Saturday, June 11, 2011

Joy Amid Sorrow

            We all know of the destruction of the tornado in Joplin, MO. Lives and property were destroyed. I have a friend who was scheduled to get married only a few weeks after the storms. She considered canceling the wedding on account of the disaster but I am very grateful and I think it most appropriate that it was not canceled.
            Some might argue that the joy and celebration of a wedding would be out of place and uncharitable given the context of the surrounding destruction but I think that instead, the opposite is true. Celebration is exactly what Joplin needs.
            Now, I’m not saying that there should have been a parade through the ruined parts of town to show off how much fun the wedding party was having but that the joy and happiness that comes from the beautiful sacrament of marriage can go a long way in lifting up a place that certainly needs it.
            Okay, so there are some happy people in town but there are still some not so happy people in tow. How does one group affect the other? The answer goes beyond normal social interaction.
            Firstly, the Marriage was celebrated within the context of a mass, which itself goes beyond social interaction. Mass isn’t just a preacher sharing good words but rather Heaven coming down to earth as the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Christ through the Holy Spirit. And then, within that, two souls are united in marriage, an occasion for even further heavenly joy. The point is that all this does good for the world beyond way beyond superficial happiness. It the usual kind of benefit we are used to seeing for people in need. It is a benefit beyond physicality. It is a benefit from God.