Dear Zuzana, Mark, brothers and sisters,
Occasionally I serve a mass in the retirement home in Nitra town. As you enter the building, you can see a sign. Written in large font, it reads: “Only a life lived for others is worthy”. You can also read the author’s name: “Albert Ainstein”. People, who live in there are at the end of their lives.
You, dear Zuzana and Mark, are both at the beginning of your lives together in marriage. Today, you surely say without any hesitation: “I want to live for you. I want to live for our future, for our children, for our family…” Sooner or later though you shall realise, that to live for others is not always so simple and easy. “Only a life lived for other others is worthy” even at times when unexpected situations come to your life. The fact we don’t see the meaning sometimes, can itself become a problem or difficulty. At times, when we scarify ourselves for others, but our love and efforts are unnoticed or unappreciated in return, a question may arise: “Is it worth?”
Similarly, the servants in today’s gospel could have also asked: What is the “point” of drawing 600 litres of water from a well when we need a vine? What does the gospel want to tell us?
The vine, that so quickly ran out at the wedding is the preliminary “in-love” stage. However alluring and exciting it can be, it will sooner or later fade away. How to then continue? Will it be the end of the marriage? In many cases sadly, yes. However, not for many Christians. This is when the most difficult faze of the “miracle” marriage begins.
Carrying the water of daily commonness, sacrifices, loyal carrying out of duties, love, respect, understanding…All these and many more are needed to fill the (“purifying jars”) and to build your reciprocal relationship. May be it appears as hard work, tiring, not bringing any fruit; a work at which one gets pretty tired. But only those are the springs that Jesus can turn into a good vine of personalised and lasting marriage love experience. Such marriage is then an example for others.
Zuzana and Mark: “May your love flourish to a level where you are willing to give up some of your freedom. Up until today, each of you were free to choose someone else. From now on, you are giving up this freedom. This decision is your gift to one another.
People who are in love, often call each other “My Treasure”. I don’t know if this is also your case. The true however is that each of you has a treasure and is a treasure (himself). It is the same treasure God put into Zuzana that attracted you Mark to her. In the same way, the Lord put a treasure into Mark. Today, you gift each other with this treasure in the future to come. You Mark, will pledge a promise that you will never seek this treasure in another woman and you Zuzana will promise that you will never seek it in another man.
Finally, I would like to wish you both; for you first vine to be running out really slow. And should it run out, may you both make a speedy joint effort to carry the water of daily commonness with Christ. He will help you to transform your relationship to gain the primary love once again, because: “Only a life that is lived for others is meaningful/ worthy”.