Thursday, July 09, 2015

Jesus Christ, The Bridegroom IV

J.M.J. + O.B.T. + M.G.R.*

This image from St. Joseph's Church in Lakeland, Florida
contains an explanation from Father O'Doherty
(below, modified slightly from the original)

Of Pelicans, Marriages,
Christ and Red, Red, Wine

At the very top of this window is the mother pelican in the seeming act of feeding her young. Very early in the second century, the pelican became a symbol of Christ. In so far as I can put together the ancient sailors believed that the pelican opened its own breast and fed its young with its own blood. This identifies it easily with Jesus who shed His blood for you and me, that we might have life. Given the pink colored tinge of the inner beak of the pelican and coupled with the blood from regurgitated fish. I can see how they thought it opened its own breast to feed its young and hence the link to Christ who said, “Unless you drink mu blood ye cannot have life in you.”

In the main body of the window, one is immediately shown Jesus and Mary and behind them a bride and groom...Jesus and Mary in the midst of a marriage celebration. Did you know that the words “testament”, “covenant” and “Marriage” mean the same thing? In other words, the Bible is divided into the story of the old marriage between God and the Jews and the new marriage consummated once for all when the virgin Christ entered once for all into the heavenly sanctuary not the blood of sheep and goats but with His own blood. St. John says that at the moment Jesus died, the veil in the temple of Jerusalem was torn in two from top to bottom. In Old Marriage Testament Judaism the priest once a year used to enter the Holy Place in the temple and sprinkle the blood of goats or lambs on bulls on the altar and then come out and sprinkle some on the people as a sign that they were renewing their covenant, testament or marriage with God. In truth, the whole Bible is about marriage.

Did you know that in Jewish circles if a man offered a cup of wine to a woman, it was a proposal of Marriage? If she accepted, the marriage was to be. Every Sunday you are offered the cup of the new marriage consummated when Christ entered once for all into the heart of God. Soon, God willing, we will all join Him. 

Some of the mystic saints of the church like St. John of the Cross, St Teresa of Avila and Solomon, king of Israel would say that the soul of man is feminine.  So the offering to all of the Holy Communion cup is even now an offer of marriage from Christ risen from the dead to each of us.This stained glass window offers a profound statement of the nature of woman as intercessor. It was Mary who approached Jesus because they had run out of wine. We should pray today that Mary might ask her Son to change us from the way we are to people who would give our life’s blood for Jesus and one another. 

Mother Mary, Please intercede now
to protect the Sacrament of Marriage

Sincerely yours in Jesus through Mary,
Mike Rizzio

Imitate Mary
Become like Jesus
Live for the Triune God

Seek the Light of Our Lord Jesus Christ
See you on the High Ground!

* - J.M.J. + O.B.T. + M.G.R. stands for:
Jesus, Mary and Joseph;
O Beata Trinitas;
St. Michael, St. Gabriel and St. Raphael

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