Ah, marriage: the stuff of dreams, songs and poems. Marriage can be many splendid, wonderful, awe-inspiring things – or it can be a living hell. In any case, marriage is never easy. Not only is it full of bumps, boulders, valleys and hills to conquer, but after the initial bliss, there is the very real danger of falling into a mediocre routine, where feelings are hardly ever spoken, little or nothing remotely romantic is done, and the flame of love starts to dwindle to mere embers. Love, my friends, is a verb, that is best expressed in actions, big or small, expected or surprising. Love is a continuous endeavour, a career that needs attention, passion, devotion, engagement, negotiation and input, if it is to flourish and be successful. All this is well understood by our happy couple, Pamela and Simon, for today we are blessing and celebrating a ten-year-old marriage between people of different cultures, languages and nationalities, who somehow have made it work. This fact reveals many things. It shows there is love, yes, but also patience; support, but also the will to resolve differences; tenderness, but also the strength to be honest and true. Pamela and Simon’s story also speaks of trust: in themselves, in one another, in life, in the power of their feelings, in the fortitude of their characters and the resoluteness of their souls. It also states humility and acceptance; the disposition to encourage, accept and cherish each other as they are, with all their greatness and pettiness, their moments of shadows and their times of light.
Marriage also involves the acknowledgement of the changes that come with age, experience and circumstance. It is an invitation to fall in love, repeatedly, with a multifaceted, evolving human being. An invitation to appreciate the new traits in your loved one, as one treasures a new type of flower in the garden. All these transformations are streaming from the core of the one you care for, the one you have chosen as life partner, lover and family. As part of your beloved’s life, you have a degree of influence in these changes, so in a way, you, as a couple, become more united as you grow together; more part of each other with the passing of time, for your shared history contributes to the self-realisation of your spouse. And vice versa.
Hence, the task ahead is to value and love the person that is and the person that is becoming; be there for him or her as they will be there for you. Develop a bit of patience, a bit of grit, a very open mind, always remembering that you are also going through your own metamorphosis, and at the end, your wings may be of different colours than that of your husband or wife, but you both are butterflies, ready to fly high and savour life together. For, when all has been said and done, marriage is about togetherness: living together, enjoying together, crying together and creating together. And you do so because you love each other, and love is in every action, every word, every silence of a good marriage. This ceremony itself is a declaration of love; of a love that has been tested, calibrated and reinforced; a love so confident in itself that it is ready to commit again, to sign up again for a new phase, where a new life may be included, in the mad, delicious, surprising, and thrilling adventure tour we call marriage. Now, let’s listen to the second reading