One of the great themes of Advent is the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus. With the Church throughout the ages, we not only confess that the eternal Son came and became the man Jesus and was born of a woman, died, rose again, and ascended into heaven, but that this same Jesus will come again with all his angels to judge the living and the dead, to raise up the faithful from the dead to everlasting life and to raise the wicked from the dead to release into eternal darkness and torment. In Revelation 19, St. John writes, “Blessed are those who are called to the Marriage Supper of the lamb.” Likewise, St. Paul uses similar imagery in Ephesians 5 where he describes the love of Christ for the Church, his bride, having given himself up for her, he is sanctifying her by the water and the word in order that he may one day present his bride to himself without spot or wrinkle. The end of human history is pictured as a great wedding, a glorious wedding feast. Likewise, Jesus tells the parable of the wedding feast particularly against the Jews who thought that God had to keep them as his people no matter what. Jesus says that when the Groom’s closest friends refuse to come to his wedding, he extends the invitation to the whole world, whoever is willing to come (Mt. 22). All of this imagery makes it easy to understand why the Church has always understood the Song of Songs to be, at least in part, a typological picture of God’s love for his people, described in the language of the marriage bed, the joyful lovemaking of a bride and groom described as a feast. And of course one cannot speak of weddings without recalling that the first miracle of Jesus was to turn the water into wine at a wedding feast in Cana. Thus, it is no accident that Jesus has given us this simple feast to celebrate week after week. Here, he invites us to begin to partake of the Marriage Supper of the Lamb now. Here, he invites his bride to feast upon him, and he rejoices in his bride considering her to be without spot and without wrinkle. Here, your husband gives you wine (and not water, not grape juice); he gives you wine to make your hearts glad. This is the great wedding feast. Here, we enter into the end of the world. Here the Lord assures us of what is without a doubt sure to come. This is what we’re working toward. We’re working toward a great wedding feast. So come enter into the joy of your Lord.
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