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The Deacon's Bench

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When he was 16 years old, Dan Powell was playing football at
a Boy Scouts camp when he was tackled, and suffered a traumatic injury.  He broke his neck.  Dan was left a paraplegic, paralyzed
from the chest down.  He never walked
again.  In spite of that, he ended
up going to college – and even became a rocket scientist for NASA

But
his life was incomplete. 

He
joined an online dating service and met Lori Coates, a pretty, engaging,
36-year-old technology manager. 
The two of them exchanged emails for a few weeks.  Lori knew about his disability but was
determined to try and see past that. 
Finally, they arranged to meet. 
They went out to dinner.  And something just clicked. 

That
was in the summer of 2008.

In
the Washington Post a year later, there was a write up about how they met and
fell in love, against improbable odds. 
A friend of Lori’s put it simply: “She loves to laugh and he makes her
laugh,” she said.  “He brought out
a huge heart in her.”

And so it was that this past
summer, Dan and Lori married in a big Catholic wedding down in Arlington,
Virginia.  At the reception, when
they were announced for the first time as Mr. & Mrs. Dan Powell, he rolled
in on his wheelchair, beaming, with Lori on his lap.   

They
were beginning the ride of their lives.

 I
read about stories like that and I can’t help but appreciate more deeply the
words we hear today from Genesis: “It is not good for the man to be alone.”

That
poignant passage from the first reading is part of the creation account – and
it is a reminder that the crowning achievement of God’s creation was that bond
between a man and a woman.    That bond is the final thing He created – the one element that was missing from
paradise.  

With that, the world became
complete.  But that doesn’t mean
God’s work was finished.  You’ll
recall that Christ’s first miracle was at a wedding – in a beautiful symmetry,
his earthly work began where his Father’s ended: with the union of a man and a
woman.  In Christ’s hands, His
Father’s creation continued.

The result was, literally, a
miracle. 

And the great work goes on.

(Continue after the jump…)

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