Give way to one another in obedience to Christ. Wives should regard their husbands as they regard the Lord, since as Christ is head of the Church and saves the whole body, so is a husband the head of his wife; and as the Church submits to Christ, so should wives to their husbands, in everything. Husbands should love their wives just as Christ loved the Church and sacrificed himself for her to make her holy.
He made her clean by washing her in water with a form of words, so that when he took her to himself she would be glorious, with no speck or wrinkle or anything like that, but holy and faultless. In the same way, husbands must love their wives as they love their own bodies; for a man to love his wife is for him to love himself.
A man never hates his own body, but he feeds it and looks after it; and that is the way Christ treats the Church, because it is his body – and we are its living parts. For this reason, a man must leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one body. This mystery has many implications; but I am saying it applies to Christ and the Church.
Second reading for the 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time
It is often in our relationships with our ‘nearest and dearest’ that we are most tested in our Christian identity.
They can bring out the best and the worst from us, and we from them!
Attention to these relationships can help us to be honest before our Lord about our strengths and weaknesses – and to ask for his help in living love with these, and with all the other folk too.
Detail of Mosaic of Wedding Feast of Cana, Lourdes. (c) 2012, Allen Morris.