We have a calling to be good neighbours

It is well and truly wedding season at the moment and the summer weather has certainly lived up to expectations, rain and more rain. The build up to a wedding and the ceremony itself reveal and mirror all aspects of human life.

Under pressure and experiencing many levels of stress, you gain an insight into people’s personalities and temperaments. Even for a wedding practice a bride can be either thirty minutes late or thirty minutes early depending on their disposition.

During the rehearsal the groom will often betray the first hint of nerves as at this stage he has no choice but to become involved in the wedding preparations. Often it’s a delicate balancing act as the bride wants the groom to take some interest but not too much, whereby he might look to influence a decision. If the groom is lucky he might be afforded the choice of colour for his tie or bow tie.

I normally like to know who will be involved in the preparations and who will be taking part in the ceremony. At this level, life becomes like a poker game depending on your previous experiences.

I have a cheek to worry about how late the bride will be, considering a few of the ladies dressed in white have arrived at the church before me! If I had a pound for very time a bride promised to be on time I would have been at the Euros.

I can generally cope with five or ten minutes after time but when it approaches half an hour the natives aren’t the only ones getting restless. Generally, the photographers work out of two schools, the more traditional who prepare staged and formal shots or the more laid back and relaxed photographer who likes everything very natural.

As for wedding singers, we have three schools of artistic approach. Again they vary from the very traditional classical singer to the more Irish ballad approach and finally the budding Beyonce, who like to hit the high notes.

Thankfully in life there is plenty of variety as we encounter all types of personalities. Whilst people share certain common characteristics, approaches and opinions generally no two people are the same.

Certainly from celebrating christenings and funerals and everything in between we uncover humanity in its full richness, diversity and complexity.

Regardless of our uniqueness, our differences in temperament or outlook, we have a common calling to be a neighbour to one another. Being a neighbour means having compassion for those we meet, genuinely sharing the gift of mercy with each another. This is what it means to be a neighbour, to throw off the fear and selfishness which prevents us from coming to the aid of another person. As Jesus reminds us, if we can’t love our neighbour whom we can see, we cannot claim to love the God we cannot see. If our or faith or religion prevents us from showing compassion. something is badly wrong. Jesus puts no limits on who is our neighbour so neither can we.