More Ephesians 5

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So of course, I go to Mass this morning, and what was the Epistle? None other than Ephesians 5!
We ended up going to Mass other than our usual parish today. My poor husband ended up having to run in to his work twice last night and was exhausted, so we went to a later Mass than usual. There are things I love about the other Parish - a really Spirit-filled pastor, a strong devotion to the Eucharist, including being in the process of developing Perpetual Adoration, singing pretty much all of the Ordinary of the Mass (including the kyrie and the gloria) and real warmth and welcome. Then there are the things that drive me nuts - like asking the congregation to speak up with petitions during the prayer of the faithful (which might not be so bad except that this prayer is meant to be for categories not individuals - ie all the faithful departed, not "Uncle Joe who died last week") and a certain tendency towards being politically correct among the lay leadership of the parish. Today it manifested in the choice (probably made by the lector, not the pastor) to use the 'short' version of the reading - in other words elimination of that troubling command for wives to subordinate their authority to their husbands.
Maybe it didn't matter all that much, as Deacon (transitional) focused the homily on the eucharistic component of the Gospel reading - but all I could think about was what a wonderful opportunity was missed. I mean, starting with Joshua. He, as head of his household, declared boldly "as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”. And then, Ephesians reinforces that there is a right order to creation - the Church obeys Christ, therefore obedience to the Church is obedience to Christ. And in the Gospel, "no one can come (to Christ) unless the Father grants it". There is order in the Universe because God made it that way! If we want to gain the benefits of what has been created for, and given to, us sinful men we have to obey!!!!!
This is why the Church is a hierarchy, not a democracy. I do not consult my children on decisions like should they go to school or how should I, their mother, choose to spend the household budget. I expect from them respect and obedience to the reasonable demands I make of them. The Church need not consult me on decisions of dogma and doctrine - I expect that Christ will set people on the chair of Peter who, however sinful, will be protected from error in matters of faith and morals. The Church has the right to expect from me the same respect and obedience - and She has not abused that authority.
The Apostles tell me that obedience to the Church involves setting aside my human preferences and being subordinate to my husband - OK, this is a 'hard saying' but my husband is being told that he has to be willing to die for my salvation - come on, who has the harder assignment here?
I will freely confess that I just didn't get it on Ephesians 5 for a long time. I wasted way too many years in rebellion. Although much of what drew me into the Church was the assurance of authority, at the same time I found it easier to be a cafeteria Catholic. But you know what? It really is a seamless garment. From Ephesians 5 to Humanae Vitae to Veritatis Splendor, the Church has preached the same good news of salvation through faith and works.


I also could not help but notice that the Gospel with "This is a hard saying, who can accept it?" came in the same set of readings with the teaching about wifely submission! At our parish, we always seem to do the long readings, and yesterday was no exception. We had
the theologian priest-in-residence who continued his series on John 6 for the homily. The pastor said during a Mother's or Father's Day homily that he preaches on the submission issue once a year. I hope we didn't miss it by not having him at Mass yesterday. I guess I can ask him what he has to say about it some other time.

Good thoughts, Alicia. But those years you spent in rebellion kind of got my curiosity up. I'll bet you have some stories to tell. I know, none of my business.

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This page contains a single entry by alicia published on August 24, 2003 4:00 PM.

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