When my husband and I got married we made a banner for the altar.
It said, “The Two Shall Become One.”
” For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and the two shall become one flesh; so they are no longer two, but one flesh.
We also had a wedding ring quilt, not yet sewn together, hanging on either side of the altar. After the wedding, the halves were joined, our rings forever interlocked.
And so it was that we spoke the vows and God united us in an indissoluble bond forever. Like Adam we rejoiced,
” Finally bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh!”
More than twenty years later, we began to study the Theology of the Body, a teaching written by Blessed John Paul II on the meaning of being human in a body, our creation as male and female, and our call to love as God loves. By allowing the message of the Theology of the Body into our hearts, our marriage has become richer in every way. We understand that we are witnesses to Christ’s love for the Church, to the cross and the resurrection. We give ourselves to each other in love as He gave His Body in the perfect act of love on the cross of wood, a tree.
Tom seemed to capture this wedding oneness in a gift he recently gave, that interestingly enough, also involved a tree. Our front yard is covered with trees that have grown together. In fact we have named the house “Twin Trees”. Having to cut one down, my husband marveled at its unique shape, and decided to make a gift. The trunk was sliced and for each of our five children, he carved in their name. Now they have a heart-shaped part of that tree, of our home, and of him.
And for me, the one to whom Tom’s heart is forever one, he halved that wood and engraved our names on each half. One heart in marriage, one heart in Christ.
Christ’s flesh was torn apart on the wood of a tree.
His heart was torn in two so that our bodies could be united to His.
What amazing love!
That we could be reconciled…and all that was broken could be for atonement….”at -one -ment”.
The Father now sees Christ crucified, and forgives us. In continued gift He never leaves us for now in each Holy Communion at Mass, we become one body. And the Father looks as me and as if exclaiming at a wedding says, “Finally, bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh!” He rejoices in the son or the daughter who is united to Him.
Tom and I are now we are co-creating with Him, a family tree. A family tree that needs redeeming. Because the love of the Trinity has been poured out in Christ’s Body and His Blood, we continue in hope of that redemption.
“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have become near by the blood of Christ.For he is our peace, he who made both one and broke down the dividing wall of enmity, through his flesh, abolishing the law with its commandments and legal claims,
that he might create in himself one new person in place of the two,
thus establishing peace,
and might reconcile both with God, in one body, through the cross, putting that enmity to death by it.” Ephesians 2:13-16
I will cling to this Tree of Life, Jesus, as I love those in my growing family tree . I will cling to this Sacred Heart that broke for my salvation, and to His sacrifice in love that makes me one with Almighty God.