In today’s Gospel reading from Luke 13, Jesus tells two short parables about the Kingdom of God. The first compares the Kingdom to a mustard seed, the other to yeast. Our first reading today from Ephesians 5 is one of the most misunderstood passages in all of the New Testament. The longer version is Ephesians 5:21-33. The Church also has an optional short version (this is one case where I wish the Church did NOT give an optional shorter version), Ephesians 5:2a, 25-33. It would be very interesting to see how many parishes actually use the long version. My prayer is that they all would. But I’ll bet many won’t. Why?
Here is what the short version leaves out: “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 savior of the Body. As the Church is subordinate to Christ, so wives should be subordinate to their husbands in everything.” Why would these lines be, even optionally, left out of this reading? In my opinion, it is a crying shame.
Something tells me that the “feminist” movement years ago wanted this stricken from the reading at Mass. And someone somewhere caved in to this pressure and OK’d this decision. Wouldn’t surprise me if they wanted it stricken from the Scriptures! So wrong! This reading equates the union of husband and wife to that of Christ and the Church. It alludes to the total, self-donating, self-giving love that husbands and wives must have for one another. It does not imply anything demeaning or degrading at all! When we have a greater understanding what St. Paul really means here, then we should have no fear of proclaiming this from the housetops!
Father, bless marriages. Help husbands and wives be subject to one another, as the Church is to Christ, and He to His bride. Amen.