Great Monday: The Bridegroom

18 April 2022

Burning love is the trade mark of our times. Wherever you are, wherever you go, this is what people talk about. Songs, films, plays, literature, advertisements, young, old, painting and cooking, all praise erotic love, describe the sufferings of this kind of love, the mysterious power that attracts people and makes it so that one person can’t live without the other. So much so that you wonder whether we can really exist, can continue in any other mode of life. Because erotic love is promoted as the only way of life.

The other is that special element that’s missing, the complement, the other half. Without that other half, you can’t feel whole and fulfilled through experience. This is why most people are always on the look-out for the other, in an effort to fill the void they feel by communion with the person of the other. This thirst for communion is, in the end, one of the characteristics of the human person. It hints at our self-awareness and our differentness, which can’t be felt except with reference to the person of the other.

It’s this love and the quest for the other that the Church highlights for us over the next days. More than anything else. Christ the Bridegroom is this different Other, Who approaches in the middle of the night, stands outside the door of our heart, knocks and waits for us to open up. He waits for us to let Him into our heart, to fill it and to give us that purity of heart, of senses and of eternity, to give us the prize of His love, which is nothing more nor less than salvation.

Blessed are those who open up to Him. Because they’ll know they’re communing with Life. And Life doesn’t commune with the passions, but with passion, that is with sacrifice for the other. And He is the first Other, Who suffered passion for the individual existence of each and every one of us. He shows us the way. When you can’t commune genuinely with the other, the other can’t complement you, nor you him or her, unless you suffer the passion.

Communion isn’t achieved through sin but with the sacrifice of egotism and wickedness. Communion isn’t achieved through self-interest, but with the love that transcends that self-interest. Communion isn’t achieved through the gluttony of consumerism, but with restraint and fasting. Communion isn’t achieved through slavery to those who wish to shape our mind, but with freedom of the mind and soul. Communion isn’t achieved through a stained conscience but with the path of repentance.

This Other comes into our lives again and again. It’s not just Easter. He knows that our heart has little room to open, but He persists. He persists with the burning emotion of a lover who overcomes every obstacle in order to reach the person they love. And He offers ‘to whom He loves best’, His passion, awaiting in return our thirst for genuine communion. And just as those in love start with a mere glance or a smile from the object of their love, so the Bridegroom desires a small space in our heart. To suffuse it with a different taste. The taste of His Kingdom.