Daily Reflection

From a Creighton Student's Perspective

August 26, 2012

Rachel Fisher

Sophomore, Biology Major, Spanish Minor

Josh 24:1-2a, 15-17, 18b
Ps 34:2-3, 16-17, 18-19, 20-21
Eph 5:2a, 25-32
John 6:60-69

Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians was written during a period of time in which the notion of equal rights was not widely practiced, coming from a different world than what we live in today. We have difficult times with passages like today’s second reading because we think it is far too distant from where we are today and without any practical applications. I do think that this letter is often misunderstood or even altered so that it isn’t so off-putting to people of today. I was tempted to just ignore this reading and focus on one of the others, but I feel that too many of us are tempted to do the same, so I wanted to confront this reading directly.

Paul is certainly not promoting that men are all-powerful and women should bow down to them, but he is writing about the role women played in the New Testament world. Last semester, I took a course about the life of Jesus and learned how society centered around honor and shame—men held the honor in the family while women held the shame (shame meaning to have concern for one’s honor); in this sense, Paul’s letter is better understood in this context because we can learn that women are caring for men.

More spiritually, what Paul is advocating is service among one another. Paul is advocating that men and women serve each other through marriage in order to imitate Jesus’ love for others and the church to serve God. In the household, one must love his/her partner in addition to loving God, Christ, and all others through his/her Christian love for all. Both are to love each other with respect and obedience to God and the church. Together, the love of each partner makes a complete and holistic unit when combined; they are able to balance and complement each other. Paul makes an analogy between the love between marriage partners and the love between Jesus and the church in order to better exemplify service and support. While this text seemed primarily about marriage, it also refers to Christian love and serving one another. It mentioned in the first reading that we do all things to serve God. May we all love and support our friends and family just as Jesus did with the Church.

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