Wedding feast for faithful brides and grooms - Catholic Courier

Wedding feast for faithful brides and grooms

For brides and grooms preparing for marriage, for married couples and for those who love them, these words from the second reading for the fifth Sunday of Easter take on special meaning: "I also saw the holy city, a new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband." (Revelation 21:2)

St. John has already announced that "the wedding day of the Lamb has come; his bride has made herself ready." (Revelation 19:7) This image of the well-prepared bride is a special sign of the "the church in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, holy and without blemish." (Ephesians 5:27) She has been "betrothed to Christ" (2 Corinthians 11:2), just as Hosea (2:21-22) promised: "I will betroth you to me forever; with loyalty and with compassion; I will betroth you to me with fidelity."

Loyalty (in Hebrew, hesed) is the steadfast love between two partners of the covenant. Compassion is a familial, maternal love. Following a difficult period of betrayal and infidelity, Hosea renews his marriage vows, pledging fidelity to his bride "forever."

The bride, once defiled by her infidelity, has come prepared for the wedding in a "bright, clean garment" (Revelation 19:8). She has washed her robes and "made them white in the blood of the Lamb." (Revelation 7:14) Her wedding garment is now suitable for the holy covenant she is prepared to enter: "For he has clothed me with garments of salvation, and wrapped me in a robe of justice, as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. (Isaiah 61:10)

The wedding garment is a symbol of our inner repentance and change of heart. It’s a sign of our turning back to God, so as to be properly outfitted to gain admittance to the wedding feast in God’s heavenly kingdom.

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