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At the wedding feast of Cana, we find out that Jesus is the groom. We know this because he acts like a groom. He is the one who provides the wine which is the responsibility of the groom. In the next chapter, John the Baptist says that he is happy to be the best man of the groom. In the very next chapter, amazingly, Jesus the groom meets a woman with marital “issues” at one of the ancient wells, a common place where the patriarchs met their future wives. The woman with marriage concerns meets the groom and engages in a theological discussion about the most critical issue among married couples: fidelity. Why is Jesus portrayed as the groom throughout the early part of the Gospel? Because the Father sent the son into the world to create children of God. That is what a groom does; he gets married and has kids. The reason God wants lots of kids is that he has a terrific inheritance to give them. That is what a father does in the ancient world. His job is to give the kids an inheritance. He gives them property and secrets to be successful in life. Let’s say there was a guy in Boston who produced the best pizza in the city. He is not going to give away his secret recipe to the competition. He will give the secret to the kids. That way, when dad retires or is unable to make pizza, the city will continue to enjoy the best pizza because of the kids. The father gives the kids the inheritance and the secrets, so the father’s legacy lives on with the children.
One time, dad and I were fly fishing, and it started to rain. Dad left because he didn’t have a jacket. I thought, “Oh, good. Now I know what to give him for Christmas.” So I went to a fly fishing shop to pick him a jacket. They had a technical fishing jacket with a well-structured hood and cuffs so the rain would not drip down the arm when you raise the rod overhead when casting a fly rod. It was a little above my budget, so I stood there thinking when the owner of the shop came over to see if I needed some help. We started talking, and he told me how business was slow because kids do not fish anymore because of computer games. At one point he asked me what I did for a living. Truthfully, I told him I was a Catholic priest, and I had a church in Boston. He said, “Oh,” and walked away.
I finally decided to get the jacket on the premise that I only have one father. I will just have to give up coffee for the rest on my life. When I got to the cash register, there was a girl there, but the owner came over and said, “I will take care of this one.” He rang up the jacket, and I saw the price in the register window. As I was taking out my wallet, he clicked a few more keys, and the price decreased by at least half. I said to him, “I think there is a mistake?” He said, “Father, it is not a mistake; I always support you guys. You come back any time, and I will take care of you.” I took him up on his offer, and I went back the next year to do my Christmas shopping. When I got there, a younger guy came over to me and asked me if I needed any help. I asked him about the owner of the store. He said, “Dad is now enjoying retirement.” I said, “Well, good for him.” I got some gifts and brought them to the counter to check out. The son came over and said to the cashier, “I will take care of him.” When he rang me up, I pulled out my wallet to pay. As I was about to pay, the price dropped in half. I said, “I think there is a mistake.” He said, “Father, we take care of you guys. You come back anytime.” I admit that I liked the father a lot, but I really like the son. True, I miss seeing the father, but I don’t miss his kindness or his generosity because he passed on to his kid.
Christ came as a groom to produce children of God. He gives us all the secrets to be able to live the life of God. Christ no longer walks the streets in the world because he doesn’t need to. The Father in heaven now has us.Back to All Homilies