Today you begin a new journey of love. Realize that marriage celebrates what is new. God has revealed himself to you in Jesus Christ, I pray that he continues to be with you both in every day of your marriage. Love calls out to you to follow. Nobody is abandoned who God loves and chooses. Release your hold on your old life. By turning to the Lord with all your heart and all your mind, you obey his great commandment to love him and to love one another.
These are noble thoughts indeed. You have chosen this Gospel today, in which Christ invites you to recognize love as the greatest commandment. The commandment closest to the heart of God is not a prohibition, but an invitation and a gift. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind. Jesus would not have to remind us of this if it weren’t for the fact that we often do not love him with all of our heart, and our soul and our mind. In mind alone, we wander from the pure intention to thank and love God hundreds of times a day. The totality of this commandment is what makes it so great. This, by the way, is what makes our faith so full of hope and life. While he reminds us of our frequent diversions, Jesus also compels us by his very life to believe that all moments of our lives swell with the majesty of the divine. God is present in an undying way, living in the midst of you.
This Gospel reading is truly valuable for the sacrament of marriage. As a Gospel in miniature, you can turn to this proclamation frequently for inspiration and daily help. Love the Lord your God with all your being. Pray this Gospel often during your day. Plant the desire to love God with everything you have as a cornerstone in your lives. By doing this, you will never lack for inspiration. This commandment is great because it truly represents Jesus himself. Christ, while being divine, enjoyed a complete human nature. He had a full human body, soul, heart and mind. With these, Christ gave perfect witness to the human sense of the divine love that the Father and Son share in heaven. God’s own love is manifested in the life of Jesus Christ and all those whom he calls to live in him.
Therefore, do not be discouraged when you fall short of the greatest commandment in some way. It is the greatest and we surely are not so. God helps us to follow through on our deepest desires. If you want to love God with all your heart, and soul, and mind, the Lord will actively help you and teach you. He is always present, ready to work through any event or person or thing in your life. From God’s perspective, we will always have things to discover about him and about love. Paul reminds us that love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous, pompous, inflated, rude, or seeking its own interests. It is not quick tempered, nor does it brood over injury or rejoice over wrongdoing.
We cannot act out of love when we commit these sins against it. This reading also challenges us to have a heart of love. We are to bear all things, hope all things, endure all things, and believe all things. Remember then that loves presence in your relationship as husband and wife is not defined by its absence in your behavior. If you should take on any unloving characteristics, turn to the God of love who ratifies all of the desires of your heart and more. We are not to simply add up good and bad in such a way that we measure our own success or love. God calls us believe in his love as the foundation of our own.
Marriage calls you back to the creator himself. He made you male and female for the purpose of bringing new life into this world through you. Already God renews you and enriches you as man and woman. In trusting in one another and in him, you experience your own life in a new and fundamentally different way. The measure of you love is in the way you exchange your noble and good gifts with one another. Marriage is not an addition of yours and hers. It isn’t even a multiplication. It is both of those things at times. In another way, marriage is like adding another dimension to everything. Even in the ordinary tasks of life, God now says to you, “It is good!” and indeed you discover that it is. What was normal before can become good. Every simple moment of life can now become an opportunity to love your spouse even more. I pray and beg then that you keep the dimension of church and sacrament alive in you. Today, the horizon of God’s loving commandment is set. Rise up then to meet it.