I will never forget the day I stood before my fiancé, Susan, and said my wedding vows. For me, it was a moment of great emotion, mixed with a little fear, and a great peace and firm resolve to be united with her for the rest of my life.
That day, that act of self giving was one of the most transformative, life changing days of my life. From that day forward, I began to work on living my life differently. No longer was I a single guy doing just what I wanted. I began to break away from those bachelor practices and to live, think, plan, and love as a married man.
Nuptial Union With God
Once a person encounters God, they are so taken by His presence that all they want is more time with Him. As they experience His love in their heart, they are profoundly moved to respond to His invitation to marry Him. For me, it was the realization that Jesus died just for me. Sure he died for the whole world, but when you apply the story of the Good Shepherd, you begin to understand that He has the ability to come for each and every one of us individually. Then I was posed with the proverbial question – “Will you marry me?” “Yes Lord, I want to give you my heart and my entire life!”
I didn’t understand it then, as a 17 year old graduating high school. I couldn’t see how the Mass was really my wedding with the Lamb of God. Nor did I understand that I was not only uniting myself to God, but also to His body – the Church. Yet, I did receive my entrance Sacraments, and despite my awareness, something incredibly spiritual did occur.
Like many cradle Catholics, I was baptized as a baby, so I certainly was not prepared for, nor even accepting of, what Baptism really meant. It would be up to my parents, supported by the Church, to help me grow to ratify the yes my parents said FOR me at my Baptism.
Baptism is THE time when we give ourselves completely to God, just like a couple who stands before the community and, through their vows, profess to give themselves to each other until death. We accept the vows that Jesus made to us on Holy Thursday when He took the bread and wine, changed it into His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity and offered it to His Apostles.
His passion, crucifixion and death was simply His living out the death he professed to give the night before. We then, through the ministry of the Apostolic Church, are given an invitation to join ourselves with Jesus in this Nuptial Union. Every Mass, we return to the place eternal wedding feast of the Lamb of God where our union was established.
In doing this, we remember and reaffirm our commitment to Jesus, our beloved. It is in this union that the entire Church gathers to celebrate how the Lamb of God conquered sin, freed the people of God, and brought them home to His Father through the union of love that makes us one flesh.
Have you ratified your parent’s “yes” at your Baptism?