Golden anniversary couples renew their commitments
"What an inspiration you are," Bishop Zubik said
Bishop David Zubik asked the couples before him to renew their matrimonial commitment to one another and to profess their love before God and the church.
When they finished, he then asked them to kiss one another.
The gesture drew an audible sigh from the congregation, and many family members wiped tears from their eyes.
They were inspired by the witness of some 350 couples who were recognized during the Golden Wedding Anniversary Mass Oct. 21 at St. Paul Cathedral in Pittsburgh’s Oakland neighborhood.
“How proud we all are of the witness they bring,” Bishop Zubik said.
The bishop pointed out that in an age of Twitter, Facebook and the Internet, the couples have mastered the “www” language: wit, wherewithal and wisdom. They are three divine qualities that have shaped their relationships.
He noted the wit of Jesus in dealing with the apostles and the wit of the “I Love Lucy” generation.
The couples, Bishop Zubik said, could give countless examples of how they have used wit in their relationships. He drew laughter when he said how it has helped them to deal with issues involving snoring, “over and under” toilet roll dispensers and “up or down” toilet seats.
“Wit is a way in which we can make a point with each other without pain,” he said.
Wherewithal, the bishop continued, involves doing whatever it takes. He noted that Jesus came to make sure that we are saved.
To be saved, he said, we must show compassion and mercy and be the face of Christ.
“It isn’t always easy, but it is always redemptive,” he said.
Bishop Zubik told the couples that their wisdom helps them to embrace the mind and heart of God and lay down their lives as servants to one another. They would not be in attendance, he noted, if they had not learned the lesson of sacrificial love — to be less selfish and more selfless.
“What an inspiration you are,” he said. “Thank God for you and thank God for your presence here today.”
The gathering was sponsored by the Office for Adult and Family Faith Formation, with the assistance of the Worldwide Marriage Encounter Community of the Diocese of Pittsburgh.
Rick and Evie Wess of the Worldwide Marriage Encounter Community praised the couples for being outstanding examples of the unconditional love that Jesus spoke of when he said, “Love one another as I have loved you.”
The couples promote Christ-centered marriages, they noted, adding that strong marriages create strong families, and that the world can be changed one couple at a time.
“Your example gives hope,” Evie said. “Thank you for living the sacrament.”