fail. We need to be able to forgive each other and ourselves and start over. That is the challenge: not to be perfect, but to be able to forgive and continue to grow. But when a couple is willing to spend the energy and effort on their relationship, the miracle happens.
The same applies to all relationships, though to a different degree. The secret of bringing Christ’s love, forgiveness, and compassion into the world is to be able to accept the other as different and value that, rather than trying to change the person to be more like me. It is recognizing that we all fail and I need to be able to forgive, as I wish to be forgiven.
I invite us this week to reflect on how we relate to those around us? Do I basically accept people and try to get along or am I out to change them? Am I able to forgive and move on? Is the world a more loving place because of my presence? And let us pray in a special way for married couples, that they may continue growing in love.
Church sign of the week: Instead of showing someone the gate, try mending the fence.