Daily Reflection
July 5th, 2008

Dick Hauser, S.J.

Theology Department
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Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is present?

In today’s gospel Jesus presents himself to his disciples -- and to us -- as our bridegroom. Jesus says he desires to relate to them as a bridegroom relates to a bride!

I have to confess the invitation to such intimacy makes me uncomfortable.

I seem to be more comfortable focusing on what Jesus does for us, that is, when he presents himself to us as our savior, shepherd and friend -- our way, our truth our life. I am comfortable acknowledging Jesus as savior of humanity, and for saving me as part of the human race.

But I am taken aback when Jesus reveals what he desires from us individually, that is, when he invites us to be with him in the most intimate human relationship — bridegroom and bride. I am daunted by the invitation to respond to Jesus with the intimacy of bridegroom and bride.

But he is outspoken to his disciples. He asserts that he does not want them simply to “patch up” their former relationship with God -- patching up old cloth and old wineskins won’t do. Jesus invites his disciples to a new relationship — new cloth, new wineskins.

Can he really mean it? What do we do now? Can we accept the invitation?

But what Jesus asks Jesus gives. We can only pray for the grace to remove our resistance and to allow Jesus to draw us into this spousal intimacy.

Lord, teach us how to let you be our bridegroom!

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