I was glad to see Art posted in regard to his wedding. I know how much thought and effort went in to everything that took place. I was honored to be in attendance, but Jennie and I were more honored to be a part of such a beautiful ceremony. I have been to many weddings, but I can honestly say that none of them compared to Art and Melissa's. It was obvious to all in attendance that there was something special happening. Now granted, there is something special taking place at all weddings. However, often times the wedding becomes about the event. It is the part that takes place before the party. All of the time and energy goes into creating the reflection of something beautiful. This wedding was different. It was beautiful. It was beautiful because we witnessed two young people who understood the fact that they were about to become one. Not one in the sense of one household or one checking account or one bathroom- but they were going to become one in the communion of persons. Art and Melissa were about the embark on the journey of becoming the image and likeness of God...and they knew it. Pope John Paul II explains:
If, vice versa, we wish to draw also from the narrative of the Yahwist text the concept of "image of God", we can then deduce that man became the "image and likeness" of God not only through his own humanity, but also through the communion of persons, which man and woman form right from the beginning. The function of the image is to reflect the one who is the model, to reproduce its own prototype. Man becomes the image of God not so much in the moment of solitude as in the moment of communion. He is, in fact, right "from the beginning" not only an image in which there is reflected the solitude of a Person who rules the world, but also, and essentially, an image of an inscrutable divine communion of Persons.(Theology of the Body 9:3)
Nowhere was this more apparent than at the reception. Usually the reception is where the "holy stuff" ends and the party begins. Just like Sunday is where we put on our nice suit or dress and play church and Monday through Saturday we get to live as we wish. But not at this reception. Sure the reception was a great party. However, the fact that Art and Melissa had just entered in to a covenant with eachother was not lost at the reception. In fact it was confirmed during one of the most typical reception events...the tossing of the garter. Now the tossing of the garter is usually where all the single guys get up with beer in hand and try to act cool while staying as far away from the garter as possible. Don't catch it because then you're the next one to go...the next single guy to get shackled to the "old ball and chain." After the tossing of the garter, Art had a bowl of water and a couple of towels brought to him. He then proceeded to wash Melissa's feet. It was beautiful. Right in middle of the party, the groom kneels down and humbly washes his bride's feet. Art showed at that moment that he would have been the one to climb over his buddies to snatch the garter. Because he understands something that most people miss. He understands that he just entered into something very special. Art has found himself in the gift of himself:
Indeed, the Lord Jesus, when He prayed to the Father, "that all may be one. . . as we are one" (John 17:21-22) opened up vistas closed to human reason, for He implied a certain likeness between the union of the divine Persons, and the unity of God's sons in truth and charity. This likeness reveals that man, who is the only creature on earth which God willed for itself, cannot fully find himself except through a sincere gift of himself. (Gaudium et Spes 24:3)
Art and Melissa, may God bless your marriage and may you continue to be a blessing to all of us in the way you live out your vocation.