|Art by E. Thor Carlson|
When he saw the crowds, he went up the mountain, and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him.
He began to teach them, saying:
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you (falsely) because of me.
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven. Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you. - Gospel of Matthew
When Dear Husband and I were planning our wedding, we chose this Gospel. The priest preparing (and I use that term loosely) us said, "I don't know why you'd choose this. It isn't very appropriate for a wedding celebration." Dear Husband (who wasn't even Catholic at the time) and I stood by our choice, and this was proclaimed at the beginning of our life together.
The priest was sorta right - this is not a very "wedding-y" Gospel. We did choose it for a reason, though. This was (and is) the way we wanted to live our lives. It i sn't an easy choice, but then neither was following Moses out of Egypt when God called. Neither was Mary saying "Be it done unto me..." when Gabriel brought message of the Savior. It is the message of hard choices and great love - a message that has resonated strongly throughout our marriage and the raising of five kids with a lot of challenges. We make hard choices with great love every day...at least we try. We try to fulfill our Christian vocation with love, and we rejoice, with the hope of a great reward in Heaven.