By Emily Cavins
We women really enjoy attending weddings, especially when it is a church wedding between two solid Christian families and the young couple at the altar intends to live as an example of Christ and the Church.
Tertullian, near the end of the 2nd Century AD, expressed that feeling when he wrote: How can I ever express the happiness of a marriage joined by the Church, strengthened by an offering, sealed by a blessing, announced by angels, and ratified by the Father? … How wonderful the bond between two believers, now one in hope, one in desire, one in discipline, one in the same service! They are both children of one Father and servants of the same Master, undivided in spirit and flesh, truly two in one flesh. Where the flesh is one, one also is the spirit. (CCC# 1642)
Nowadays it seems more rare that newlyweds care about being examples, and oftentimes couples and their attendants approach the sacrament of marriage flippantly.
Attending a wedding is one thing. Planning it is another, as any of you who have had the blessing of a child getting married already know. One of the more stressful moments is wrangling the RSVP’s for the reception. When you’ve overspent for a sit down dinner, you are really hoping everyone shows up, but at the last minute guests call to say they can’t make it or they just plain don’t show up.
Jesus tells a parable about a wedding feast that would make any wedding planner have a melt down. The guests don’t RSVP and when they are hounded to respond they give lame excuses or physically harm the wedding planner. What a fiasco! Then the planner runs through the streets begging anyone to attend, and when finally enough people have been brought in to eat, someone shows up looking like a bum and offends the host. That scenario sounds like it could make a funny movie plot, but actually it is a serious matter if we take a closer look.
Do we approach the wedding supper, the Eucharist, with lame excuses why not to go or to show up late? Have we complained about the priest? Have we attacked the leadership with our words? Have we shown up with an unrepentant heart? At first Jesus’ parable seems extremely harsh, but when we bring it to the heart level, maybe it’s just a little too close and personal! That is the intension of Jesus’ teachings, to bring it on home to the heart.
The Wedding Supper of the Lamb is the banquet to end all banquets and has been prepared by the King of the Kings with all the trimmings. All are invited to attend. It’s hard to believe that many people aren’t interested in going. I know for sure that I intend to go. I RSVP’d at baptism and have been planning my outfit for a while now. I’ve had to wash my wedding garment several times and make several repairs, but I intend to keep trying to clean it until that glorious day as is described in the book of Revelation, chapter 19, when the angel announces, “Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb!” I want to be there as beautiful as I can possibly be with all my friends and relatives in a huge celebration. I want to attend the feast with Christ as our eternal spouse and have him look at me and say, “Yes, my bride has shown me that she loves me by how she readied her heart for me. No pressure girls! Start primping for the big day!
Mass Reading: Matthew 22:1-1
Read Revelation 19:5-9 to put yourself in the wedding mood!
About the Author:
Emily Cavins received her BA in Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology from the University of Minnesota and has participated in several excavations in Israel. She is a tour leader of annual pilgrimages to Israel and other Bible related destinations with husband Jeff Cavins. www.jeffcavins.comEmily’s current project, the Gen2Rev Storybook: A Walk through the Catholic Bible introduces children and educators to salvation history and makes a vital link between the Bible, Mass and the Catholic Faith. Gen2RevCatholic.com. You can see more of Emily on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EmilyToblerCavins/ or at Catholic Family Night: www.catholicfamilynight.com