Friends, in our Gospel today, Jesus defines the fundamental sacredness of marriage. I’m convinced that the deep sacramental and religious meaning of marriage—even within the Church—has been, in recent years, dramatically compromised. We say that marriage is a vocation, but do we mean it?
We can look at human sexual relationships at a number of different levels. Two people can come together purely for physical pleasure, for economic reasons, or for psychological companionship. And we might witness two people coming together out of authentic love.
But none of these levels is what the Bible means by marriage. When I was doing parish work I would invariably ask young couples, "Why do you want to get married in church?" Most would say something like, "Because we love each other." But I would reply, "Well, that’s no reason to get married in church."
They usually looked stunned, but I meant it. You come to church to be married before God and his people when you are convinced that your marriage is not, finally, about you; that it is about God and about serving God’s purposes; that it is, as much as the priesthood of a priest, a vocation, a sacred calling.