I’m pretty sure my grandchildren had a ‘Jesus’ moment the other day.
Dressed in their best, the cousins met face-to-face as the extended family gathered Friday evening in the beautiful College Church (St. Francis Xavier) for our niece’s wedding.
There were beautiful moments aplenty during the evening ceremony – and in the family festivities that have followed throughout the weekend. But I have to say, the “cousins encounter” was one of my favorites.
Francis’ eyes lit up, and his face beamed, when he caught sight of Hannah. And she returned the gaze. And both seemed to sense this necessary splendor: to be known.
It is perhaps the perfect way for us to celebrate Ordinary Time – to reflect on this gift of presence and covenant, not only with each other…but with the Lord himself. As he promises in Sunday’s gospel:
‘Whoever receives you receives me,
and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.’
When we greet each other in love, we come to know something that’s pretty important. Even as children, we can sense Love’s presence – and we want to gobble it up. Keep it close. Make the feeling last.
But there’s profound mystery in Love, too, isn’t there? Paul speaks of this enigma in the reading we hear proclaimed from his letter to the Romans:
Are you unaware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?
We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life.
We know Love fully, only when we learn to let the self die. Only when we learn to let Christ live in us, and through us.
Marriage is a great sacrament for helping many of us to enter into this mystery. As we together take up the tasks of everyday life, of Ordinary Time, we are invited into a very necessary splendor: dying to self.
And as Jesus assures us, it is a holy calling:
Whoever finds his life will lose it,
and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
Let us pause now…to recall that we are in the presence of the Holy & Merciful One.