December 23, 2008

Homily for the Wedding of Anna Leah and Ronald Dayupay

One Sunday, Pedro visited his grandparents. His lolo was delighted to see his favorite grandchild. In his excitement, lolo shouted, “Honey! Honnneeyy, your favorite apo is here!” Pedro smiled, “Lolo, you are very sweet, at the age of 80, you still call lola honey!” His lolo smiles and winks at him, “Ssssss…hush! Keep quiet. I’m calling her honey because I already forgot your lola’s name.”

We may be laughing or smiling now. But there is a pinch of reality in the story. Some marriages are on the rocks because couples who promised to hold each other’s hand and be faithful to each other “till death do us part” have forgotten their wedding promise. If there is a global economic meltdown, there is also the crisis of “marriage or family meltdown.”

In your chosen gospel for today, Ronald and Leah, the Lord is exhorting you to remember the following words: REMAIN IN MY LOVE (John 15:9-13). It is also one way of saying, REMAIN IN EACH OTHERS’ LOVE. When a new couple is married, sometimes we have so much expectation from each other. But be aware that love will have a different color and expression after the wedding. Your marriage will be tested to its limit, but if you genuinely love each other and you have accepted one another, your marriage will stand and survive the test of time.

Today, as we witness this celebration of love unfolding in our midst. Ronald and Leah, allow me to walk you through this “walk to married life.” Don’t forget our gospel for today: REMAIN IN GOD’S LOVE… REMAIN IN EACH OTHER’S LOVE. Too much expectation from each other can be blinding. Do not be blinded by the Korean and Pinoy tele-novela love stories, where all love stories should end in “kissing and ringing of bells and they live happily after.” The End.

In marriage, real love story begins when your own “movie-like” love story ends. For you Ronald and Leah, we know that fate brought you together in. As far as I recall, it was during the height of the epidemic SARS when Ronald went home from Taiwan and met Leah again since college. As Ronald would put it, “when I saw her, I felt the “magic feeling” towards Leah that I cannot explain. After that everything went so fast. Now both of you are here. Ready to tie the knot. THE END. Nope, it is not the end but the beginning of something more real and profound – two unique souls becoming one.

All feet on the ground, Ronald and Leah. You need to sustain that “magic” in a different but more profound way. Face the reality, so that you will not be disappointed. Marriage life is like having a cell phone… sometimes you don’t have enough load, sometimes you don’t have enough money or resources. Sometimes it seems there’s “no signal,” then move and do something, find your signal and communicate. Sometimes its low bat … then time to recharge your marriage by returning to your wedding day promise you are doing today - for better or for worst, till death do us part.

The beauty of married life is in journeying together. It is in your journey you will experience different moments of falling in love, falling out love and choosing to love. Married life is a roller coaster ride, it has ups and downs, but do not be afraid, just open your eyes because God is journeying with you. This is the promise and blessing of the sacrament of matrimony.

If Stephen Covey has “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” allow me to share my own “Seven Habits of Highly Happy Marriage” It’s a way of life on how to REMAIN IN EACH OTHER’S LOVE. The Seven Habits of a Happy Marriage are: to see, to listen, to touch, to chat, to pray, to walk, and to live.

To see – Learn to see each other by understanding each other in the eyes of love. Try to see the “You and I” in each other … that from now on, in married life, you are forever united and cannot be separated. You are one flesh.

To listen
– Learn to humbly listen to one another. There are still so much to learn from each other. To listen is to know and to know is to understand. Conflicts of ideas may still arise but listen and you will survive any trials of your married life.

To touch – Be sensitive enough to each other and spend time together. Anything you can feel, you can heal. Learn to be sensitive to the needs of each other and you will heal and forgive each other. Console each other when crisis comes and celebrate each other’s joy in times of victories.

To chat – Learn to share stories to one another, even the mundane and boring stories. Ronal and Leah, listen to one another. The problem with married couples now is they don’t know how to listen to each other’s stories. There are lots of “us” to know in the ordinary stories of life.

To pray – Learn to pray together. What you decide in prayer together will determine the quality of your family life. Remember to consult God. If there is a third party allowed in married life, it is HIM. Remember that old sayings, the family that prays together stays together.

To walk
– Always walk and work together. After this wedding ceremony, everything you do is a “family project.” It is no longer Tindahan ni Kuya but Tindahan ni Kuya at Ate. There’s no “I” in married life but always “us” and “we.”

To live – Enjoy married life. It is not just raising a family. It is still you Ronald and Leah. It is unfortunate that many couples forgot their friendship when already married. They are so caught up in raising their children. Once in a while find time to do things you love to do together. Food tripping and window shopping in SM. Attend Mass together in this church. Visit your parents together . Eat custard cake together. Clean the KIA car together. Dream of going to US together. Do things you enjoy doing together even if you have already kids. Your friendship is too beautiful to forget after today’s ceremony. After all, your friendship is the foundation of your married life.

Learn to choose to love and fall in love everyday. Say YES to each other everyday. And before you know it, years from now, your children will embrace and thank you for giving them a wonderful family.

It is true that not all marriages are made in heaven. But with your constant and unwavering love and by remembering to see, to listen, to touch, to chat, to pray, to walk, and to live together daily, you will make your marriage and your home, a piece of heaven here on earth.

- Fr. Willy M. Samson,SJ
Our Lady of Assumption Church – Davao City
December 20, 2008

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