Image: George Mendoza
Good morning, good God!
At Mass this weekend we asked your blessing
on 18 married couples celebrating a total of
773 years of marriage:
so much love, Lord, so many stories,
brimming over with so many memories...
Each couple we blessed is a sacrament
for the rest of us:
a living sign of your presence, Lord,
of your faithful, forgiving, freely given love
and of your promise to be with us
in good times and in bad,
in sickness and in health,
all the days of our lives...
Each couple brought their hearts to the altar this morning:
hearts filled with decades of stories telling
the joyful, sorrowful and glorious mysteries
of their life together as husband and wife,
as two-become-one flesh,
as a living sign of how you are faithful, Lord,
to them, to the church and to each of us...
Their hearts have been broken and mended
and hurt and healed so many times
there's no telling now where the wounds end
and mercy's scarred tissue begins -
and in just such love they find their strength...
Their souls have been shaped and molded
by hardships they thought they'd never face
- and yet, they have...
In every problem solved, every difficulty overcome,
every sadness shared
their love grew deeper, tougher, strong enough
to move beyond the moment's trial,
faithful to promises they made to you and each other
on their wedding day...
Your grace has always been with them, Lord,
and with your help they learned to help each other
try again, trust again and take a step together
past their problems and their pain, to begin again
to build what they had promised years ago...
But today their troubles seemed to fade:
the joy of happy times, the best of all that's been,
the smiles of memories sweet lifted high their hearts
and with deep peace they bowed their heads for your blessing,
giving thanks to you for the love they've known and shared...
For these couples, Lord, and for their families,
for all who've been blessed by their married love,
I offer you my praise and thanks
for in them and their fidelity
you give us a living, breathing sign of your presence
and remind us to love just as faithfully
all who cross our paths...
Receive my prayer, Lord, for those who are lonely,
for those in troubled marriages,
for those who've lost a spouse
and those whose marriages have ended:
touch their hearts with hope and healing
and help them find in others the love you have for all...
I offer you my thanks, Lord, for your faithful love,
your mercy and forgiveness, always freely given:
in good times and in bad,
in sickness and in health
you are with me, all the days of my life...
For the gift of such love
I offer you my praise and thanks this morning, this day
and through the week ahead...