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2016-01-17 Wedding Feast at Cana or "Love is Blind, Marriage is an Eye Openner"

Wedding Feast at Cana or "Love is Blind, Marriage is an Eye Openner".

This wedding feast at Cana calls to mind marriage in general, though we will come back to the one where Jesus’ presence is hardly noticed except by his Mother, his disciples, and importantly by the waiters or servants. They know what has occurred.

Marriage partnership may be summed up to a large extent by the telling comment, if you want to know me properly, come and live with me. That’s experience for you. Many divorcees, when asked why their marriages failed, frequently reply: I thought we knew each other; or he or she has changed. He or she is no longer the same person. The truth is that the couple are physically the same but one or both drivers have veered badly off the road and lost direction.

Marriage can be a wonderful and fulfilling experience of love and mutual support in a tough demanding world. It can be so heling to come back to the sanctuary of mutual love in the home, where you are made to feel special, valuable and cherished. Or Marriage can become a war zone worthy of an assault course designed by the military to pass muster as members of the SAS preparing to survive on the battlefield.

As a priest I have come up against nearly every hue of marriage partnerships. I once did my utmost to dissuade a young couple of 18 to wait a few more years before taking such a big important and involved step. From my point of view neither of them were old enough to have experienced life. ‘But we have loved each other from our school days, both insisted. We love each other.’ No amount of advice from me could shake their convictions. So the marriage went ahead. Six months later the young lad came back to me for advice on divorce. What happened, I asked? Ah, father, you were right, we fell out of love with each other. He didn’t go into detail. I didn’t press him for further details. She probably snored in her sleep. Or he probably kept leaving the top of the toothpaste in the bathroom; or he never took her out to the disco anymore; or he was more in love with his laptop. Take your choice from a million other excuses. You have probably heard it all yourselves from friends or experienced it in your own marriages.

St Theresa of Lisieux famously quoted how one of the nuns behind her in Chapel nearly drove her demented with her habit of rattling her rosary beads. Small thing can test your generosity.

Canonically speaking, the Church states that it is consent that legitimises a marriage. However, most of us who are old enough and experienced enough know that it is Love that makes a marriage work. Yet the love that keeps marriage together, is no small matter. It must be sacrificial. No one partner can mature at the other’s expense. That’s a form of bullying no matter the perpetrator. Self must be sacrificed so that “the two become one” as Jesus said. Agreement and compromise is made easier when you truly love and value someone. It isn’t always easy.

We can grow old together and support each other in pain to the very end when it is shared lovingly. The reward for bearing wrongs patiently and forgiving injuries is that we can expect the best wine to be served last by Jesus’, the true wedding guest, the true manifestation of God’s sacrificial love among us in marriage. Listen to Mother Mary’s advice to the servants, Do whatever he tells you. In other word’s listen to love and live lovingly. Taste and see that the Lord is good. Love is the true divine wine.

Father Pat

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