Grace to you!
There are many fascinating stories in the Old Testament. Their spiritual significance, style, lyrical flourish and poetic wit are amazing. Take for instance the Book of Isaiah 62:1-5. May I read a portion of it?
“For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest until her vindication goes forth as brightness and her salvation as a burning torch. . . You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God. . . You shall be called my delight is in her, and your Land Married” (Isaiah 62:1, 3, 4a).
Granted the historical context of the message which adds sophisticated layers to it, could you contemplate the imagery used here? Though the message was first addressed to post-exilic Israel at the time, it refers to the Church too. It is equally a message for you as a child of God. So, you may read it as God personal message to you.
Imagine God speaking about you, saying you are a crown of beauty, a royal diadem in his hand. You are his delight. God uses the language of marriage-love to describe his affection for you.
Personally, I am deeply touched by this prophecy. The realization that God takes me personally as an individual of special beauty is awesome. God makes a promise of holy espousal in time to come. I have to tell you, this promise has already been fulfilled, when our Lord Jesus Christ came to reconcile us with God; making us God’s precious ones. Hence, all through the bible, the imagery used to describe the relationship between God and his elect is that of marriage. It was not without reason that the first sign performed by the Lord in the Gospel of John, changing water into wine, happened in the context of marriage feast and family dynamics (see Jn 2:1-11).
Permit me to be a little personal here if it would help our spiritual growth. A few times I have felt some deep, mystical union with my Lord Jesus Christ. My heart was completely consumed, should I say, entrapped by Divine Love. I do not know how to describe it, but it feels like when we are in a somber, deep sleep covered by a perfectly fitted warm blanket on a wintry weekend. Not exactly, I lack words to express it. The heart is completely resting in the Lord’s joy, peace and ecstasy so much so it feels already it is in heaven. Divine intimacy even here on earth is real and mirrors what is to come.
I believe that the marriage feast of the lamb, so beautifully described in the Book of Revelation (Rev 19:6-9), started to be realized in the inseparable union between Christ and his Church, is also a union with every member of the Church. Heaven is a marriage with the lamb. Heaven on earth is an ecclesial marriage with the Lamb. Heaven in the family is marriage with Jesus in your home (the domestic church). Heaven in the soul, your heart, is a personal marriage with Jesus in your soul. This marriage setting brings with it the graces of provision, both for your spiritual growth and your social wellbeing.
I would ask you to taste and see that the Lord Jesus Christ is good. He is beautiful. You too are a pearl, a crown of beauty, in his hands.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Sunday, Week 2 in Ordinary Time: Is 62:1-5; 1 Cor 12:4-11; Jn 2:1-11]
Author and Goal
Father Maurice Emelu PhD., provides a daily blog of reflections based on the Scriptural readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. The goal is to teach, inspire, encourage, and foster healing through the grace of God's word. They are written in a language that is appropriate for a general audience. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration, and developing your thoughts. They may also be useful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.