The magi were foreigners who left everything to follow a star. They were probably married, so that means that they spent much time away from home. In some cases, distance is the strength that holds the marriage together.
A couple wanted a divorce after 30 years of marriage. The counselor asked, “What happened? Why do you want to divorce him?” The wife answered, “Because he came home.” We can imagine the questions the Magi received from their wives when they got home. We have called them the “Three Kings”, “the Magi”, “the Wise Men”. No telling what their wives called them. Spending time away from home can be adventurous, but there are always consequences. Sooner or later all adventures, all vacations come to an end. We have to return to reality. Holiness unfolds in the ordinariness of life. Regardless of the arrangement—Husband and wife, single parent home, with children, no children—we are all called to be God’s family. The family has deep roots in creation history. God is the One who called us. He takes the initiative. The Lord plants the seed of a vocation in our soul of what he wants us to be. Therefore, when two people are getting to know each other—they need to ask God if this is what He wants. One of the best ways is to pray together. Imagine how different our world would be if young people prayed together. Does not take long—just hold hands—close your eyes and invoke the Holy Spirit. Ask the Lord, “Are we meant for each other? Is this Your will Oh Lord?” The answer will come.
God can speaks to us in many ways, even through parents. Parents are usually good sounding boards for relationships. In most cases parents know their children. Can happen that parents object—listen. Having the blessing of parents is important. But that means they have to know. Not a good idea to keep a boyfriend or a girlfriend a secret. There are over 4,000 years of Biblical history of parental guidance. In times past, parents were the ones who chose the spouse for their children. They knew the family; wanted to insure the inheritance of the land they owned; since they couldn’t get very far—cousins married cousins. Jewish customs have had much influence in the Sacrament of marriage, especially in Mexico with the migration of Sephardic Jews from Spain. A little different in Minnesota, but in our area we are highly influenced my Mexico.
Many of the symbols at a wedding have Jewish roots. The Bride wears a veil over her face. The veil is not lifted until she reaches the altar. That’s because the groom had never seen her. The marriage had been arranged by the parents. The groom waited for her at the altar. By his side was her brother or her cousin, with a little dagger at the groom’s ribs—just in case he changed his mind when the veil was lifted. Since some of the Jews did not want their identity known, they became “Closet Jews”. In order to preserve some of the customs, “bad luck” was attached to the groom if he saw the bride in her wedding dress before the wedding. How dumb is that? Is the groom going to marry the bride or the dress? Typically a bride hides out until the last moment, as if the groom had never seen her before. The arras are also a blast from the past. The coins represent what the father of the bride had to pay the groom for him to take her off his hands. Either she joined the convent or got married. One gold coin would freed and cloth her for a month—one for each month and an extra for good luck—therefore 13 coins are exchanged. But no one remembers why. The tail starts wagging the dog. In some cases the symbols have become more important than preparing for marriage. A wedding takes about 45 minutes. A marriage is about a lifetime. Covenant relationship is possible, never easy, but possible. God gives the grace.
The couples who stand to be recognized on their anniversary give testimony that marriage can be lived. Husbands and wives can live their dream—follow the star and learn to find Christ in each other.