Everybody Loves a Wedding

Sunday January 16, 2022 The Second Sunday Ordinary Time (Cycle C)

The tie in between today’s reading: Scripture Wedding Theme

Psalm 96Isaiah 62:1-51 Corinthians 12:4-11John 2:1-12

Going through today’s readings, I discovered a wedding theme. I don’t know anybody who doesn’t like a good wedding. There’s something there for everyone. Some like a beautiful ceremony. Others enjoy a church adorned with flowers for your senses and music for your soul. If you’re into clothes, the wedding party in front is bringing their fashion “A” game to the occasion. Take a picture. It won’t last long once they get to the reception. Maybe you’re into emotions. The enraptured groom beams as he watches his radiant bride process up the aisle accompanied by her father choking back tears knowing that he will soon hand over his little girl to a young man who was once a stranger, now a son, and then slip away. In nervous confidence, the young couple pledge their undying love to each other and seal their promise with a ring and a kiss. Applause. Applause. With a lighter step, they walk together out the church door. The new Mr. and Mrs. stand and greet their guests on the way to the reception with hugs, handshakes, and kisses. No matter what you think about weddings one thing is sure: for the man in the black tux and the woman in the white gown, everything has changed. Nothing will ever be the same from this day forth.

Another moment when nothing will be the same is in today’s reading at the wedding at Cana (John 2:1-12). Jesus has been baptized, tested in the desert, and is ramping up His ministry as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Mother Mary informs Jesus that the wine is running out (a big embarrassment). With love and respect He tells her that they have a different relationship now. Everything has changed. Jesus responds to the need and her request by changing the water into wine, so demonstrating that He is the Lord of Creation…miracle #1. Jesus stays in Capernaum for a few days after the wedding with His mother, brothers, and disciples. Hmmm…I wonder what they talked about at dinner.

Getting back to our wedding reception, for some, the best part of the day is where we can catch up with family and friends, as well as meet the new people in the spouse’s family. There is a spirit of joy so pervasive that even the most cynical among us, for a moment at least, celebrate the promise of a love that never fails. Which leads me to my favorite part of the reception: The Toast. The best man, maid of honor, and others will stand and relate humorous and touching stories of what wonderful people the new couple are. These endearing accounts give us confidence that together they will make it through the storms of life. Psalm 96 has the marks of a great toast. It sings the praises of God, relates His great deeds, and looks forward to a bright future.

Then there are the wedding gifts to help the newlyweds get started on their lives together. Money in a card is nice, but I like to see the presents piled up on the table like a little Christmas. It shows thoughtfulness and maybe, if you picked up a good deal on Amazon, you got them a little bit more. We, the Church, are the bride of Christ. The Holy Spirit gives us gifts to help the whole family of God. Each is picked out specifically for each individual for them to play their part in their new relationship with Jesus and each other. So, open your gift. Get to know it. Experiment with it like a bride with new cookware. Use it like you’re going to host Thanksgiving.

Now, the Honeymoon: the climax of the day. The rapture of the couple’s new relationship cannot be compared to any earthly experience. Isaiah 62:55 is Jesus’ declaration of joy with His new bride, the Church. He just can’t contain Himself! You can feel the love through the page as He claims her as His beloved. He offers that same love to you right now too. Accept His proposal and take Him as your Savior, Lord, and Spouse. He will wash your sin from you, dress you in His glorious purity, and lead you by the hand to His Marriage Supper, where all who come will live happily ever after.

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