“The Bridegroom is with you!” John Paul proclaimed this in 1994, in his “Letter to Families.” Jesus is present as Bridegroom in the sacramental mystery of the ordinary human bridegroom and bride who become an icon of Jesus’ own nuptial covenant with his bride, the Church.
St. John Paul II was making a beautiful theological statement about sacramental marriage, but I am sure he would not mind that, for years now, I’ve taken this statement quite literally.
When my family sits down to the dinner table, I think of Jesus sitting down with us, pulling his chair a little closer as we reach for the salad tongs. “The Bridegroom is with you!”
When my husband and I have stayed up late soothing anxious little ones to sleep or working out algebra problems with hard-working, earnest teens, he keeps watch in the upstairs bedrooms with us, too. “The Bridegroom is with you!”
Thinking of Jesus’ presence inside the walls of my home reminds me that I have a high call to live up to. How do I respond when my kids have all conspired to crush my very last nerve underfoot? Do I lose it, or do I breathe and pray for grace? I know he is with me, loving me, giving me the strength I need. However the scene unfolds, I know that the healing love of the Good Shepherd is still there to help me repent (if need be), repair, and restore relationships . . . and sanity!
May these words echo in our hearts to remind us of the beauty, hope, and dignity of our vocation—both in the abstract, and in the very concrete details of our daily lives of mothering!
Time to dig ground-up playdough out of the carpet? You’re not alone. The Bridegroom is with you.
Searching for the right words to ask your adult son if he’s going to Mass? The Bridegroom is with you.
Feeling stretched between caring for your aging parents and raising your children? The Bridegroom is with you.
Perhaps picturing Jesus present in your home and integrated into your family life can help in situations like these!