Audio from Mark’s bible study talk at Life Teen Leadership Conference 2011.
Transcription of Mark’s bible study
Revelation 19:7. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory for the wedding day of the lamb has come, his bride (and the bride is the Church, that’s you and me) has made herself ready. She was allowed to wear a bright, clean linen garment. The linen represents the righteous deeds of the holy ones. Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who have been called to the wedding feast of the lamb.” And he said to me, “These words are true. They come from God.”
Now a lot times we think the bride wears the white dress to show that she’s a virigin or that she’s pure, and that is part of the tradition. In this case, the linen garment shows in an outward way that on the inside is pure. This is one of the reasons that in Corinthians the Church says before you go to receive the Eucharist, you should be in a state of grace. You should not have serious sin. You should not have mortal sin in your soul. You should go to Confession before you go to Communion.
What the Church is trying to teach us, what God is revealing to St. John to reveal to us is Revelation. The book of Revelation is not a book of damnation and hell; the book of Revelation is about a wedding.
Literally, the whole first part is about the groom and the whole second part is about the bride.
Literally, the whole book of Revelation is trying to teach us that Jesus is the groom- the perfect groom, and He’s coming for His bride. And His bride is in a world that is filled with sin.
And this is where it gets hard, cause the guys are like “dude, I’m not a bride, I will be the best man. I will stand aside Jesus in a tux and I will look good doing it, but I am not the Bride.” That’s where we have to think a little bit higher for a second. That Jesus is the groom is coming for the Church, and the Church is the Bride and the Church is in a world that is surrounded by sin.
But the same way that the groom is going to come with the groomsmen with the saints and the angels… the groom is coming for the Bride. And He’s going to take the Bride back to where He is, but when He takes her back, Jesus and the Church, there is going to be a consummation.
People are starting to go, this is getting uncomfortable now… This is Biblical. Well you’re like- but it’s sexual. It’s more than sexual, because it’s truly intimate, it’s Biblical.
It’s that god wants to have this level of intimacy with us. The only thing more intimate than when my wife and I make love is when my wife and I pray, because we’re bearing souls- not just bodies.
This is one of those reasons too, I was going to say, I always encourage teenagers and young people to pray together- but I’m also going to say that you need to be really careful when you do, especially if you’re dating because it gets to this really intimate level- and sometimes we can mistake that intimacy. We always have to have barriers and boundaries. You have to be careful. It’s always good to pray in groups. Because there is an intimacy there, and you don’t want to let the evil one in and turn something beautiful, like prayer, into something it’s not, like a disordered action, premarital sex.
But this is what Jesus is trying to reveal to us and Jesus is saying, “I’m the groom and I’m going to come to where you are, so that we can be truly intimate.”
And Revelation is not just about the end of the world, or the end times, Revelation is about the Mass.
But people say it’s about a second coming, the word is parousia When he comes back at the end of time. Like you hear of all those people who say he’s going to come back. Remember a couple months ago, He’s coming back in May. The word Parousia doesn’t mean coming at the end of time, it means His coming… His presence.
When does Jesus as the groom crash into our presence? Every single day in fact, He’s going to be crashing into your presence in two hours you are going to your wedding. Ladies, you don’t have to wait another ten years. Guys in a weird way, we’re going to a wedding
When we go into that Abbey today, and every time you’re going into a Church, every time you go into your own parish- at Mass – it is a wedding. And what God is inviting you into is the most intimate relationship you’ll ever know. The only perfectly intimate and perfectly loving relationship you will ever know. Because He is perfect.
As awesome and as holy as your marriage is, if you’re called to marriage, it’s never going to be completely perfect. And it has no shot at it if God, who is perfection, is not at the center of it.
(So what’s going to happen is, we’re going to walk into a Church, and this is why I was saying- if you’re going to Communion you got to go to Confession, because you’re not going to be dressed right. Remember the first parable you read
Why did he get thrown out? He wasn’t dressed in wedding garments. He wasn’t dressed appropriately. But he was invited. Yeah we’re all invited … but we still have to dress appropriately.
When should that guy have figured out, even if he didn’t know or even if he had never been to a wedding before… when should he have figured out he wasn’t dressed right? By looking around, when you’re walking in, when you see everyone walking in and you think- that’s a nice tux or man that’s a pretty dress – I hope I’m okay in my cargo shorts and flip flops and my ripped up tank top. Like it should have occurred to him on the way in… or at least once he’s inside. )
So here we are in the Mass and it says, “rejoice and be glad that you’ve even been invited”. But it doesn’t stop there because God says, I want such intimacy with you that I’m going to stand at the aisle, like a groom. And the bride, the Church, is going to rise and walk forward.
And when the Bride rises and walks forward… the Bride is going to come face to face to Jesus, at the end of the aisle, like the groom
And the groom, there’s going to be an unveiling. It’s veiled. It looks like the host, looks like the bread. There’s going to be an unveiling and what’s really interesting… when we consume the Eucharist that’s the exact same root word for the word consummate.
So literally we’re going to consume the Eucharist and the two are going to become one. So now here we are in the house of God. And the two will become one.
And literally we are going to be able to receive Christ Jesus, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity and His grace is going to come within us
And this is the way the Church looks at it… this is why it’s so important we have grace because we know what. When my wife and I- we consummate our relationship, and I’ll tell you what. We consummated and nine months later we had to name that consummation. Because it bore fruit. God was involved
That’s why when you contracept and God’s not involved you cannot bear fruit. You take out the purpose and we’re left with use.
So hear we are, we consummate and bear fruit Think about this.. God is saying I want you to have my grace and grace is God’s life. That’s what grace is. God’s life in you
And God says I want my life in you, so what I’m going to do. So I’m going to humble myself and come to where you re and unveil my presence and I’m going to allow myself to be consumed by you and truthfully while I’m allowing myself to be consumed by you, you’re being spiritually consumed by Me.
And you have God’s grace in you- so that when the two become one we are now going to go out of this church and you’re going to be impregnated with my life. That you’re going to bear fruit and share fruit with the world. And guys are so like, this is not comfortable
But you have to go to that higher level, A spiritual level, a mystical level
That literally what God is saying is, I am not okay with you just going around on your own, I want to be with you and I want you to come back to me often.
Because this is true intimacy and there’s time when you go to Mass and that is a consummation act- it’s intimate