All Worth It
Homily for the Wedding outside of Mass uniting Kendra Leigh Horn to Brian Scott Rowland
Preached on July 1, 2011 at Saint Andrew Catholic Church, Harrodsburg KY
Readings: Genesis 2:18-24; Psalm 33:12, 18, 20-22; 1 Corinthians 12:31-13:8a; Mark 10:6-9
It is not just about preparing a groom and his bride for a wedding that goes for an hour or less. It is about preparing a husband and his wife for a marriage that is meant to last a lifetime.
That is what I tell every engaged couple who meets with me, who asks me to prepare them for their wedding day. It was what I told Brian and Kendra that Wednesday evening when they came to see me in my office. There were a lot of other things that we talked about that night: the demands and duties of being in the state of Holy Matrimony, the wedding guidelines of the parish, the challenge of being married to someone who was raised by those unflinching Patterson women. At the end of that first meeting, I took Brian aside and asked him, “We haven’t scared you off yet, have we?” Without missing a beat, he replied, “No, sir. She’s worth it all.”
Remember that line, Brian and Kendra, because it sums up what marriage is all about: to love and to honor each other without counting the cost. It is what we see in that first marriage between Adam and Eve.
We never hear Adam complain, “I gave up a rib and this is what I get?” Instead, he says of Eve, “This one, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. This one shall be called ‘woman,’ for out of ‘her man’ this one has been taken” (Gen. 2:23). It is what we have seen in every marriage since: a man leaves his father and mother to be joined to his wife (cf. Gen. 2:24; Mk. 10:7) because he knows that she’s worth it all. But more so, it is what we find in the greatest love story ever told: the marriage between God and His people. The Sacred Scriptures record how time and time again we have brought about something that breaks the heart of God. Yet, just when we thought we have become so unworthy of His love, God woos us back. Even on that lonely hill, where His heart and His body was broken for all to see, He who is Love bore all things, believed all things, hoped all things, endured all things (cf. 1 Cor. 13:7) for our sake. So powerful is that Love that gives without counting the cost that it made even humanity’s worst Friday Good.
Today, Brian and Kendra, you will come before the altar of that unfailing God, the Expert on love and the Author of marriage. Here you will ask Him to bless your love that it may be fruitful, to seal your love that it may be faithful. Here you will promise before His priest and His people that whatever card the future will deal you—be it good times or bad, sickness or health, poverty or prosperity—will not make any difference in the unbreakable bond that will unite you. Remember that nothing that this world has to offer can measure up to the love that never fails (1 Cor. 13: 8) and no one can tear asunder what God has joined together (Mk. 10:9). Lesser men have given up more to have what today you will promise to each other. Hold tenderly then this love, the greatest of all God-given gifts (cf. 1 Cor.13:13), and let nothing or no one ever make you question that it is all worth it.