The words of St. Paul in his letter to the people of Ephesus still make many people uncomfortable in these days when gender equality is celebrated: “Wives should be submissive to their husbands because the husband is head of his wife.” But these words of Jesus also made people very uneasy: “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you will have no life in you.” So in today’s gospel, we hear his own disciples say, “This sort of talk is hard to endure. How can anyone take it seriously?” and they walk away, returning to their former way of life.
But let’s go back to what St. Paul wrote. He begins this passage by saying “Be subordinate to one another.” And he places the greater burden it seems on those who are husbands: “Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the Church & handed himself over for her.” How did Christ love the Church? He died for her…he handed himself over for her!
We all have our opinions, our likes & dislikes, our prejudices. So it’s hard to take the humble road & to submit to the other person. But that’s how marriage is suppose to work. That’s how ALL relationships are suppose to work. Defer, submit, be humble. Hard to do, but not impossible. After all, we have Christ himself as our example for he always submitted to the will of God and to the suffering of the cross.