Went to mass this morning to pray for my brother... for him to catch enough stripers for all his friends AND his favorite brother, me. Oftentimes Gus sacrifices fishing in the beautiful Atlantic to celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass ('oftentimes' is the end of November ... 'till the end of April, when his boat is out of the water).
But I digress... today's Gospel reading had to deal with Jesus answering questions regarding divorce from the buggering church courtesans/Pharisees. Well, we know how that goes, but our priest shortened his homily to inform us of 2 special folks in attendance. Seems a certain John and Mary were today celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. Topical gospel reading, eh? Guess these two didn't forget Our Lord's admonishments... for 5 decades.
Well, after the homily, the priest asked them to come forward and renew their wedding vows. I'm not sure if it was the devil, or my pea-sized attention span that shifted my focus to comedy as I re-imagined the priests words:
"Do you, Mary, vow to continue to stay away from cabana boys, the pool cleaner guy and any gigolos you may happen upon?"
"And do you, John, promise to remember that your secretary's ass is still off-limits, to keep passing up that demon coke and stay away from that artist lady who's studio is only three doors down from your office?"
Somehow I re-focused and listened to the end of the priest's blessing of their marriage. All of us in the pews gave the couple a nice applause. It wasn't really a big affair, this celebration. After all, it was just a weekday mass and the renewing of the vows wasn't a planned thing - the priest took it upon himself and it was quick.
They went to return to their seats, the husband first... then his wife... she turned and had to pause to wipe tears from her eyes.
The borderline sinful comedic indulgence I entertained in my head mere moments before was annihilated by the beauty of life together lived the way our faith prescribed. Mary cried tears of joy and love, rightfully proud of the commitment and accomplishment of the marriage that she and John created and worked on and through, successfully and happily. This was a big affair. It was a marriage after all. She and her husband took it seriously and they won - and doubtless, they''ll continue to win.
I didn't know them (I don't know them), but their stuff is real - and extremely admirable. That's the stuff I want for my wife and myself.
Off to a rockin' start thankfully - 9 years of our own happy, blessed marriage, Ivanice and I celebrated just last week. I thank Mary and John for the dynamite example they showed all of us at mass this morning. God bless those two.
Suggested listening: Anniversary Song by Cowboy Junkies