Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

8/23/2013 (11 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Let us decide today to respond to the Wedding Invitation and begin to live the Nuptial Mystery - right now. We can do so, by living our lives in, with, and for the Lord Jesus Christ

It is not accidental that the Bible, from beginning to the end, uses marriage as a metaphor and a symbol to reveal the plan of God for the whole human race.  Marriage was God's plan from the beginning as we see in the first book of Genesis. Throughout the Old Testament, the Lord speaks through His messengers to remind Israel that has espoused her Himself. Then, in the fullness of time, he sent the Bridegroom, Jesus, his only Son, to initiate the New Israel, the Church - through His saving Incarnation, life and redemptive death. At the cross he espoused Himself to the Church, which is now His Bride.

There will be no giving or taking in marriage in the kingdom to come because the very purpose and meaning of marriage itself will be fulfilled. (See, e.g. Mk. 12:18-27) We will be living in the fullness of the Communion of Love with the Trinity. The symbol will give way to the eternal reality, the Sacrament will be fulfilled in the fullness of communion. All of human love will be completed in the Love which lasts forever.

There will be no giving or taking in marriage in the kingdom to come because the very purpose and meaning of marriage itself will be fulfilled. (See, e.g. Mk. 12:18-27) We will be living in the fullness of the Communion of Love with the Trinity. The symbol will give way to the eternal reality, the Sacrament will be fulfilled in the fullness of communion. All of human love will be completed in the Love which lasts forever.

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

8/23/2013 (11 months ago)

Published in Year of Faith

Keywords: wedding feast, marriage feast, marriage feast of the lamb, Book of revealtions, celibacy, Christian marriage, nuptial mystery, holiness, heaven, no marriage in heaven, happiness, Loving God, Deacon Keith Fournier


CHESAPEAKE, VA (Catholic Online) - Several weeks ago we received a beautiful invitation to the wedding of the oldest daughter of friends of many years. The invitation was beautiful, with a photo of the young couple, smiling and obviously filled with the anticipatory joy which accompanies such a monumental moment in life.

My wife and I were excited, for the young couple, and for our friends. We knew how much they love their dear daughter and how long they prayed for just the right man to court and then spend his life with her. Wedding invitations have a funny way of stripping away the accumulated emptiness of daily problems and silly worries.

Even anticipating the wedding helps us to focus on the very meaning of our lives, to give and receive love. It seems to touch something deep within us, at the core of our very identity. The wedding ceremony itself does so much more. We cry at weddings precisely because we are confronted with the meaning of life and the very structure of reality.

At this point some of you are probably thinking "I thought it was because the bride is always so beautiful."  Yes, that is true, but why? Weddings point us toward the purpose of our lives and invite us to step into the plan of the God who is Love, and has called us to live our lives in love, beginning now and stretching into eternity. That is part of the reason we so often cry at weddings. They touch us at the core of our being.

For the Christian, every day is an invitation into what, in theological terms, we call the nuptial mystery. The word nuptial means of or related to marriage or weddings, even in the plain language dictionaries. The catechism of the Catholic Church, in its treatment of the Sacraments at the Service of Communion at chapter seven (See, CCC #1601 - 1666) expounds the biblical and longstanding teaching on marriage and the plan of God.

One simple line drives the point home: The nuptial covenant between God and his people Israel had prepared the way for the new and everlasting covenant in which the Son of God, by becoming incarnate and giving his life, has united to himself in a certain way all mankind saved by him, thus preparing for "the wedding-feast of the Lamb". (CCC# 1612, citing Rev. 19:7,9) Every time we participate in the Eucharistic Liturgy, we touch the great mystery. We participate in the wedding feast of eternity, beginning right now. heaven comes to earth and earth touches heaven.   

In our Gospel passage today (Mt. 22:1-14) Jesus uses a parable to once again speak into our hearts. In the biblical language, the heart is not simply the organ at the center of our chest but that place deep within where we make our most fundamental choices about life. He tells us that the "Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son."

"He dispatched his servants to summon the invited guests to the feast, but they refused to come. A second time he sent other servants, saying, 'Tell those invited: "Behold, I have prepared my banquet, my calves and fattened cattle are killed, and everything is ready; come to the feast."

