Recently at daily Mass I, once again, caught myself day-dreaming about my future wedding, and weddings in general. As I stood in the church that I grew up in I couldn’t help but think about that moment when the doors open and the bride walks down the aisle. Why is it that nearly everyone in the church turns to look at her? We turn because we want to behold her beauty. We want to be awed by her grace, we want to marvel at the dress, at her hair, but most importantly at the joy and glow that radiates from her heart and soul. While the bride walks down the aisle, her groom stands at the front of the church, strong and firm and awaiting his beloved.
As I stood in Mass thinking about this beautiful wedding scene I realized that this day-dream was no day-dream because we are, at every Mass, the bride and Jesus is our bridegroom. We are the beloved. Though everyone might not turn to gaze upon us every time we walk in, we are ever the bride who has come to meet and be joined with our beloved, who waits for us at the altar, strong and firm.
If we think this way, then we can begin to evaluate our lives more critically. If everyone turned to see as we entered the church, what would they see? Not so much in appearance, but more in who we are and our demeanor. Do we enter as a radiant and spotless bride who has come, at long last, to wed her beloved? Do we enter as timid and unsure about what we are about to participate in? Or do we enter with fear of judgment because we know our own sins? Do we enter at all?
The Mass is the wedding feast of Heaven and Earth and we are invited to be the bride, not the usher, not a bridesmaid, but the bride, every single time. We are invited to this glorious wedding, and at it we are invited to wed our beloved Jesus. He waits for us as the bridegroom on the altar and in the tabernacle, waiting to lay down His life for us. But what is perhaps more wonderful than the invitation to such a feast is the role that we are invited to take on. Jesus, our eternal groom, wants us to walk down the aisle to Him astheradiant and glowing spotless bride clothed in white. Are you the bride walking down in shame, covered in sin? Are you the bride walking in afraid, cowering behind people as she slowly makes her way to the altar? Or are you the bride too ashamed and afraid to put on her dress and walk down the aisle?
No matter which bride you see yourself as, Jesus sees you as the spotless bride who radiates love as she glides down the aisle. Jesus sees you as His most precious, beloved bride and He longs for you to see yourself as He does. The invitation, then is, not only to this glorious feast of the wedding of Heaven and Earth, it is to be restored as His spotless bride. The invitation is to love, healing, restoration, and unending joy. This invitation comes daily. Will you accept? Be the bride you’ve always dreamed of being, but more importantly, be the bride Jesus has always and will always see you as.