My sister wants to get me to the church on time

My parents’ house is beginning to be overcome by wedding fever. My father has been busy painting rooms and I offered to gloss the skirting boards and doors as far as halfway up. My offer was declined because I’ve hands like feet.

My parents’ house is beginning to be overcome by wedding fever. My father has been busy painting rooms and I offered to gloss the skirting boards and doors as far as halfway up. My offer was declined because I’ve hands like feet.

The house is being readied for the usual influx of visitors before the wedding in two weeks’ time. My father has already warned me he’s staying with me in the parochial house the night before the wedding because he couldn’t cope with seven women getting ready and only one bathroom. If this isn’t bad enough my two brothers have jumped on the band wagon and will probably stay as well. Not only will my house keeper be on overtime, I’ll have to offer them breakfast on the morning of the ceremony.

My one and only sister has decided to get married in the church on Trench road which is convenient for me as the parochial house is attached to the church. The reasoning behind my sister’s journey across to the Top of the Hill is simple; she wants to make sure I’ll be on time for the ceremony never mind her. If you get a name for getting up early you can lie to lunch time, if you’re late for two weddings in twelve years, you’re always late it seems.

As the day approaches nerves are already striking not only the bride and groom but the extended family. The reality is beginning to bite as both foreign and Derry hen and stag celebrations have been concluded. Gone are the days when a night in Buncrana or Bundoran would have been enough. Of course, with having to cope with guests the night before the ceremony beds will have to be made up, supplies bought in and a crash course on how to cook a fry will be undertaken. I’m not used to entertaining more than one lodger at a time so breakfast might be served five minutes before the bride is due to walk down the aisle.

Last weekend’s gospel from Mark focused on the disciples being sent out on mission two by two. It often reminds me of newly wed couples who set out on the path of married life. The road ahead is often unsure, they will discover new lands together, encounter many different people, some of whom will welcome them with great hospitality, love, care and support. Others will turn them away, let them down and be a source of anxiety, serving only to tear the couple apart and increase their burdens. From baptism we have been sent out into the world, we have received a commission from Christ to proclaim God’s presence through the way we live our lives. We’re challenged to confront evil and injustice wherever we’ve encountered inequality, violence, exploitation and fear. To bring healing to those we meet through our practical help, offering mercy and compassion. Whatever our walk in life we have been sent out, missionaries asked to reach out to all, so walking together we may experience Christ each other.