It is not accidental that the Bible, from beginning to the end, uses marriage as a metaphor and a symbol to reveal the plan of God for the whole human race.  Marriage was God's plan from the beginning as we see in the first book of Genesis. Throughout the Old Testament, the Lord speaks through His messengers to remind Israel that has espoused her Himself.

Then, in the fullness of time, he sent the Bridegroom, Jesus, his only Son, to initiate the New Israel, the Church - through His saving Incarnation, life and redemptive death. At the cross he espoused Himself to the Church, which is now His Bride. The wedding language informs the entirety of the New Testament culminating with the Wedding Feast of the Lamb which opens the portal of the mystery to reveal God's plan fulfilled in eternity.

This is the mystery to which the Apostle Paul so often points in his letters to the early churches.  At the end of his profoundly important instructions about marriage to the early Church (Ephesians 5) he opens the mystery up with this line, "This is a profound mystery-but I am talking about Christ and the church." (Eph. 5:32)

There will be no giving or taking in marriage in the kingdom to come because the very purpose and meaning of marriage itself will be fulfilled. (See, e.g. Mk. 12:18-27) We will be living in the fullness of the Communion of Love with the Trinity. The symbol will give way to the eternal reality, the Sacrament will be fulfilled in the fullness of communion. All of human love will be completed in the Love which lasts forever.

Both Christian marriage, consecrated to the Lord in a sacramental bond, and consecrated celibacy for the sake of the kingdom to come, participate in the one nuptial mystery. Christian marriage participates in a mediated way, through a husband or a wife. That is why the witness of Christian marriage is so vital. Celibacy participates in an immediate and prophetic way - forsaking an earthly spouse to stand in this world as a symbol of the life to come. The consecrated celibate is married already to the bride, Christ's Church, and is free to minister accordingly, revealing the mystery for all in a prophetic sign.

However, both Christian marriage and consecrated Christian celibacy participate in the one nuptial mystery and both lead us into communion with the Lord. They also position us for mission. In that context, the response of the invited set forth in our Gospel passage becomes clearer. It is also so very saddening,

"Some ignored the invitation and went away, one to his farm, another to his business. The rest laid hold of his servants, mistreated them, and killed them. The king was enraged and sent his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city. Then the king said to his servants, 'The feast is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy to come. Go out, therefore, into the main roads and invite to the feast whomever you find.' The servants went out into the streets and gathered all they found, bad and good alike, and the hall was filled with guests."

We have all been invited to the Wedding Feast of the Lamb. (Rev. 19) How are we living our lives in response? Has this fundamental truth about the very meaning and purpose of life and the root of our vocation truly informed the way we live every day? Are we preparing ourselves for the eternal wedding day? It is in this context that the final lines of this parable should be so sobering and motivating, 

"But when the king came in to meet the guests he saw a man there not dressed in a wedding garment. He said to him, 'My friend how is it that you came in here without a wedding garment?' But he was reduced to silence. Then the king said to his attendants, 'Bind his hands and feet, and cast him into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.' Many are invited, but few are chosen."

The image of clothing ourselves is used throughout the Bible. One example out of many will suffice, St Paul writes in his letter to the Colossians "Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, and patience" (Col. 3:12). The Greek word translated "put on" is literally to clothe oneself. The wedding garment imagery refers to our cooperation with grace to grwo in holiness in this life, in order to be effective as a servant of the Lord and to be properly dressed for the life to come.

Let us decide today to respond to the Wedding Invitation and begin to live the Nuptial Mystery - right now. We can do so, by living our lives in, with, and for the Lord Jesus Christ.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2014
Sports:
That sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth.
Lay Missionaries: That the Holy Spirit may support the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest countries.



Comments


More Year of Faith

The Sower. The Seed. The Field. Understanding the Christian Mission Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

"A sower went out to sow. And, as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep, and when the sun rose it was scorched, and it withered for ... continue reading


A Meditation on the Sacred Heart of Jesus: My Heart to Gods Heart Watch

Image of

By Andrew M. Greenwell, Esq.

