Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – July 7, 2019

Probably the first thing people think about in regards to weddings are the bride and groom. Obviously, the bride and groom are at the center of a wedding. Of course, it is not just them in abstract. People think about them walking down the aisle, the dress the bride is wearing, and so on. There are a lot of signs and symbols that accompany them that are worth our reflection. We all know the saying: actions speak louder than words.

Think of the custom of a father giving his daughter away. It was a custom that arose in a world in which women were second-class citizens. A woman on her own could not survive well, and often she had to turn to the oldest profession if she did not have male family members to care for her. This is why Scripture is so insistent on the care of widows and orphans. The same is true for many centuries after the Bible was written. Whole systems of dowries and bride prices arose because marriage entailed the transfer of property, alignments between clans and families, and so much more. The value of a daughter could be measured in the number of goats she was worth.

Many other customs arose with this. The whole point of a wedding party was to assure the deal between the families was kept. The bride’s maids attested to her virtue and worth; the groom’s men ensured that no one changed the deal at the last minute. Think about the titles. The Maid of Honor was to give witness to the honor (purity, chastity) of the bride. The Best Man was the best backup if a fight ensued, and the best man to prevent the groom from bolting.

It is worth thinking about the signs and symbols, the actions, because often they have become divorced from reality. Again, actions speak louder than words. We often do things, and not just in weddings, because we think they are nice, pretty, etc., but if our actions don’t match who we are or what we think, then those actions become a lie, or at the very least they are confusing.

Rev. Aaron Ferris
Rev. Aaron Ferris
Rev. Aaron R. Ferris Ordination Date: June 6, 2009 Pastor, St. Anthony Parish (Saranac) and St. Mary’s Parish (Lowell) 402 Amity Street Lowell, MI 49331 Phone: 616-897-9820
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