THE STEM AND BRANCH OF CHRISTIAN MARRIAGE

The Wedding at Cana is a painting by Paolo Veronese

HOLY MATRIMONY BETWEEN KWAME SARFO ASIEDU AND SYLVIA ANITA WILLIAMS

ON 4TH FEBRUARY, 2023, AT THE HOLY SPIRIT CATHEDRA, ADABRAKA

READINGS: SIRACH 26:1-4,13-16 & MATTHEW 19:3-6

THEME: THE STEM AND BRANCH OF CHRISTIAN MARRIAGE

Marriage is not a finished project like a completed building. It is, rather, an unfinished, dynamic project like a growing tree.

At a wedding, therefore, the groom and bride are not like a building’s blocks which cannot grow. Rather, they are like the stem and branch of a tree which have to keep growing in order to bear good fruits.

Please pay attention to the fact that I am using the “branch” of the tree in the singular. In other words, though the ribs of Adam consisted of several bones, only one bone was used by God to create Eve, the wife (cf. Gen. 2:18-24). Similarly, in the tree of marriage, the stem has only one branch.

  1. THE HUSBAND AS THE STEM

The stability and nourishment of the stem of tree depend a lot on its roots. In the first reading from the Book of Sirach, the fear of God is mentioned as the main or primary root for the husband: “A good wife is the best of portions reserved for those who fear the Lord” (Sir. 26:3; TNJB).

Therefore, Kwame get rooted in the Lord through the fear of Him. When you are rooted in the Lord, you will be nourished by divine love, because God is love (cf. 1 John 4:8). Now, as the nutrients in the roots pass through the stem to reach a branch, so Kwame, as you draw nourishment from divine love, you should in turn love Sylvia according to 1 Cor. 13:4-7. That is, you should:

  • Be patient with and not easily irritated by her
  • Be kind and not unkind to her
  • Be appreciative and not unappreciative of her
  • Be selfless and not selfish towards her
  • Forgive and not keep a record of her wrongdoings
  • Love her in good times and in bad times

Kwame, if you so love Sylvia as Christ loves you, your wife will be good and loving to you.

  1. THE WIFE AS THE UNIQUE BRANCH

Sylvia, as Kwame shows you so much love, you should display the qualities of a good wife. As the branch of a tree carries the twigs, leaves, flowers and fruits, so the Book of Sirach mentions several qualities of a good wife, e.g., chastity, understanding, well-trained character, silence, modesty and grace. So, Sylvia, you must:

  • Be chaste and not unfaithful to Kwame
  • Be understanding and not unreasonable to him
  • Display well-trained character and not rudeness
  • Cultivate silence and not be contentious
  • Be modest and not extravagant
  • Be a woman of grace and not disgrace; grace here means the polite and pleasant behaviour which attracts respect

Sylvia, if you display these and other qualities of a good wife, your inner beauty will shine before Kwame like the rising sun (cf. Sir. 26:16). That is, as the beauty of rising sun is new every morning, so Kwame will always admire and appreciate you.

  1. THE GOOD FRUITS OF MARRIAGE

A good tree bears good fruits. Thus, the Book of Sirach mentions some of the good fruits of a marriage in which the man fears the Lord and the wife is good. They include:

  • long life
  • peace
  • joy
  • cheerful in all seasons (like a tree planted by an ever-flowing river)
  • strength
  • satisfaction

Therefore, Kwame and Sylvia, may you both:

  • enjoy long life – may you grow old together until death separates you
  • enjoy peace of mind and in your relationship
  • enjoy a happy and prosperous marriage
  • be cheerful in all seasons – in good and bad times of life
  • be strong spiritually and physically
  • be satisfied with children, grandchildren and other blessings

CONCLUSION

Finally, Kwame and Sylvia, as you enjoy these and other blessings of God, may your marriage inspire many husbands to truly fear the Lord and many wives to be good!

Amen!

(By Rev. Fr. John Kobina Louis)

Bishop John Kobina Louis

Most Rev. John Kobina Louis is an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Accra, Ghana. More about him here.

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Catholic Homilies and Sermons for the Liturgical Year by Most Rev. John Kobina Louis, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Accra, Ghana.

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