The wedding and the eternal banquet :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

The wedding and the eternal banquet

Laraine Bennett

Two weekends ago our son was married. Against a backdrop of vibrant fall colors, the wedding was a glorious and grace-filled occasion, certainly the most significant event in our lives since the birth of our children.

Our son and his fiancée had been engaged for an entire year, which gave us plenty of time to prepare (at least physically and spiritually, if not emotionally) for the occasion. We cleaned the house, de-junked the garage, put in a flagstone patio, mulched the yard, and ordered enough food to feed an army.

When the bride walked down the aisle in our beautiful church, she looked like a princess, radiant in a cloud of white tulle, and our son was beaming from the altar. "All glorious is the king’s daughter as she enters, her raiment threaded with gold" (Psalm 45). Surrounding the bride and groom were the bridesmaids and groomsmen, looking (as far as I was concerned) like the angels and saints who worship at the heavenly altar. It was the smallest glimpse, perhaps, of "what eye has not seen nor ear heard."

The Catechism tells us that marriage is an efficacious sign of Christ’s presence, and even those who did not understand the sacramental nature of the ceremony could feel Christ’s enveloping and empowering love. At the reception, as we toasted the bride and groom’s happiness, we enjoyed the company of family and friends who had traveled great distances to join us for this momentous occasion. Our hearts were so filled with joy it seemed they might burst!

I wished it would never end.

But there is one party that will never end, and we are all called to it. "Blessed are those who have been called to the wedding feast of the lamb" (Rev 19:9). The recent wedding, glorious as it was, cannot compare to the eternal banquet. Our heavenly father prepares his home for us, far better than we prepared for our son’s wedding, with far greater solicitude.

We can’t imagine that anyone would consciously refuse the opportunity to come to the wedding banquet of the king’s only son! It will be a truly wonderful, unsurpassable affair! Yet, many decline. Some ignore the invitation. Others are too preoccupied with the cares and anxieties of the world. They don’t realize that this king is a loving and gracious father, infinite gladness and sweetness. He invites us, saying, "Come, share your master’s joy."

Topics: Faith , Family

Laraine Bennett co-authored, with her husband Art, The Temperament God Gave Your Spouse and The Temperament God Gave You, published by Sophia Institute Press. Their new book, The Emotions God Gave You, is due Spring 2011. Please visit their website at

View all articles by Laraine Bennett

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