Tuesday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time
(Ephesians 5:21-33; Luke 13:18-21)
One man would do anything for his wife. He said that he owed it to her for raising their children while he was away in the Air Force. But the bond was greater than a tit for tat. He loved her quite like today’s first reading asks. Another man nursed his wife as she was failing with Alzheimer’s. They had exercised together, but as her conditioned worsened, he just walked her in the wheelchair. He said that he loved her then more then than on their wedding day.
These couples have experienced the sublime vision of the Letter to the Ephesians. We tend to read its section on marital relations with suspicious hearts. “Can the writer really mean that a woman has to subordinate herself to her husband?” we ask. “Of course, husbands should love their wives; their wives do enough for them,” we say cynically. The author of the letter might despair if he heard such comments. For him marriage is not a give-and-take, but the sacrament expressing Christ’s love for his disciples. It lifts people from a state of banality into a realm of majesty.
To reach this level requires sacrifice on our parts. Couples have to hourly think of and pray for their counterparts. They have to accept Christ as both the God who empowers them and the human who shows them how to live. As we become conscious of his love for us, we will want to do everything for him.