Good evening, and congratulations to the couples among us who are celebrating significant wedding anniversaries. And we can’t help wondering what God has in mind for us, combining grieving widows with wedding anniversaries? Let’s take a look.
The women in today's story are destitute. Each is a widow, which means she has already lost the primary male obliged to look after her. Now she has lost her only son, her only source of support and her last connection to her husband's family. We do not know that this was her only child. She may have daughters, but in this world daughters are of little help. If single, they are as vulnerable as the widow. If married, they have already transferred to their husband's family.
As we “watch” God make each widow’s life whole again, God is reminding us that mercy is at the heart of His relationship with us, especially with those who have the greatest human need. But why today? Why this moment? Here’s what I suggest:
God is directing us to the vows behind the vows. (The What???)
In a few moments, our anniversary couples will renew their wedding vows. We will hear the very familiar promises the spouses made to each other. What we will not hear are the commitments they made to their community. Those are embedded in the vows we hear. There are four of them.
God is a Community of Persons. Let’s leave the theology behind and just think of God’s life as an “absolutely blissful communion of love”.
We form a community of persons by doing all we can to match our marriage to that “absolutely blissful communion of love”. We won’t achieve it fully in this life, but we are called to move in that direction.
We might want to ask ourselves: “Can my spouse look into my eyes and see the face of God?”
“Serving life” means, of course, we are open to participating in the miracle of new life in the creation of children, and caring for them through adulthood and beyond.
But after our own have “left the nest”, could there be other children around us who are deprived of nurture in their own families? Can we look outside ourselves and continue to serve those lives?
Have we accepted that everyone around us is a “child of God”, worthy of love and nurture?
In our context, “Society’s development” means doing two things: