The true gift of believing

One of the most formidable experiences for a priest is to celebrate the wedding of a Derry female teacher. I’m afraid I’m prone to stereotypes and teacher brides tend to be hyper organised.

One of the most formidable experiences is to celebrate the wedding of a Derry female teacher. I’m afraid I’m prone to stereotypes and teacher brides tend to be hyper organised.

When you appear at a wedding practice they have everyone in a line with a finger to their lips to keep silent. I usually sit in the background and try not to interfere or get in the way. Teachers generally bring a class plan approach to the rehearsal. Everyone knows what they have to do and hell hath no fury like disgruntled Derry bride. Similar to a dance routine everything is choreographed. Even the pageboy and flower girls have been given instructions regarding counting their steps and keeping time. With primary school teacher brides to be you’ll discover the readings have been enlarged and usually laminated for good measure. To be honest I enjoy the experience of having everything organised and being told what to do, it’s less hassle. The more I reflect on the situation I probably could cope with being married. This week the bride was a secondary school teacher who teaches dance in one of the local girls’ schools. In fairness she was very relaxed by Derry school teacher standards. The only sign of anxiety was expressed after the groom complained with having to deal with all the wedding preparations. The bride commented ‘I’m been organising for six months and he’s complaining after being involved a day and a half.’ The groom, to be honest, wasn’t feeling well as he was suffering the agony of a sore back. As I was conducting the practice I asked what had happened but the groom played the matter down. I never thought anymore about it as the man works in construction and naturally presumed it was a work related issue. Thankfully, I did have the good fortune to ask the bride what happened to her husband to be.

She was only too delighted to inform me how the groom had his back injured when he was away getting a facial. The story proves you can never judge a book by its cover nor should we make rash assumptions based on stereotypes.

In the Gospel when Jesus enters his own home town and encounters his family he is met with disbelief and ridicule.

Jesus’ relations and friends dismiss him as a carpenter who is acting above his station.

In this respect Jesus has become a source of shame to his family and to those who are supposedly close to him through blood and the ties of friendship.

In reality they couldn’t be further away from knowing Jesus because through their preconceived notions and judgements they have closed themselves off to Jesus true identity.

Indeed according to the scripture scholar Daniel Harrington the greatest blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is unbelief, to close ourselves off from the action of God. The reason Jesus can work few miracles is simply due to a lack of faith. In the end Jesus has to go to the margins to receive the proper response in faith. Jesus brothers and sisters are now the community of those who respond to his word.