|artist Jeff Gregory|
The priest harumphed, "Well, that's not a very good reading for a wedding. It's just not very...celebratory."
We explained that the message contained in the Beatitudes were how we wanted to live our lives together as a married couple.
The priest allowed it, but he wasn't happy about it. (Just for the record, this poor guy wasn't happy about a LOT of stuff.)
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."
Let me say first: be careful what you pray for. We told that priest this is how we wanted to live out our vocation of marriage and God has provided ample opportunity for us to live out each of these.
Second, we just started a couples' Bible study at our church. It's based on the Beatitudes. The couples we met on the first night all have very different backgrounds and marriages - but we all know the struggles of living out the beatitudes. It will be very interesting to see where God leads this group.