For your husband is your Maker; the LORD of hosts is his name, your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, called God of all the earth. Isaiah 54:5
I remember the first time I truly paid attention to the above verse from Isaiah. It was a Saturday afternoon. My youngest daughter and I had been at a party celebrating a double ‘quinceañera’ for my friend’s twin daughters’ fifteenth birthday. But we had to take a break from the festivities to go back to church. My daughter was to be the altar server for the 5pm Mass.
Sadly, the happiness I felt came to a sudden halt when I heard the gospel reading—the wedding at Cana. A few months prior, my husband and I had renewed our marriage vows in Cana in the Holy Land. But the pilgrimage did not heal the pain I felt caused by our fundamental differences. After reading the gospel, the priest pointed out that a wedding is a celebration, and that Jesus is present at celebrations. I accepted that. After Mass, my daughter and I would return to the birthday party. And I did feel God’s presence at their celebration.
The next morning, I returned to church and heard the same readings again. I would not have gone, except that I had promised to address the parishioners to thank them for their support for our CCD program. The second priest spoke about having to go to the hospital two times that week to minister the last rites for two separate stillborn babies. The priest stated that even in the most difficult moments, Christ is present. The priest was correct. Even in the worst moments of my life, I had always felt God’s presence.
It just so happened that after the second Mass, I had to listen to the readings for a third time. It was the third Sunday of the month, and I was committed to volunteer for prison ministry every third Sunday. This was getting old so I prayed, ‘Lord, what have I missed that you want me to hear?’ And that is when I heard the first reading from Isaiah. I couldn’t believe it. I felt like a young maiden pursued by a lover. In my mind, I ran to hide but peeked to see if indeed he was pursuing me. My heart stopped when I realized the truth. My Lord, my Maker, my Creator, is wooing me for marriage.
That weekend I came to see how the word ‘marriage’ has a much more significant meaning than I had originally envisioned. Through his prophets and his beloved Son, God has consistently referred to marriage and his covenant with his people. Our Lord is seen as the husband to his people (Isaiah 54:5, Jeremiah 31:32). Jesus is the bridegroom (Matthew 9:15, Mark 2:19-20, Luke 5:34-35, Matthew 22:2, Matthew 25:1-13). Marriage is a covenant between God and Israel (Ezekiel 16:8-14, Jeremiah 31:32, Ezekiel 16:59-60). And marriage exists between Jesus Christ and his church (2Corinthians 11:2, Revelations 19:7-9, Revelations 21:2,9-10, Revelations 22:17).
That weekend I realized that it is the Lord, and not my husband, who is the source of all my happiness. I began to recognize earthly marriage as a promise between husband and wife to become one with their Maker. I started to cherish my husband as my lifetime companion on a spiritual journey to become fully united with our one God. And most importantly, I now know that God seeks to be in a loving convenant with all his people.