Thought of the day
Saturday, July 2, 2016

Saturday of the Thirteenth week in Ordinary Time

“The bridegroom is with them”

The Church – mystery of men’s union with God. It is in the Church that Christ fulfills and reveals his own mystery as the purpose of God’s plan: “to unite all things in him.” (Eph 1:10) St. Paul calls the nuptial union of Christ and the Church “a great mystery.” (Eph 5:32) Because she is united to Christ as to her bridegroom, she becomes a mystery in her turn. (Eph 5:32; 3:9-11; 5:25-27) Contemplating this mystery in her, Paul exclaims: “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Col 1:27)… 

Mary goes before us all in the holiness that is the Church’s mystery as “the bride without spot or wrinkle.” (Eph 5:27) This is why the “Marian” dimension of the Church precedes the “Petrine.” (John Paul II) …

The unity of Christ and the Church, head and members of one Body, also implies the distinction of the two within a personal relationship. This aspect is often expressed by the image of bridegroom and bride. The theme of Christ as Bridegroom of the Church was prepared for by the prophets and announced by John the Baptist. (Jn 3:29) The Lord referred to himself as the “bridegroom.” (Mk 2:19) The Apostle speaks of the whole Church and of each of the faithful, members of his Body, as a bride “betrothed” to Christ the Lord so as to become but one spirit with him. (Mt 22:1-14; 25:1-13; 1 Cor 6:15-17; 2 Cor 11:2) The Church is the spotless bride of the spotless Lamb. (Rev 22:17; Eph 1:4; 5:27) “Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her.” (Eph 5:25-26) 

He has joined her with himself in an everlasting covenant and never stops caring for her as for his own body (Eph 5:29):"This is the whole Christ, head and body, one formed from many… And the Lord himself says in the Gospel: 'So they are no longer two, but one flesh.' (Mt 19:6) They are, in fact, two different persons, yet they are one in the conjugal union." (St. Augustine)