24 August 2009

Is This Saying Hard?

Three years ago (as I guest posted at my friend's blog), the same readings were read at mass yesterday. One of them was from Ephesians 5.
Brothers and sisters:
Be subordinate to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Wives should be subordinate to their husbands as to the Lord.
For the husband is head of his wife
just as Christ is head of the church,
he himself the savior of the body.
As the church is subordinate to Christ,
so wives should be subordinate to their husbands in everything [see my note below].
Husbands, love your wives,
even as Christ loved the church
and handed himself over for her to sanctify her,
cleansing her by the bath of water with the word,
that he might present to himself the church in splendor,
without spot or wrinkle or any such thing,
that she might be holy and without blemish.
So also husbands should love their wives as their own bodies.
He who loves his wife loves himself.
For no one hates his own flesh
but rather nourishes and cherishes it,
even as Christ does the church,
because we are members of his body.
For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother
and be joined to his wife,
and the two shall become one flesh.
This is a great mystery,
but I speak in reference to Christ and the church.

I asked what people's priests (deacons) said about this reading if anything at all. My priest avoided the reading explicitly.

This year, however, he said some good things about it. The wife being subordinate does not mean doing the laundry, he said, or doing more chores. For the husband, it doesn't mean that we are to be waited on, necessarily, but that we are to also wash the feet of our wives and our neighbor. (These are my priest's ideas.)

I think people now a days would perhaps cringe less at the idea of drinking Jesus' body and blood than at this Ephesians reading. People think that the (RC) Church believes that women are less than men in some way(s). No, we are to "[b]e subordinate to one another out of reverence for Christ."

So, what did your priest or deacon say about this reading this year, if anything?


  1. my priest said that the word "subordinate" isn't entirely accurate from the Latin, but a more accurate word is "submission" which means to be of the same mission as one another. the husband should be of the mission of Christ and walking to be ever closer to Christ, and the husband says to the wife "be of the same mission of me; walk to Christ with me."

  2. We had a transitional deacon this Sunday. He went where most won't go...the truth of the reading. This passage is so pro-women! If any man would love his wife the way Christ loved the Church what woman wouldn't submit to a man. Every man (single, married, consecrated) should simply look at a cross and see what true love looks like. Love always gives completely and always leads to the Father. Any many that loves as Christ loves would have women falling all over him!

    Is this saying hard? Far more for a man than a woman!


  3. My priest said that the reading was calling us to make gifts of ourselves to each other, which makes submission an act of love which each spouse makes to the other. Three years ago he spoke very similarly to Debbie's priest, that if husbands took the reading seriously that most women's lives would look, well... rather different, and better. :-)

  4. Hope to see you in Washington on Sept 12th for the Rally and March. Anne Helpren will be there playing her song:

    Please listen and send it to all of your friends if you like it.
    Anne and I work for Pro life in our parishes.


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