50 years of thanksgiving.

In this day and age, with the definition of marriage being stretch to be considered simply an emotional bond, or a cultural rite, or even completely replaced with couples living with each other until their ‘needs’ are not met or they get bored, any wedding anniversary is something of a miracle.

Regardless if it is the celebration of the 1st anniversary of  Yuri and Nikyla Hladio – (Oct. 12 2014) or more profoundly of Steve and Marie Bilan’s 50th anniversary the other week, it is something deeply to thank God for.

Getting old is relatively easy, something that all of us accomplish regardless of the trials and tribulations life gives. But getting old with some else is something that takes work, sacrifice and ultimately love, especially after 50 years! And this is the wonder of celebrating such a blessed anniversary as Steve and Marie’s.

Both Steve and Marie’s 50 years of commitment and struggle bear witness not simply to humanities deep desire for company, nor to a partnership of two equals, but to the joy and blessings of Christ’s love poured out on them, and on all humanity.

Only love, and the willingness to sacrifice, take chances, forgive, and ask for forgiveness can smooth out the dirt and grim that life throws all us all. Only love can mend broken hearts, and passions that seek only self-preservation at the cost of everyone else. And only love can build up a family, and a community of those wanting to be better than what they are ever told they can be.

It is this love, refined and purified over these past 50 years that mark the lives of both Steve and Marie, and it is this love, more precious than gold or jewels, that confirms what it is to be human. To love and be loved, as God has loved us (1 Jn. 4:19).

We thank God that we still have such Icons of what married life is, and of what a family is, revealing the mystery of God’s mercy and love for humanity, that is of Christ and the Church (Eph. 5:32). Submitting to one another, sanctifying one another, dying to one another in love and nothing else.

May we all be inspired to live such lives, and may the Lord continue to bless Steve and Marie, their family and friends with health and Salvation.