Wedding of Karen Williams and Steve Morales
Holy Child and St. Martin Episcopal Church
Daly City Ca
March 19, 2011
The air is filled with joy today in this God’s Holy Place. The Holy Spirit has brought us all here to witness the miracle that is about to be bestowed upon these wonderful, loving and joyful couple, Karen and Steve.
Karen and Steve – your special day has arrived and it is a Blessed day. This is both an ending and a beginning. It is the ending of the months and months of planning for this special day. The decisions and the worrying about how it would all come together for this day is finally realized.
It is also a beginning. No more dreaming – reality is here. You are about to take one of the most important steps of your life – and I say “one” not because there are no more important decisions – but perhaps among the most holy and life giving ones. Your special day has arrived and it is picture perfect. You are both beautiful – handsome, your family and special friends are here in this Holy Place to witness your joy together in the presence of God and His people. But life is not a fairly tale – it is very real. In the lesson that you chose for this special day you heard poetic and elegant words from St. Paul’s written to very real people – people like you and me, people trying to live in this world. St. Paul always seemed to be addressing people who were having difficulty in living the gospel and this reading is about how you do it correctly.
Love is kind, it is gentle. You probably didn’t hear it today, but you’ve heard it before. Make a copy of it and put it on the refrigerator as a reminder. For these words were first written to ordinary people like us who had forgotten how to live and love. Love is also very practical. It is hard work. God created each of you as wonderful unique individuals – who have chosen to share their lives. Rejoice in the others uniqueness. You cannot create the other person to be the image that you created in your mind – but only rejoice in what you are both becoming as you hold hands and share that journey.
Marriage vows are sacred, for you vow to the other person that you will always be there for them and that you can trust them – no matter what may come. Marriage is not “if” experience. It is a commitment, a covenant before God with another person. And that brings us to God. You have to this Holy church – not only because it fulfills your dreams as to where you wanted to make your vows, but because God is important in your lives. Your invitation for God’s blessing does not end here; it extends to the rest of your lives together even in the life after. That’s why Paul said Love is the greatest because it transcends even to the life after.
Karen, you’re so beautiful from inside and out. I became a part of your family when your mom Rita passed away. You made your family feel her presence in your celebration. A song goes, “there’s hole in the floor of heaven, her tears are falling down, that’s how you know she’s watching” telling you how proud she is in how you have become just like the day she met your dad. It was a blessing knowing your beautiful and wonderful grandmother. Her smile is very uplifting. Your love for her is the reason why you brought yourself here in the heart of the Lenten season.
Steve, you touched my heart when you shared the life of your dad Hugo and how you wished he is here. Your uncle has helped you become a man as you are today. Your mom and your family are so proud of you.
Both of you came from a family of faith. Let that be strength in your marriage. Pray together, let God be in the center of your life together and not relegated to the edge or crises.
Thank God each day for your daily bread and for the courage and wisdom for living each day. And when it is time to rest at the end of the day remember God is up all night and will watch over you.
Karen and Steve, I have one special advice to share and for you to treasure. When the going gets tough, which is a given part of every relationship, let one of you be subject to humility. It takes two to quarrel. But somehow I’ve learned that when one is willing to listen with humility, the sense of respect follows.
I am sure you will find that effective in your togetherness. Always remember what we shared during your marriage counseling, that Love is a two way process. Love cannot fulfill itself in a one way process; unless there is both giving and receiving, love must remain unsatisfied. This element of receiving is very often overlooked in our concept of Christian Love. Love, is the basic law of life, it is both giving and receiving. Today, you will affirm that love is both giving and receiving. Continue your passion with sports and things that make your hearts grow. At the end of Lakers and Golden Gate basketball game, don’t mind about the score, what matters most is that you had time and fun together. Continue being SF Giants fans.
Finally, look around and know how much you are loved. We are each here to show that love and when the tough times of life come, know that we will be there for you – to walk beside you and support you. And that includes me – so when you go from this place be assured that you go with God’s blessing and ours. Amen
The Rev. Leonard Oakes