Husband and Wife, Icons of Christ

The Lord Is My Chef Recipe for Wedding of Matt Namuco and Marian Joson
29 June 2019, Minor Basilica of the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception, Malolos City,
Lovely bride is my former student from ICSM-Malolos, from elementary to high school.

Congratulations to you, my dearest Marian and Matt!

In God’s infinite wisdom, he had planned in all eternity that you get married on this date – not yesterday or last year, not tomorrow or next week or next month.

God willed that you get married today on the Solemnity of St. Peter and St. Paul, the two pillars of the Church established by our Lord Jesus Christ.

Like you, Marian and Matt, St. Peter and St. Paul are two people of opposite personalities, of different social and cultural backgrounds but were able to overcome these to work together for Jesus Christ. We celebrate their feast together because despite their many differences, they were united in their love for Jesus Christ. It was Christ who brought them together and kept them together so his Church would grow and be what it is today.

The same is true with you, Marian and Matt: Jesus Christ brought you together in spite of your many differences to be united in his love. Most of all, Marian and Matt, Jesus wants you to be his ICONS or images in the world today that has become individualistic.

Sacred Heart Novitiate, July 2018.

An icon or image of Jesus like St. Peter and St. Paul is to be one in the Lord. A man and woman get married to become disciples of Christ, to become one in Christ, to look like Christ. That is the meaning of the word sacrament, visible sign of the saving presence of Jesus in the world.

And that is why the gospel you have chosen for your wedding day is so perfect, the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus gave us his Beatitudes that are actually directions for discipleship. The Beatitudes show us the mystery of Christ himself, calling us into a communion in him to become his icons in the world that has been trying to negate him.

For your wedding, Marian and Matt, let us reflect on the sixth Beatitude of Jesus:

Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.

Matthew 5:8

Remember the Little Prince where the fox told him that “What is essential is invisible to the eye; it is only with the heart one can truly see”?

We can only see God with our hearts. The intellect alone is never enough.

And so it is too with any person.

We can learn and know so many things about another person with our intellect but nothing will be enough for us to truly love him or her unless we let our hearts see the real him or her.

The heart is the wholeness of the person. Yesterday we celebrated the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Sometimes, when we use our minds, we see the world as so dark and so evil. But, if we have hearts that can see, we will be more surprised that there are more goodness, more beauty in this world than what we hear and see in the news and around us.

Marian and Matt, always have a clean heart to see each one’s goodness and beauty.

Always go back to those early days when you first saw each other with your hearts. Aside from the kilig factor, you felt and realized something deeper with each other. The beloved disciple, St. John, wrote in our first reading, “No one has ever seen God. Yet, if we love one another, God remains in us, and his love is brought to perfection in us” (1 Jn. 4:11-12).

And that is how we see God and others: always with our hearts when we love.

Mt. St. Paul Retreat House in Baguio, June 2017.

To have a clean heart, Marian and Matt, is to enter into the mind of Jesus Christ and that is to embrace his Cross. Having a clean heart is becoming one with Jesus Christ, especially in his love and fidelity.

A clean heart is a loving heart that always gives life, other-centered, veritable and enduring. Always in communion with Jesus Christ who gave us the new commandment to love like him by being rooted in the Father.

The love of Christ is the fire that purifies and cleanses our hearts, unifying our intellect, will and emotion that enables us to see oneness in ourselves before God. We see not only the good and the bad sides in ourselves but also among those around us, especially those we love.

Look back at your many experiences, Marian and Matt. Look at your past lives, your struggles, your mistakes and sins. Despite all these, you have also seen and experienced God’s loving presence in you in spite of your many darkness and divisions within.

That is why you are so “blessed”, Marian and Matt, because today on your wedding day, you enter God himself and you are able to “see” him with your loving hearts despite your pains and hurt, failures and shortcomings.

Remember Marian and Matt, you are both not only one in a million but most of all, you are both once in a lifetime made by God for each other. Keep your hearts clean in Jesus Christ so you may always see God in each other. Amen.

All wedding photos by Mindstream Project headed by Patrick Paragoso.

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