His Gentle Love

Weddings are such special events, and they affect everyone who has the joy of attending. Those who are already married, find themselves thinking back to their own marriage beginnings. They remember their ceremony, their feelings of love and their intentions. The wedding provides for them, a time to remember and renew.

Those not married find themselves caught up in the festivities, the music and the solemnity of the occasion, and, they cannot help but rejoice with the new couple and wish them well.

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of attending a most beautiful wedding and reception. Everything about it was so well-planned, the slightest details were so perfectly executed that you knew the couple put themselves, their feelings, their emotions into the preparations. In short, the beauty of the couple’s souls, were laid bare, so that everyone could experience the joy, the love that they had for each other.

The parents of the bridal couple always have mixed emotions. They are happy for their son or daughter. They rejoice with them and wish for them every joy and happiness. And yet, with their own hearts brimming with joy, they feel a tug, a concern deep within. They want everything to be perfect for them, and know that life, at times, is not perfect. Will they be able to handle it? What did we not explain to them? What can we do, now to help them? These thoughts filter in, and mingle with their joys. And so, what should be a time for sheer joy and happiness, for the parents, becomes tinged with concerns and worry.

To this our faith helps us. We know the parable of the Good Shepherd. We know that Christ is the Good Shepherd. He watches over us with gentle care. He stays with us, without our even knowing that He is there. He respects our free will, allowing us to live our lives in the manner that we choose. He is always there ready to help us, but He waits for our invitation, our request for His help. His gentle guidance, His graces, they do not overwhelm.

The parents, in their growth in faith, must try to resemble Christ. As parents of the wedding couple, two days, two months, two years, two decades down the road, they must continue to strive to be like the Good Shepherd. Yes, at times they will worry, they will hurt and they will agonize over what they should do. Like Christ, they can love, they can gently guide by their own example. They cannot intrude, nor invade the couple’s lives. They must be strong enough to let the young grow.