Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The birth of the betrothed

We may have heard that the relationship between Christ and his people is like the relationship between a bridegroom and a bride. The bible draws this parallel in numerous places (husbands love your wives as Christ loved the Church).

Since the story of God's love for us culminates in the as of yet unfulfilled event of the Church being presented as a spotless bride to Christ. The Church, full of sinful people such as myself, has a long way to go before being the spotless bride. It seems the lovely girl (the Church, Christ's fiancee) is still a bit too young for the wedding.

When we ponder the third glorious mystery, Pentecost, what we have is the birth of Christ's fiancee, the spotless-bride-to-be. This new baby, like all babies, turned their world upside down with the fervor of new life. What began as a meeting of men once too cowardly to admit any association with Our Lord ended with these same men speaking new languages and offering forgiveness for killing the Christ whom they all betrayed. Sometimes while improsoned for preaching, these men found angels coming to their rescue. Though sometimes these witnesses died a violent death instead of getting rescued. But then comes the conversion of those that murdered the Christian witnesses. And when this murderer turns into preacher, he preaches a sermon so long and boring that someone falls asleep, falls out of a window, and dies. But not even death is an excuse for getting out of one of Paul's sermons and so the Apostle raises the man from the dead. And if that wasn't enough the disciples get mistaken for the Pagan Gods (Jupiter and Mercury) they were calling people to forsake.

If we celebrate the beginning of Jesus' earthly body in the first joyful mystery, then we celebrate the beginning of Christs' mystical body (the Church with Christ as head) in the third glorious mystery.

When we pondered the Ascension (the second glorious mystery) we needed to remember that the story of victory over death did not end with Christ rising and saying good-bye to us. Rather it began a new chapter in which there was much work and preparation on our part. Now we see God's part in the in-between time after the Ascension of Our Lord and before his return. He sends us the Holy Spirit to invigorate and intoxicate the works that we have dedicated to the Lord's service. May we all remember the earlier lessons of relinquishing control over our relationship with God.

No comments: