(An edited version of the homily I gave at my cousin’s wedding)
Life is full of adventure.
You never really know what lies right around the corner.
The best we can do is to live life with both feet in
and our eyes and heart wide open.
If we are lucky enough to find that person
who inspires us to live passionately, thoughtfully, unselfishly, and lovingly
towards ourselves, each other, and even “unto the least of these”—
then we’ve stumbled upon a certain kind of grace
that has no description, reason, or measure.
Love, especially romantic love, is a gift beyond imagination or explanation.
It just is.
And it is something we treat with the utmost respect and care.
It is precious and beloved and never uncertain.
It is dear, sweet, rich, powerful, and ripe with potential.
Still, these are only metaphors—
the best words we have to describe how it feels or what it looks like.
But ultimately, love is a gift.
We do not simply “decide” to be in love with someone.
Love is a mystery created before time.
Yet it doesn’t happen without our participation.
And it has happened between you two!
You share a precious gift that is uniquely yours—
to be preserved, cherished, and savored.
Protect it with continued mutual respect and admiration for one another.
Brag about each other!
Protect it by eagerly supporting each other in your individual talents and pursuits.
You have found in each other someone
who makes your life more fun, interesting and fulfilling.
I’m sure each of you on your own could have lived a rewarding life—
there are many single people who live rewarding lives.
But you realized life would be better spent together.
How great is it to know that the person you love most is also your biggest fan—
your biggest cheerleader—
to know this person supports you no matter what.
This is the person who talks you out of your fears and doubts
and who readily and enthusiastically celebrates your triumphs.
Simply put, everything is better when he or she is with you.
It almost seems too good to be true but it isn’t. It’s love.
This is your moment.
Take a deep breath and enjoy it!
We’re gathered here today to celebrate the commitment you made to each other months ago.
You’re in love.
You’ve taken a seat on the wildest and most fulfilling ride known to humanity.
Hold on tight—never let go.
It will sometimes be bumpy; it will sometimes zoom along smoothly.
It will rise up high and sweep down low.
But it will go fast and it will end too soon.
So make sure to let your hair get messy and to leave the air filled with laugher and joy.
Make sure to kiss on the mountaintop and in the valleys.
It’s what makes everything you do meaningful.
And it’s what makes anything you do together fun and rewarding
You have a lifetime of love in front of you—
a lifetime for your love to continue to ripen and get sweeter with age.
The love you feel today will feel different in ten years—
indeed, it will be different.
It will have transformed into a more profound love.
It will be more consistent, patient, caring, and utterly rich.
Don’t waste a second of your time together—because life happens fast.
Never waste a minute wondering, “What if this” or “What if that”—
because what’s happening right now is precious and fleeting.
I’m sure God is smiling right now.
God is happy because you are happy.
And that makes us all happy.
So, go now, and begin your “happily ever after.”