COR THOUGHTS 237: Rise up in Splendor, Jerusalem!


This Sunday we celebrate the Epiphany of the Lord – his manifestation to the gentile world (represented by the Magi) that he is the Bridegroom of the entire human race and all of creation, too. Reading Scripture through the lens of the Theology of the Body helps us to recognize this spousal symbolism throughout. This Sunday’s first reading, for example, is dripping with nuptial connotations; we just need to have eyes to see it. Whenever you encounter references to “Jerusalem” or “Zion” or “temple” in Scripture, think “Bride-Church-Woman-Mary.” And wherever you have reference to “her,” it’s not too difficult to recognize the reference to “Him” – Christ, the Bridegroom: “Rise up in splendor, Jerusalem, your light has come, the glory of the Lord shines upon you” (Is 60:1). This is the foretelling of the coming of the Bridegroom to the Bride, the coming of Christ to the Church, Jesus to Mary (Mary is the symbol of the Church). Mary is always the full revelation of “her” and Jesus is always the full revelation of “Him.” And when we follow the light, as did the Magi in the Gospel, we will always find “Him” with “her”: the masculine and the feminine elements together (see Mt 2:11). “Then you shall be radiant at what you see, your heart shall throb and overflow” (Is 60:5).