Like much of the world, I was rather entranced by the idea of the Royal Wedding yesterday, by which I mean I watched a few very short clips of it. The sermon was striking, the music beautiful, and the fascinators left me wishing I had my own milliner.
But the most beautiful moment I saw was one I’ve seen at a hundred other weddings.1 A man looked at his bride as if to say, “How is it possible that the most incredible woman in the world chose me?”
I’ve seen a hundred men surreptitiously (or not-so-surreptitiously) wiping tears from their eyes as they gaze upon the most beautiful woman they’d ever seen. There was nothing remarkable about Prince Harry’s reaction.
Except that he, of all men, could have had any of a million other beautiful women. He’s a literal prince. He’s handsome. He wears a uniform. His mom was Princess Di! He is a catch.
But he looked at an American divorcée from a broken home and said, “I’m so lucky.”
Now Harry has his issues and Meghan is an incredible woman. He really did luck out with her. But watching him gaze at her, all I could think of was one of my favorite passages in all of Scripture: Isaiah 62:4-5. There, God says to Jerusalem–God says to you–“No more shall men call you forsaken or your land desolate, but you shall be called ‘my delight’ and your land espoused, for the Lord delights in you, and makes your land his spouse. As a young man marries a virgin, your builder shall marry you. And as a bridegroom rejoices in his bride, so shall your God rejoice in you.”
The way that Harry looked at Meghan? That has nothing on how God looks at you. And every time you go to Mass, your God stretches out his body on the marriage bed of the Cross and hands himself over in the Eucharist. He says “This is my body, given up for you,” as Harry and Meghan did in their vows, and you walk down the aisle to receive your bridegroom. When you say “Amen,” you make the same marriage vow: “This is my body, given up for you.”
And whatever your family background or dating history, whatever your race or income level, whether your ancestors were royals or slaves or both, he looks at you, this Prince who is making you a princess, and says, “I’m so lucky.”
The reason we love these royal weddings is because they remind us of what we’re called to be: daughters of the King married to the Prince of Peace who looks past all our flaws and sees only radiant beauty. The next time you go to Mass, imagine Jesus looking at you, with your bald spot and your stretch marks and your temper and your shame, and saying, “You look amazing. I’m so lucky.” Because he does. He delights in you. More than any mere man has ever loved a woman, he loves you.
What a God we serve, who would come to be beaten and suffocated to death so that he might stand at the end of the aisle and watch us walk to him, stunned by his good fortune in winning us at last. We are immeasurably blessed.
- Always the bridesmaid (or, in my case, cantor)….