Two of my students, Ryan and Lauren (now known as the Undercoffers) got married today! I was honored that they chose St. Joe’s to have their wedding and then honored that I was asked to say grace at the reception.
I can remember the semester Ryan studied abroad and how much he missed Lauren. He worried that then as they graduated he might continue to miss her as Lauren moved into a year of service and he began work and school.
Dude got it bad. He really loves that girl. High school sweethearts!
I remember telling Ryan once that Lauren would always be there for him and that she would never leave him and that she missed him too. Marriage is not merely about happiness, rather it’s about commitment…about staying together through loneliness and reminding one another how much better it is when you are together.
Can we stay together despite a lonely time or two? Isn’t our love for one another able to withstand that?
Our culture does not always value or honor marriage. It seems too easy to be dispensed with at times. Ryan and Lauren have found each other and more importantly have found that they both value marriage.
In Ryan’s speech today that the wedding he said (and I’ll paraphrase):
I always knew that you would be my wife since I was 16. I knew when I asked you out for the first time and you said ‘no.’ I knew when I asked you out for the second time and you said ‘no’. I knew at our Senior Prom and I knew all through college. And I was right.
Man, if that’s not the genuine article…I don’t know what is.
It is good for married couples to go to weddings. It helps remind them of their own commitment to one another. It reminds us as Fr Jack Ledwon said today in his homily that committing to another in marriage pushes each partner to want to be better people. He used this scene from the movie “As Good As It Gets” to explain his point:
Ryan and Lauren are indeed better people for simply being together. Ryan’s been a great public servant and Lauren has served some of the city’s poorest people as a paralegal for many who can’t afford…well, much of anything.
As they move into the next phase of their life, in Syracuse where Ryan will be entering a Political Science PhD program, may God continue to bless them—but also for God to remind them to bless each other. As they do, they bless us with their lives and that makes all of us want to be better people.
Thanks for the invite and for reminding me how much I love my wife and how important our commitment to one another truly is for us and for the world in which we live.