A Family Wedding

I’m in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, today for a family wedding. My cousin Christine Gaddis is marrying Kevin Mahoney in Christ Our Light Church at 2 PM. Here’s my homily.

Christine and Kevin, thanks for giving us a love story today. We need love stories today. There’s so much violence in life, so much political and economic uncertainty. We need love stories.

You chose your first reading from a beautiful love story, the Book of Ruth:. 

But Ruth said, “Do not press me to go back and abandon you!

Wherever you go I will go,

wherever you lodge I will lodge.

Your people shall be my people

and your God, my God.

Where you die I will die,

and there be buried.

May the LORD do thus to me, and more, if even death separates me from you!”  (Ruth 1, 1-17)

In the present arrangement of our bible, the Book of Ruth is squeezed in between the Book of Judges and the Book of Kings, two books describing difficult times in Jewish history. The Book of Judges describes a period when everyone’s looking out for themselves, everyone’s on their own.  The Book of Kings describes a time when kings were fighting for control over people and politics ruled the day.   

I imagine the original compilers of our Bible saying to one another “We need a love story to break up the concentration of me, me, me. We need a love story that says life’s not about controlling others. So they put a love story, the Book of Ruth, where it is. 

That may be it. 

However it is, we can’t help being moved by the language of love, the forever language, the daring language, the godlike language that we hear today.   

And here you are two lawyers, who know the cautious language of law and deal so much with the careful steps we need for an orderly society–  here you are saying to one another, “I take you for better or worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do us part. 

The language of Ruth, the language of love, the language of God. 

Love is the language of God. We’re made in the image of God. Whether we know it or not, we aspire to be like God. And you recognize that as you come to make your vows to one another here, where the signs of God are so strong, where God who inspires you to make this commitment of love is present.  

We ask God’s blessing for you.

You come too with your family and friends. We’re here to share your happiness, we promise you our support and our prayers, and we thank you for giving us a love story today.

6 thoughts on “A Family Wedding

  1. Michele Lee-Cadogan

    Oh what a blessing to celebrate and commit to love, God’s sweetest and strongest example of grace and mercy.
    May God forever bless this union of Christine and Kevin.
    Hope you all enjoy the day and all that it spotlights. Very nice homily, Father. Enjoy and bless you all.


  2. Gloria

    Dear Fr.Victor – Your homily made my heart dance on this beautiful August afternoon just as my friend’s story of her daughter’s wedding day made my heart dance. This is the story of that wedding day. The groom was so happy that he said “yes, please” instead of “I do.”


    On wedding days it is said that
    “the two become one”

    On a beautiful autumn Saturday
    a kind, loving man
    took as his wife
    a beautiful woman –
    and took as his child
    her beautiful daughter
    with a heartfelt “yes, please”

    On that beautiful wedding day
    the two became three –
    a Family

    Gloria Ziemienski
    December 2007


  3. Mary Ellen griffin

    Father Victor,
    What a beautiful homily, and how blessed this couple were to have you speak of love as the language of God. You are a gift to all of us.
    Mary Ellen


  4. fullerton54

    Fr Victor ,  What about the divorced?. ” The bidding prayers  in Sixty-five years have it mentioned once!  


  5. Bill Donovan

    Fr. Joe; How blessed the newly weds were to have you there and I know Bill and Mary were
    smiling down from above. God’s Blessings . Bill Donovan


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