“Come here. I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” // Revelation 21:9b
The sunlight streams through the stained glass windows as my family kneels in a row down the length of the pew for Sunday Mass. My three daughters are draped in their white lace veils, a tradition my girls and I have chosen to embrace in the presence of the Eucharist. I glance at them, in their youth and hope, and see so clearly how as girls they represent the Bride of the Lamb while my son and husband as a boy and man represent Christ.
The Church is the Bride of the Lamb, and men and women as two incarnations of the image of God represent Christ and His Bride within the Church. This symbolism is made even more explicit when men and women attend Mass together, men standing for Christ as Bridegroom and all women standing for the Church as bride. Yet this beautiful symbol has an even greater depth as all men in the Church participate in the Church’s role as bride and and all women participate in the Church as priest as we are all baptized at priest, prophet, and king (see Catechism of the Catholic Church § 783 and 796).
The First Reading from Revelations shows us this image of the Church as the Bride of the Lamb, bedecked with jewels and built on the foundation of the Twelve Apostles, the first bishop. Our Lamb wants to make us radiant and holy. He has given His all for us, so that we can be raised up in glory with Him.
On this feast of Saint Bartholomew, an apostle, take a moment to look at the Bride of the Lamb. See her beauty in all the various parts. Ask the Lord to show you your role as a member of the Body and to feel your belovedness as His Bride. The Lamb loves you unto death. Enter into His love today.He has given His all for us. // Susanna Spencer Click To Tweet