October 26, 2016
Eph 6: 1-9
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” —this is the first commandment with a promise: “so that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” And, fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, in singleness of heart, as you obey Christ; not only while being watched, and in order to please them, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.
Render service with enthusiasm, as to the Lord and not to men and women, knowing that whatever good we do, we will receive the same again from the Lord, whether we are slaves or free. And, masters, do the same to them. Stop threatening them, for you know that both of you have the same Master in heaven, and with him there is no partiality.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
The Quality Test
Paul addresses words of counsel and encouragement to four groups in his Ephesus audience: to children and parents, to slaves and masters. The invitation is to respect one another at a deeper level, to give our “best” for each other. Quite a countercultural admonition that is very current and quite valuable in the various worlds where we walk today.
What would it look like if I tried to move over a foot or two on a crowded bus? What if I let someone in a hurry to make a meeting cut into the cafeteria line ahead of me? What if I know one of my parents has had a difficult day and pitch into do the dishes and take out the garbage? Instead of walking away when I am fed up and angry, what if I stay in the conversation or hang in there a bit longer? What if I don’t just walk out and slam the door?
Each of us might answer these questions in different ways. Perhaps they are reminders to “come in through the narrow door” as Jesus invites in today’s gospel reading. It may be a challenge to calm down in the moment, but perhaps the risk of hanging in there is really worth it.
—The Jesuit prayer team
Lord, teach me to be generous, to serve you as you deserve:
to give and not to count the cost;
to fight and not to heed the wounds;
to toil and not to seek for rest;
to labor and not to ask for any reward,
but that of knowing that I do your will.
—St. Ignatius Loyola
Please share the Good Word with your friends!