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Always & Forever

Father McKenna originally delivered this homily when he celebrated the Wedding of Claudia and Rocky on July 4th, 1970. As with all his writings, the message is timeless. This weekend our family has the honor of attending the wedding of Sarah Heneghan and Gerry Murphy in Ireland. Gerry is the cousin of Anne McKenna, Fr. McKenna’s sister-in-law. In their honor, I have substituted Claudia and Rocky’s names with the names of the new bride and groom.

Gerry Murphy and Sarah Heneghan April 5, 2019

Right now we are celebrating the happiest moments in the lives of two human beings. During this day we cry, we laugh, we sing, we dance and we pray. Today we will experience the complete range of human emotions: the full spectrum of life itself.

Sarah and Gerry have invited us to share with them the deepest expressions of human love. They are living reminders to all of us here this afternoon of what each of us is called to be. We are called to fall in love. We are called to be happy. We are, each of us, called to surrender ourselves to one another.

The love that Sarah and Gerry are speaking to us today has a past, a present, and a future which includes all of us. Each of us here has touched the lives of this couple in some way; and we will continue to join them in their joys and their sorrows, through their smiles and their tears as they travel through life.

The love of these two people is the greatest sign of Christ’s love within his Church. For Christ showed us that love between a man and a woman should symbolize the depth of all relationships within His Church. Because it is through the sacrifice, pain and growth that comes to men and women through life’s struggles that the Kingdom of God will be revealed to man on earth.

We often hear today that the age of permanent commitment has passed – that words like “forever” and “always” are no longer meaningful when they refer to relationships between people. And, no doubt we do live in such an age. Ours are times in which few people dare to make promises. Few people speak of commitment once they seem to have found out what real commitment involves. Seldom today will people risk exposing themselves to one another with all their faults, weaknesses, blemishes and vulnerability, and be humble enough to ask forgiveness and acceptance of them. Perhaps the greatest sin of mankind today is that we would rather put up walls around ourselves which encase our secret identities and brings us only imaginary forms of security. We have hidden our deepest hopes, fears and anxieties from one another. The price we pay for this is loneliness, isolation and unhappiness.

All of this is important to realize because this is probably the single most important message that Sarah and Gerry are presenting to us this afternoon. First of all, they are telling us that “forever” and “always” and “commitment” are still very much alive because LOVE is still very much alive.

In spite of the conditions of the world, regardless of the cost which their loving each other might demand, they are here to say to each other, “I will give my life to you, and together, you and I will face this world and change it through our love.” They have taken off their masks for each other. They’ve dropped their defenses. They have dared to say, even in times like these, “I LOVE YOU” – and mean it.

And when two people face today in this way, all their tomorrows are filled with hope. Not because they are free from struggle, but because they have risked giving meaning to that struggle. Today, Sarah and Gerry have given each other the most meaningful gift any person can give to another. And through this gift of themselves they now share one another’s vision, and will dream each other’s dreams.

Let us then give Sarah and Gerry the best wedding gift we can – the gift I know they would most like to receive. Let us accept the invitation to real love which they have offered to all of us. Sometime today, let us look into the eyes of the one we love, touch his or her hand, and perhaps say an old fashioned but radical word like “always” or “forever”.

Father George McKenna

April 5, 2019 - Posted by | Bulletins | , , , ,


  1. This is so beautiful, thank you: Jan berry

    Comment by Anonymous | April 5, 2019 | Reply

  2. This is so beautiful

    Comment by Jan berry | April 13, 2019 | Reply

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