WEDDINGS . . . I LOVE WEDDINGS
Brothers and Sisters,
I still remember going to see the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie. I had vaguely heard about it, but I was not interested at all in seeing it because I has heard that the genesis of the movie was based on one of the rides at a famous themepark. I only went because my extended family was going as a large group and then we were all going to hang out for dinner and an all-evening party together. My attitude changed quickly because not only was the adventure story fun, the dialogue was beyond clever (for example, the character played by Geoffrey Rush says “I am disinclined to acquiesce to your request . . . it means ‘no.’”).
There are so many clever lines that I remember from that movie. Another memorable line from the character played by Johnny Depp: “a wedding . . . I love weddings – drinks all ‘round!” Since there are quite a number of weddings coming up in our parishes, I wanted to give a bit of a reminder as to why the early fathers of the Church – and still Holy Mother Church Herself – calls Heaven “the eternal wedding feast.”
Firstly, the very concept of a wedding is a foreshadow of union of Christ with the Church. From the beginning, the Book of Genesis tells us that even our first parents in the allegorical garden are foreshadowing something much bigger than themselves and even bigger than their original sin. Their union together as husband and wife predicts the unity of Christ and the Church.
This is made all-the-more clear with Christ’s first miracle at the Wedding Feast of Cana. Here, Christ is not just a guest at someone else’s party, He is a participant in the event. This is precisely the reason for the Church recognizing marriage as a sacrament; marriage existed as a covenant before the Church began, true, but with John chapter two showing Christ being an active part of every wedding, we can see why a wedding is a sacrament and no mere human ceremony.
In Heaven Christ the husband is married to His bride: Holy Mother Church. This is also why Mary, the mother of Christ, is also our mother as well. Though this way of writing about Mary might make some relegate her to the role of mother-in-law, Blessed Mother is more than that. Since Christ existed before us and, as Saint Paul clarifies, all of us were created “through Him and for Him,” Blessed Mother becomes our very mother also. As we look forward to celebrating weddings for members of our parishes in the next twelve months, recall at each wedding not only the union of husband and wife with one another and with Christ, but also that this foreshadows the union of the faithful in Heaven.
God be near,