The coming of Christ at Christmas was as an infant. And thus we don’t usually think of wedding imagery related to the First coming of Jesus. Yet, since the first coming of Christ is certainly fulfilled, we now focus more on his Second coming, of which the first coming is a sacramental reminder.
Thus, in Advent our longing and thrill are also and essentially directed to his glorious second coming. And now Mother Church, the New Jerusalem, our Mother looks for her groom Jesus to come again all his glory:
I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God…I heard what sounded like the roar of a great multitude in heaven shouting: “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean was given her to wear.” (Rev 21:2-3; 19:7-8)
And this longing remains until Mother Church, Christ’s beautiful bride, hears those words from him: Surge amica mea, speciosa mea et veni! (Arise, my beloved, my beautiful one and come!) (Song of Songs 2:10). Till then, her longing cannot be quenched, when he comes again, in all his radiant beauty and majesty. Till then, she longs, she looks and she waits.
Though some of her children have attained to this glory, she waits and longs till the number of her elect children are complete and she, in her fullness, will go to be with her spouse for ever in beatific glory.
One of the great Advent hymns of the Protestant tradition picks up this bridal theme and “weds” it with advent longing. This particular translation is a masterpiece of English translation (from the German). It is both biblical and artistically beautiful:
Wake, Awake with tidings thrilling;
The Watchmen all the air are filling;
Arise, Jerusalem, Arise!
Midnight strikes, no more delaying;
“The hour has come,” we hear them saying;
Where are ye all ye virgins wise?
The bridegroom comes in sight
Raise high, your torches bright!
The wedding song swells loud and strong;
Go forth and join the festal throng.
Zion hears the watchman shouting;
Her heart leaps up with joy undoubting;
She stands and waits with eager eyes!
She her love from heaven descending;
Adorned with truth and grace unending;
Her light burns clear her star doth rise!
Now come our precious crown;
Lord Jesus, God’s own Son;
Let us prepare to follow there
Where in thy supper we may share.
Yes there is a great wedding feast in every liturgy, and its culmination looks to the glorious second coming of Jesus. This Christmas look to your wedding garments which the Lord gave you at baptism, a garment which, in the baptismal liturgy your were told to bring unstained to the great judgment seat of Christ. The Bridegroom comes! Let us go out to meet Christ the Lord (cf Matt 25:6)
Here is the Great Wedding Song of Advent quoted above:
11 Replies to “The Bridegroom Comes! A reflection on the Great Wedding Feast That Christmas Brings”
Indeed, the LORD of lords had come yet the world was oblivious. HE comes still in the Most Holy EUCHARIST yet we are indifferent and/or ignorant not grasping the fullness of HIS promise, ‘Behold I will be with you until the end of time.’ HE will come in glory and full power until Israel declares, ‘Baruch haba b’shem ADONAI!’ We await with expectant and thankful hearts for HIS great arrival with the minions of angels and saints declaring, ‘Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus DOMINUS DEUS SABAOTH’ that which we proclaim in the Holy Masses celebrated every hour in the countries all over the world. The world is in turmoil and we know it in the very depths of our being but HE who is in our midst said, ‘And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh’ Lk 21:28. LORD, have mercy, may we be constant, persistent and persevering in our love and service to YOU and YOUR people. Thank you, Monsignor Pope for this article. GOD Bless you.
I am the alpha and the omega. This is what mahal na ingkong always tell us whenever he indwell in the person of ate salve. I have chosen a filipina woman to be my temple in the banal na pag-aaral (holy atudies). The world will witness the greatest evangelization the world has never known. Everyone asks that the holy spirit has no name, they are wrong, it is ingkong! I am the third god of the trinitarian god. In the time of moses, he knows me by yahweh. My name is jesus when i was living as human, and now in this era of the holy spirit, i am ingkong. I have already made my second coming in the philippines, thru this holy studies movement which i have created, to be the people vessel of salvation, and this is the new jerusalem. I am promising you my children, those who call me father, rabbi, for those who call me teacher, that not even the gates of hell will not be able to stop this holy studies movement that i have created.
Msgr this is what mahal na ingkong said in 1967 in the philippines with his chosen lady named ate salve, whom he indwells whenever he speaks to the member vigil adorers. So many people have tried to put this movement down, including catholic priests, bishops who became curious that it was a sham. But all failed. The movement is so standing tall already in the four corners of world with its chapters.. And continues to grow.
But now, even bishops and cardinals who got to know the movement thru attending the 3day,retreat, as what they call a phenomenon, are now members of this movement, even nuns who are members now believes that mahal na ingkong is the holy spirit thru their individual encounters.
You belong to this msgr because the way you speak and explains the movements of virtues in a person are all happening to all the members of this movement. In every parishes around the world now who has a eucharistic vigil adoration there you will find the vigil adorers of mahal na ingkong.
Yes!! I am telling you and the world now that the second coming is the creation of the movement HOLY STUDIES. The new jerusalem started already in 1967. The purgation of sins of all members of this group will lead to the NEW HEAVEN and NEW EARTH. Look for a portrait painting by michael angelo in the side of the sistine chapel, that portrait of a woman who holds a book and a cross with the lion below and beside the foot of a woman and the angels assisting the woman is still unnammed in wall of sistine,chapel. It is a revelation to come in the years to come who that woman is.
I see that Jun alonzo writes “I am the third god of the trinitarian god.” I cannot allow that to be posted without comment. The Trinity is not composed of three gods and anyone who is a Catholic should know this. The Trinity is three persons not three gods. There is only ONE God. Unlike human beings where each being is one person, the one being, God, is three persons and just how that is so, is, we acknowledge, a mystery. The human mind has tried to understand this with SOME success. St Thomas Aquinas comes very near, but even he had to admit that it is a mystery.
I would suggest that any Catholic who dabbles with this mahal na ingkong should leave it well alone.
Yes, I was puzzled in that the English is so broken, I am not sure what to make of the comment.
Monsignor Pope, thank you for posting this particular reflection. It might just be the most apt image and reality that we can ponder: especially at this time of the year. May you and your other readers have a grace-filled feast of the birth of Christ.
Lovely, but I wonder why they changed a word: instead of “See her love from heaven descending, they sing “See her friend from heaven descending.” Odd. I cannot see the point of the edit, when the whole theme is nuptial love.
Monsignor I feel the Catholic Church should come up with other examples other than the wedding feast to discribe the relationship of Christ to the Church. It’s only a matter of time before GLADD and the LGTB use this as fodder to justify same sex marriage. They will likely claim it’s the second coming of King Kong.
I do not understand your objection to the wedding feast to describe the relationship of Christ to the Church. The Old Testament is replete with images of God as the Bridegroom to His Bride, namely, Israel. The Catholic Church is the New Bride of Christ. There is no hint of SSM here.
@Robert: actually, the nuptial imagery of Christ and the Church is the critical bulwark against same-sex stuff (as well as against the women priest nonsense). It reminds us of both authentic spousal realities AND the inevitabile sterility which is the outcome of same-sex “love.”
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