God the Judge… To Save
There is a video by Fr. Fernando Armellini with English subtitles
commenting on today’s Gospel reading:
The Hebrew language is quite poor in synonyms. To express joy twenty-seven words are used in the Bible. In the Holy Scriptures there are the desperate cries of those who do not find an answer to the mystery of pain, but more often they echo the “shouts of joy and thanksgiving among the feasting throng” (Ps 42:5) and hymns of thanksgiving to God: “My heart will rejoice on seeing your salvation. I will sing to the Lord for he has been good to me” (Ps 13:6).
In the Gospels we encounter people with sad faces: the rich young man who has not the courage to detach his heart from his possessions (Mt 19:22), the two disciples on the road to Emmaus (Lk 24:17). At times Jesus’ face also darkens (Mk 3:5; Mt 26:38). But an atmosphere of joy pervades in all the pages of the Gospel, from the promise of a son to Zechariah “he will bring joy and gladness and many will rejoice at his birth” (Lk 1:14), to the “great joy” announced to the shepherds (Lk 2:10-11), to the joy of Zacchaeus who receives the Lord in his house (Lk 19:6), until the disciples’ sheer joy on the day of Passover (Jn 20:20).
But there is a character that we can scarcely imagine with a beaming face: John, the son of Zechariah, the preacher in charge of preparing the coming of the Lord. He lived in the desert and when he went out, it seems he did it only to frighten, to threaten fire from heaven, to root out trees, tremendous punishments (Mt 3:7-12). But he too was once happy. When he recognized the voice of the bridegroom who was to come he exclaimed: “The friend of the bridegroom rejoices to hear the bridegroom’s voice. My joy is now full” (Jn 3:29).
The coming of Jesus is always accompanied by joy and no face—not even that of John the Baptist—can be sad.
To internalize the message, we repeat:
“Let us rejoice and be glad for the marriage of the Lamb has come.”