……from your Pastor’s Desk
Since I always address this topic when it appears, and I am not with you now ‘in-person’ I will do so in writing.
I want to get rid of the large elephant in the room. It entered during the 2nd reading for today’s Mass. From Ephesians 5:22 “Wives should be subordinate to their husbands as to the Lord.” This reading ALWAYS captures the attention of married couples, since it is so often misunderstood.
Women and men alike have related to me that this statement has led to “abusive behavior” and worse. I have seen it, especially among those denominations who take Sacred Scripture out of context – or worse – use it as a ‘proof text’. It all hinges on the word “subordinate.”
We need to read the whole passage to understand St. Paul properly. He starts off by telling us that Christians ought to be “subordinate to one another out of reverence for Christ.” That means loving and caring for one another as Christ loves us. It means being attentive to each other’s gifts. And… each others needs.
Furthermore, St. Paul tells husbands to love their wives “as their own bodies . . . for no one hates one’s own flesh but rather nourishes and cherishes it.” So, the two notions MUST co-exist….and – if a spouse does not love you above even themselves – then subordination would be inordinate. And expecting one without the other – abusive.
In a nutshell, marriage is all about sacrificing for one another:
-listening carefully to each other,
-and telling the truth to one another.
All lack of respect, all physical, verbal, emotional or spiritual abuse is out.
And that’s really God’s idea of a perfect marriage, a true romance!
As to that elephant, let’s release it back to its natural habitat!