O Sacred Heart of Jesus, O burning furnace of divine Love, you are the symbol and summary of the whole mystery of our Redemption.  O mystery of mysteries, an infinite Love which no vessel can contain emptied itself into a finite human vessel of love-and so became ... continue reading


Reflection on the Catholic Catechism: Understanding the Bible Watch

Image of

By Michael Terheyden

How we interpret the Bible is of immense importance! It directly affects what we believe about Christ, the Church, and our faith, but it is also related to many of the grave problems in our society and the world. Yet, despite the gravity of this situation, we have good ... continue reading


Christ the King, the Year of Faith and the Catholic Counterculture Watch

Image of On this Solemnity of the Feast of Christ the King, the Year of Faith inaugurated by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI comes to a ceremonial end. However, in reality, it cannot and will not end, because Jesus Christ is King! The Year of Faith was only the beginning for those who choose to live the Life of Faith.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

We celebrate the Feast of Christ the King. It is one of many opportunities the Catholic Church year offers to each one of us to consider the creature called time, receive it as a gift, and begin to really live our lives differently.  This is one of ... continue reading


The Bones of Peter, the Successor of Peter: Close of the Year of Faith Watch

Image of The bones of St. Peter the Apostle

By Deacon Keith Fournier

On the Solemnity of the Feast of Christ the King, the Sunday which marks both the end of the Church Year and the end of the Year of Faith, inaugurated by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, Pope Francis greeted thousands of the faithful and presided over Holy Mass and the ... continue reading


Fr Randy Sly on Becoming a House of Prayer Watch

Image of Jesus drives the money changers from the temple. 

With hearts clear and focused on our Lord, we can follow the advice of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Everything starts with prayer. Love to pray--feel the need to pray often during the day and take the trouble to pray. If you want to pray better, you must pray more. The more you pray, the easier it becomes. Perfect prayer does not consist of many words but in the fervor of the desire which raises the heart to Jesus. (Fr. Randy Sly)

By Father Randy Sly

Becoming a House of Prayer is the best discipline we can take on. St. Ephraem of Syria states that Virtues are formed by prayer. Prayer preserves temperance. Prayer suppresses anger. Prayer prevents emotions of pride and envy. Prayer draws into the soul the Holy ... continue reading


Jesus Weeps and Offers the Path to Peace Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

If this day you only knew what makes for peace- but now it is hidden from your eyes. For the days are coming upon you when your enemies will raise a palisade against you; they will encircle you and hem you in on all sides. They will smash you to the ground and your ... continue reading


The Kingdom of God is Among You. What Did Jesus Mean? Watch

Image of The Christian vocation is, of its nature, a vocation to the apostolate as well. Indeed, we call an apostolate every activity of the Mystical Body that aims to spread the Kingdom of Christ over all the earth. (CCC#863)

By Deacon Keith Fournier

In Jesus Christ, the Kingdom has been inaugurated. Upon his return it will be made complete and fully manifested in a new heaven and a new earth. We are members of the Body of Christ which makes it present here and now - as seed and sign for a world which is in labor. ... continue reading


Year of Faith: Bringing the Feast of the Presentation of Mary to Life Watch

Image of The Feast of the Presentation of Mary is celebrated in both the Eastern and Western Churches. It recalls the day in the life of the Jewish girl named Mary (Maryam) when her parents, Joachim and Anne, presented her to the Lord in the temple and dedicated her life to Him.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

On this Feast of the Presentation of Mary, let us make the choice to surrender ourselves to the same Lord who Joachim and Ann honored when they presented their dear daughter in the temple. Their daughter, Mary, became the Second Eve. The New Creation was born through ... continue reading


WEDNESDAY HOMILY: Our Lady's Encouragement Watch

Image of

By Fr Samuel Medley, SOLT

I got off the subway at Termini station and went up to the busy streets of Rome.  I had to walk past the place where all the prostitutes gathered.  I looked down at the street and began to pray in fear.  Suddenly I heard a feminine voice say, "Be a man!" ... continue reading


All Year of Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Gospel, John 11:19-27
19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 29th, 2014 Image

St. Martha
July 29: "Jesus loved Martha and Mary and Lazarus." This unique ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter