August 22, 2019

Marriage Feast in the Kingdom of God

The Bridegroom Espouses His Bride

The kingdom of heaven is likened to a king, who made a marriage for his son. And he sent his servants, to call them that were invited to the marriage; and they would not come. (Mt22:2-3)

Eucharist is the Wedding Feast

[ I ] Revelation Mystery Bridegroom’s & Bride

The King, the Most High prepared a Marriage for his only Begotten Son, Jesus the Christ designing a hypo static union with man, for restoration of promise in life immortality, and eternal love. To repair the true union with humanity, He ordained that a woman’s “obedience ”was rightly required to repair, restore, His “image and likeness” of humanity, lost through Eve, a woman’s disobedience! . “What, O my beloved, what, O the beloved of my womb, what, O the beloved of my vows”?(Prov31:2) The Mystery of “Incarnation” the woman’s human essence (DNA & RNA) is ‘mingled’ with the ‘Divine’ by the “power of the Most High shall (“epeskiazen”) overshadow thee” (Lk1:34-35) ;

And in that day I will make a covenant with them, with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of the air, and with the creeping things of the earth: and I will destroy the bow, and the sword, and war out of the land: and I will make them sleep secure. And I will espouse thee to me for ever: and I will espouse thee to me in justice, and judgment, and in mercy, and in commiserations. And I will espouse thee to me in faith: and thou shalt know that I am the Lord. And it shall come to pass in that day: I will hear, saith the Lord, I will hear the heavens, and they shall hear the earth. And the earth shall hear the core, and the wine, and the oil, and these shall hear Jezrahel. And I will sow her unto me in the earth, and I will have mercy on her that was without mercy. And I will say to that which was not my people: Thou art my people: and they shall say: Thou art my God. (Hos2:17-20)

And the spirit and the bride say: Come. And he that hear, let him say: Come. And he that thirst, let him come: and he that will, let him take the water of life, freely. (Rev22:17)

Looking to a scriptural vision of Church, (not who or what we are) but a Katholike (Catholic- as of the Whole, in it’s Totality), within the Theology of the Holy Trinity in communion the Body of Christ, see the hope we have in Church. We are Church, individually as members of One, Holy family in the Body of Christ. (From Adam, Abraham, the Patriarchs, Apostles & the saints to today everlasting). Our mission the transformation of the world, into the reality of “God’s Will be Done, on Earth as it is in Heaven.” (1)

[ I ] Bridge to the Image & likeness of God (Gn1:26-27)

“Let us make man to our image and likeness: and let him have dominion And God created man to his own image: to the image of God he created him: male and female he created them.” However, in disobedience humanity lost “His own image holiness, eternal life & communion with God.” Through the Law he gave us – A Marriage Betrothal “Vow”: OT: Therefore say to the children of Israel: I am the Lord who will bring you out from the work prison of the Egyptians, and 1) will deliver you from bondage: and 3) redeem you with a high arm, and great judgments.3) And I will take you to myself for my people, 4) I will be your God: and you shall know that I am the Lord your God who brought you out from the work prison of the Egyptians, 5) +I will bring you; (Ex6:6-7,8) Israel understood these as “4 blessing cups + Elijah cup”- “free you”, “deliver you”, “redeem you” & “I will take you”. (Prov31:2,3,8,10)

[ II ] Fulfillment Ancient Jewish Betrothal – (“erusin”) Defined: (Lk1:27)

Formal, legal promise between man & woman to enter marriage. In the OT and in Jewish life, the betrothal is all import once “espoused”, a man must provide a writ of Divorce to dissolve it, without this, the terms are “until death do us part. (Mt19:5-6)two shall be in one flesh….;…Therefore now they are not two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder. (Mk10:5-10); (Mal2:14-16); (Prov2:17)

Betrothal – Has a Legal Formula i) Brides purchase price, ii) Witnesses (two) to Betrothal, iii) Consecration covenant

[ i ] Brides Purchase Price” known as Dowry (2); (Gn31:15) A dowry, sometimes called a bride price or bridewealth, was a payment made by a man as a gift to the family of a woman he desired to be his wife. One example of the ancient convention of the dowry The dowry system is a long-standing practice in Eastern culture that is still in use today. The benefits include a closer connection between both families and assurance of the man’s commitment to the union. The “mohar” was originally the purchase price of the bride The mohar was not always paid in cash. Sometimes it was paid in kind, or in service. [ In Gen29, Jacob loved Rachel and agreed to work seven years for her father, Laban, in exchange for her hand in marriage. “And Jacob said: There is yet much day remaining, neither is it time to bring the flocks into the folds again: first give the sheep drink, and so lead them back to feed. And Jacob being in love with her, said: I will serve thee seven years for Rachel thy younger daughter. Giving his daughter a handmaid, named Zalpha. Now when Jacob had gone in to her according to custom when morning was come he saw it was Lia: And he said to his father in law: What is it that thou didst mean to do? did not I serve thee for Rachel? why hast thou deceived me? “ (Gn29:7,18,24) ] While the “Mattan” was the Hebrew word for the gifts given by the groom to the bride in addition to the mohar. The process requires the involvement of both families and a deep commitment by the potential husband before marriage. The benefits include a closer connection between both families and assurance of the man’s commitment to the union

i- a) Brides purchase price: – Jesus – or Mohar (Dowry paid) The price paid – His Only Begotten, Incarnate Word, Son; and the Cross. The price so high, all creation unable to appraise, her (“price”) estimate. It is also customary to give”Matten” – Raiment (typically Jewels, (silver, gold, rubies), & clothes , garments) Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. (Prov31:10) “The price paid – His Only Begotten, Incarnate Word, Son; the Cross.”

i- b) Matten received by Mary in particular & the Church Bride’s family, from our groom, bountiful endowment (clothed) her with: 1) Holiness, 2) eternal life-salvation (Is61:10), pledge of incorruptibility, 3) increase in faith (Acts2:14), and ladder of ascent to God, 4) diversities of Graces administered through the visible signs – (Sacraments instituted by Jesus), the masterworks of God powers, that come forth. Charisms manifest in Gifts of the Holy Spirit (1Cor12:4-12) , in addition to receiving spiritual grace in forms of gifts and supernatural powers, our Lord handed down rivers of “milk & honey” 4 more blessing cups, 1) Liturgia – prayer, 2)Kerygma- teaching, 3)Koinonia- Communion & fellowship, and 4) Service In life of Christ). (mission)   (1)

[ ii ] 2 Witnesses (at least 2) to the covenant –God once again faithfully provides an abundance of witnesses to his plan. OT witnesses – Prophets -Ezekial, Baruch, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Hosea, Maliachi etc; King David, NT Witnesses: 1st > Zechariah (Lk1:69-80), Elizabeth (Lk1:39-45), their son -John the Baptist (Lk1:5-45); [ (Mk9:11-13); (Jn1:7-9); (Jn1:15,23-36); (Jn3:22,28-29)]<; Mary (Mother of Jesus); (Lk1:46-56), Joseph (Mt1:19-24);(Lk2:5, 12-14, 33); (Mt2:13), Shepherds & Angels (Lk2:8-20) , Magi of the East ( Mt2:10-12), Simeon (Lk2:25-35), and prophetess Anna (Lk2:36-38), Hebrew high Priests (Lk22:52-71), & Roman Empire (Mk15:1-45), and the multitudes in the City for the Pa sch!); All wittingly or unwittingly became central witnesses of God’s Betrothal. & Consummation to humankind.

[iii] Formula of consecration / covenant :- “Thou art consecrated to me, according to the law of Moses” (Jn1:14-18). Although this exact prescription is of principal order, other forms exist, as simply “I take as my wife.” In Hos 2nd chapter we have the most clear “espousal” of God with his people “Thou are my people and they shall say Thou are my God.

(Hos2:18-20,23) And I will “espouse” thee to me for ever: and I will espouse thee to me in justice, and judgment, and in mercy, and in commiserations. And I will espouse thee to me in faith: and thou shalt know that I am the Lord. And it shall come to pass in that day: I will hear, saith the Lord, I will hear the heavens, and they shall hear the earth. And the earth shall hear the core, and the wine, and the oil, and these shall hear Jezrahel. And I will sow her unto me in the earth, and I will have mercy on her that was without mercy. And I will say to that which was not my people: Thou art my people: and they shall say: Thou art my God. For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.(Is54:5)

Vows – “Binding unto death do us part.”

The bride’s silence is acceptance, as with Eve all had fallen, but through Mary’s Yes, all humanity may accept. Mary’s Magnificat – (Lk1:45-56) My soul magnifies my Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior…Jesus said, “But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” (MT10:5-10) And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we saw his glory, the glory as it were of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth (Jn1:14).. For I the LORD love judgment, I hate robbery for burnt offering; and I will direct their work in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them. And their seed shall be known among the Gentiles, and their offspring among the people: all that see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the seed which the LORD hath blessed. I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. For as the earth bring forth her bud, and as the garden cause the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations. (Is61:8-12)  

The formal contract of the betrothal of the Lord to his people / Church is emphatic

All three elements of the legal formula are clear , direct, and not hidden in literary prophesy such as Revelations or the Psalms. As such it is He himself that binds his essence with Our Mother & mother-Church adorns the marriage with his Love. (Acts 2:17); (Jl2:28-32) For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he hate putting away <Divorce>: for one cover violence with his garment, saith the LORD of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously. (Mal2:16)

[ III ] Dowry Matten deposit: Immaculate Conception – O Mary was to receive the foretaste of the purchase price. At age 14 both her parents had passed from this earth, so the Priests of the Temple were here guardians, but when she became of age, she by law could no longer serve at the Temple. (Ann died when Mary was at age 12,and Joachim at age 3) This bride’s family may receive a Dowry deposit upon the announcement of Betrothal, when Joachim pledged her before she was conceived. Mary merited Matten Gifts of graces beyond imagination, worthy of her new station in life. Due to the “Incarnation the necessity of cause to “Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of you womb, “Why,.. Mother of the my Lord, should come to me” (Lk1:42-43) This Matten payment required “superior to Eve” further increase in holiness, faith, & diversities of Graces, more lavishly & worthily demanded of “a honor Theotokos. Demanded in the 4th Command (Ex20:12) to nourish the “ark of the covenant” in her womb. Not only should these be necessary down payments in the Bride’s purchase price be accomplished for fetal development. Do you suppose that the Only Begotten Son should be enveloped in a body of sinfulness? Only you and Satan’s party stand with this? Imperatively the new Eve identity was to be concealed, defended in battle, “hidden” from the serpent in (Gn3:15), due to the original Eve’s fall from grace. As we are told, the cunning serpent from that moment began “roaming and prowling” in seeking to ruin the soul of the woman that would destroy his earthly Kingdom. Fittingly demanded of these graces, if only to prevent Satan from boasting that the Lord of Hosts would be taking Motherly orders from this lowly “handmaiden.” (Lk:1:48) And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them. And his mother kept all these words in her heart. (Lk2:51)

[ IV] Who is our Bridegroom: “Consummation of marriage”

“The Word became Flesh” And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we saw his glory, the glory as it were of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth. (Jn1:14) John bear witness of him, and cry out, saying: This was he of whom I spoke: He that shall come after me, is preferred before me: because he was before me. And of his fullness we all have received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses; grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. “No man hath seen God at any time: the only begotten Son who is in the bosom of the Father”, he hath declared him. He that hath the bride, is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, who stand and hear him, rejoice with joy because of the bridegroom’s voice. This my joy therefore is fulfilled ( John the Baptist testifies) (Jn3:27-29; 15:11)(Mt25:1) And Jesus saith to them: Can the children of the marriage fast, as long as the bridegroom is with them? [ (Mk2:19) ;(Mt9:14): (Lk5:34) ]

My sister, my spouse, a garden enclosed, a garden enclosed, a fountain sealed up.(didache- serve as the allegory for the consummation of the marriage) The fountain of gardens: the well of living waters, which run with a strong stream from Libanus ( the Apostles proclaimed the law of the Gospels to the Jews explained the living doctrine and harvested the fruit) (Sg4:12,15) . Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat the fruit of his apple trees. I am come into my garden, O my sister, my spouse, I have gathered my myrrh, with my aromatic spices: I have eaten the honeycomb with my honey, I have drunk my wine with my milk: eat, O friends, and drink, and be inebriated, my dearly beloved. (wedding feast) (Sg5:1)

V ] Who is the Bride: Church – Body of Christ Ccc796:

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 Ccc808The Church is the Bride of Christ : he loved her and handed himself over for her. He has purified her by his blood and made her the fruitful Mother of ALL God’s children.(3)

As the lily among thorns(parable of sewing wheat/weeds), so is my love among the daughters. As the apple tree among the trees of the woods, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow, whom I desired: and his fruit was sweet to my palate.(Sg2:1-3) (The Church rests confidently under her Grooms protection)

I sleep, and my heart watch; the voice of my beloved knocking: Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled: for my head is full of dew, and my locks of the drops of the nights. I arose up to open to my beloved: my hands dropped with myrrh, and my fingers were full of the choicest myrrh.(Sg5:1,5) {The spouse (Church) submits to God’s Will, actively successfully pursues his mission, undefiled.}

Whither is thy beloved gone, O thou most beautiful among women? whither is thy beloved turned aside, and we will seek him with thee?My beloved is gone down into his garden, to the bed of aromatic spices, to feed in the gardens, and to gather lilies. I to my beloved, and my beloved to me, who feed among the lilies. (Sg6:1-3) (didache comment- the bond of marriage is permanent . The bond so strong intimate the spouse belong to each other. )

And the spirit and the bride say: Come. Wedding Garment: Holiness absence of sin

And he that heareth, let him say: Come. And he that thirst, let him come: and he that will, let him take the water of life, freely. (Rev22:17) As he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and un-spotted in his sight in charity (Eph1:4) ; That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any; such thing; but that it should be holy, and without blemish (Eph5:27) Parable: 10 lamps & 10 Virgins (Mt25:1-13) For I am jealous of you with the jealousy of God. For I have espoused you to one husband that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. (2Cor11:2)

Marriage commitment: (Acts2:1-41) Love is poured out onto the Church (Jl.2:28-32)

I will Pour Out My Spirit

(John 14:15-26; John 16:5-16; Acts 2:1-13; Acts 10:44-48; Acts 19:1-7)And it shall come to pass after this, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy: your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions.

Bride’s Image & Likeness: The Church received from Jesus, and hand down by the grace of the Apostles to her: Liturgia – Worship; Kerygma / the Didache; Koinonia – Eucharist; & Diakonia – Servant : these are unmistakable and can Only be found in the one true Church of God, founded by Jesus The Christ in the year 33AD, as given to his 11 Apostles that each formed their Holy See.

[ V I ] Marriage Feast: Communion in the Holy Spirit Eucharist “ Our Heavenly Gifts”:

{Jesus celebrates 1st the Heavenly gifts, the eternal sacrifice, a sacrament in blood, a covenant for his bride}(Mk14:22-25) And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, “Take, eat: this is my body”. And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it. And he said unto them, “This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many”. Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God. ) (Lk22:14-20) And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him. And he said unto them, “With desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer: For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God”. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves: For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come. And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you. (1Cor11:23-26) For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.

Related scripture to blood, meat, mingled wine

(Lev17:11) For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that make an atonement for the soul. (Lev22:11) But if the priest buy any soul with his money, (Acts20:28)  he shall eat of it, and he that is born in his house: they shall eat of his meat. (Dt12:20) When the LORD thy God shall enlarge thy border, as he hath promised thee, and thou shalt say, I will eat flesh, because thy soul long to eat flesh; thou may eat flesh, whatsoever thy soul lust after. (Ps110:4) The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek. (Heb5:6) As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek. (Prov9:5) Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled. (Acts10:47) Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead. Catholic EUCHARIST (Dt29:6) Ye have not eaten bread, neither have ye drunk wine or strong drink: that ye might know that I am the LORD your God. (Eccl9:7) Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accept thy works. (Acts20:28) Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. (1Jn1:7) But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanse us from all sin (Mt8:7-8) And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him. The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou should come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.

The heavenly gift, “ (Bread and Wine “mingled” with water) is transformed into The heavenly body and blood of the Lord, atoning for sin and adding grace to the soul into eternity..

Now the King of heaven has made a marriage for his son, the Christ is the bridegroom and his Church is the Bride, When at the END of John’s Revelation (chapter 22), we see the “bride valiantly standing, calling along the with the Holy Spirit to everyone to come, freely drink from the “tree of life!” She stands remarkably alone where no other earthly institution claims, over 2000 years old and spreading the good news of the gospel in 236 of 238 countries of the world, “every nation”essentially fulfilled. Only thru divine Providence could this be possible. That is why Jesus said to Peter, “do you love me?” and upon his third confession Jesus said, “feed my sheep”! (Jn21:16-17)

Footnote: Last Update- END 11/28/18 Posted 12/24/18

(1) Bishop N Samra Melkite Greek Catholic Eparchy of Newton – Bishop of Gerasa from “Face of God”, Byzantine Spirituality
(2) Ancient Jewish Marriage by Hayyim Schauss, @wwwmyjewishlearning.com
(3) CCC Sensus Fidelium of the Catholic Church



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