Bishop Glen John Provost
Bishop of Lake Charles
Trinity Sunday 2018
Diocesan Wedding Anniversary Celebration
Sunday, May 27, 2018
Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception
Lake Charles, Louisiana
“Go, therefore, make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 28:19
This Sunday is both a celebration of the Most Holy Trinity, the Triune God, and a joyful moment to recall the faithful witness of so many in faithful marriage. I think there is an important connection between the unity of the Trinity and the commitment a man and woman make in the Sacrament of Marriage. Let us begin with probably one of the most famous references to a wedding in the Bible—the Wedding of Cana.
You recall the account in St. John’s Gospel. Jesus, His Mother, and the disciples are invited to a wedding at Cana in Galilee. The wine runs out and, at Mary’s prompting and Jesus’ command, an enormous amount of water is changed into wine. This second wine is judged by the maître d’ of the occasion as better than the first. The bride and groom are saved from embarrassment but more importantly the disciples are brought to faith in Jesus Christ.
The miracle of Cana has a great deal to teach us about love. Pope Benedict XVI once pointed out, “The first wine is very fine: This is falling in love. But it does not last until the end: A second wine has to come later, it has to ferment and grow, to mature.”
There is no marriage without the experience of falling in love first. This is the first wine served at the wedding banquet, which the Gospel tells us is customarily the best (John 2:10). That first experience of love is exhilarating and dreamy. You will hear people say, “I never knew I could feel like this about anyone.”
Then, the demands of wedded life descend. The joyful birth of children, the weightiness of supporting a family and earning a living, and the inevitable unexpected events of life, some welcome, some not. All the while, the challenges invite us to growth. The fermentation, about which Pope Benedict XVI spoke, takes place, if the wine remains in the cask and is not exposed to foreign elements that can injure the aging fruit of the vine. It is all a gentle process, even though there can be all sorts of activity going on in the “life” of the wine.
In time and with patience and, most of all, with God’s grace and our cooperation, the second wine appears, better than the first, which is what we thought impossible. This relationship between man and woman in Sacramental Marriage reflects Divine love.
The love of the Trinity—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—is so genuine, true, lasting and binding that it reveals the Unity of the Three Persons of the Trinity. Human beings are made for love, because God made them and He is love. As our Lord Himself said, “Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?” (Matthew 19:4-5). The union is thus inseparable and permanent.
Like the Trinity, we exist for love. The union of husband and wife in Sacramental Marriage is a precious gift, celebrating the vocation of love lived out in a union of heart, mind and soul. The vocation to love takes different forms according to the state of life. In marriage that love manifests itself in a unique way—in a sort of “first wine”-“second wine” sort of way. And those who patiently persevere and seek God’s Will drink of its delight.
In the Gospel today our Lord tells His disciples to go out to all nations and make disciples of them, baptizing them in the name of the Trinity—Father, Son and Holy Spirit. You, faithfully married couples, have done this—by your witness, your sacrifices, your devotion to family and commitment to children. The “second wine” has come. To quote Pope Benedict once again, “The definitive love that can truly become this ‘second wine’ is more wonderful still; it is better than the ‘first wine.’ And this is what we must seek.” And with the maître d’ at the wedding of Cana, we can say, “You have kept the good wine until now” (John 2:10).
Bishop Glen John Provost