I was going to spend some time this morning offering my advice to Richard and Megan on how to have a fruitful marriage. Once again, Mother Church in her wisdom offers in our readings today much better advice than I could think to offer. Here are our readings for the day. I would rather spend some time reflecting on the joy that filled my heart on Saturday.
First, my thoughts on Megan. It have been said in the past you can never take back a first impression. As true as this may be, that first impression shouldn’t be a lasting impression. The first time I met Megan, I committed a mistake by judging the book by its cover. I remember walking in the house (Megan was already there) and being shocked at Richard’s date and being overwhelmed by the bright red – cardinal red – hair. Shame on me, but my immediate thought was one and done. I really didn’t anticipate a second date. Boy was I wrong – and thankfully so. The more Megan was around, the more I got to read the chapters of her book and soon realized the “chapters” that made up Megan Bauer were quite interesting and well worth the time to read. Megan is a beautiful woman, inside and out. She is an athlete, a hunter, a barber (I’m gonna get in trouble for this one but I’m a guy and she cuts hair – I call that a barber). One of the things I love about her – and her entire family – is how much they love each other. Megan is very close to her mother, father and sister and that is very important to me. The thing I love most about Megan is that she is willing to take that same unconditional love taught to her by her mother Leanne and her father Patrick and offer that love to my son Richard. I hope Richard understands that because of the love Megan is willing to share with her, she will be the window thru which Richard will see Christ. Richard, you are blessed man to have someone whose being is so beautiful (inside and out) to gaze upon as you see Christ manifested through her. Megan, know that you are now officially part of our family and the never ending love that Sarah and I have for each and everyone of our children is now extended to you. We love you both very much and thank God for the making you the Richard’s guide into heaven.
Richard – man where do I start with this one – my 6th blessing from God. 6th? He is your fourth child, how is he your 6th blessing. Simple – my family was my first, Sarah was my second, Grace (3), Jerome (4), Cecilia (5) and then Richard came along – 6. If I were to try and describe Richard to someone who didn’t know him, I would say he reminds me of David from the old testament. A very strong and good looking man, confident in himself, a true leader. In the same manner as David, he has turned away from God at times but knowing the wrong he committed, humbled himself and came back to God for His forgiveness. Richard has been a joy to be around and it has been a great privilege of mine to witness all that Richard has accomplished so far. Richard has a strong drive and even stronger desire for competition. He excelled in basketball, soccer, track and field and now has pushed himself in three other “arena’s” to compete in. He competes against himself in weightlifting, he competes against me in golf and he competes against his new bride in hunting. He has done well in two of the three, but Megan has beat when it comes to hunting. I think someday he’ll learn that the deer will run when you see them, get so excited and scream “DEAR”. He is still a rookie Megan – be patient with him. Richard, who was never really fond of school other than being the necessary vessel for him to compete, has managed to graduate from college and is back trying to earn his Masters degree in Education. What a great surprise and what a great risk St. Mary Magdalen took with him, offering him a part time job to be there PE teacher. As it turns out, he is a natural at this, the staff, the parents and most importantly, the kids love him as their teacher. I am proud man – a proud father – when I step back and take a look at all the Richard has become. I pray that he continues to grow in his manhood and commits to his marriage as he has committed to everything else he has pursued in life.
Now for one last reflection. I love weddings. I love weddings even more when they are my children getting married. One might think it’s because I am happy that there is one less mouth to feed, one less child to bail out of trouble, one less tuition payment to have to stress over. Although that may be nice, that isn’t why I love weddings. I don’t want to sound boastful here, but Sarah and I take great pride in the fact that our children are close to each other. We both committed to each other from day one that we would have a “big” family and God supported us in our desire to have children. We have (5) rules in our house and at the end of the 5 rules, we have a “mantra” we are called to follow…We are a family – behave as one. So, as everything was going on this weekend, I purposely sat back (many times) and just took it all in. No pictures on my camera, just me and my mind observing, absorbing and quietly giving thanks to God for the beautiful weekend I just experienced. It was in these moments when I sat back and just watched all the love, all the fun, all the people gathered to share in this wedding, it was then that God revealed to me the joy He experiences with all of us. In my mind, in my thoughts, in my reflections back on this weekend, it was God’s gift to me to see all of this, to experience that pure joy in my heart. I truly believe it was God’s way of thanking me for a job well done. This is why Sarah and I got married; this was/is our vocation – to take the love we have for our faith; the love we have for each other; the love we have for our families; and most important to us – the love we have for our God and pass that onto our children.
So to close out what I would call a perfect weekend, I want to offer my thanks to God. Thanks for my family, thanks for my beautiful wife Sarah, thanks for my beautiful children – Grace, Chris, Aiden, Logan, Audrey, Jerome Jr., Megan, Jerome III, Cecilia, Garrett, Richard, Megan, Mary, Ruth (Paul – ? (I think we all know what the question mark refers to here)), Tony, Teresa. May we continue to grow as a family and always know that it was Your will to put us together. Thank you.
Do something great for out Lord today – just simply tell Him thank you.
God’s will, not mine, be done.
Be not afraid; just have faith.
Jesus, I trust in You.