Your family are the people who will welcome you, listen to your words, love you and receive your love. They may be your blood relations but they may not be. They may be just friends, instead. When your friends are more like family than your own family, you can call them your “framily.” Church is a kind of framily. If we are doing the will of our Mother in heaven, we are welcoming you, listening to your stories, loving you and receiving your love. And when we do that we are family. That’s because we know that there is something much thicker than blood that binds us together: our faith. The disciples of Jesus were a framily, a true family, and everyone who follows him can belong.
My tears were prayers. God, how did we get here? And where do we go from here? If the Bible had been written by women, we might have some explicit guidance in these matters, but it wasn’t. In fact, women are little more than a footnote in the story of our faith. So we really have to do some digging. We can read the words, but we have to listen closely for the Holy Spirit. And perhaps she will whisper to us what Jesus would have to say.
And when we get to the wedding, remember that the bride and groom aren’t the only ones who make vows. We have replaced the old bit about “giving away the bride” with a new bit that asks everyone to promise that they will, by God’s grace, do everything in their power to uphold and care for this couple because they cannot hope to love each other very well or for very long without a lot of help. In the same way, the Church will fail to keep her vow to Christ and will fail in her mission to bring his love into the world without all of us keeping our vows to uphold and support her for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health and forsaking all others until death do us part.
We come to the table confessing the truth that by ourselves, we can’t do anything about the divisions in our country or world except exacerbate them. On our own, we really can’t love our enemies. But if we can accept the fact that Christ loves us—that he loved us even when we were enemies of God [Rom 5:10]—then we can let Christ love our enemies through us. This is the way the division ends. This is the way the world begins again.