Monday, October 29, 2012

Be Subordinate In Christ

Be Subordinate In Christ

October 30, 2012
Tuesday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time

By Beth DeCristofaro

Brothers and sisters:  Be subordinate to one another out of reverence for Christ. … For no one hates his own flesh but rather nourishes and cherishes it, even as Christ does the Church, because we are members of his Body.  For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. (Ephesians 5: 12, 29-31)

Jesus said, "What is the Kingdom of God like?  To what can I compare it? It is like a mustard seed that a man took and planted in the garden. When it was fully grown, it became a large bush and the birds of the sky dwelt in its branches."  (Luke 13:18-19)


Blessed are you who fear the LORD, who walk in his ways!  For you shall eat the fruit of your handiwork; blessed shall you be, and favored.   (Psalm 128:1-2)


In my front yard are two enormous blue spruce trees.  They are gorgeous in color and breadth.  They drew me to this yard, this house when as a young married couple we hunted for a safe and welcoming home to raise our daughters.

Jesus’ metaphor of the mustard seed grown into the large bush is a favorite of mine.  I not only love my two beautiful trees but they are literal bird-apartment houses.  They give shelter to blue jays, wrens, sparrows, doves, cardinals, titmice and the occasional mocking bird who for short stretches lives close to her/his fellows.  We also have cats resting beneath (!) and squirrels visiting.  The trees have sheltered migrating robins, Baltimore orioles and even a grosbeak or two.  So these trees, enormous and vibrating with life, pulsing with song and bird calls are emblematic of the promise of the Kingdom Jesus is describing.

As I picture these two trees, Paul’s words to the Ephesians take on fresh meaning.  The thought of subservience and clinging have never been terribly positive for me.  But subservience meaning putting the needs of another before mine and if clinging means offering and receiving care and love then these words resonate in my life.  And in the shadows of Jesus’ mustard bush with its promise of Life Paul’s image of two made one – flesh and body united, Jesus’ saving presence in my life makes sacred the earthly bonds we share as loved ones.


Looking at myself using Jesus’ descriptions rather than my own can open me to a closer walk with him and an opportunity to be a better wife, mother, person.  In what way could you examine some held opinions and make them into an internal tree, animated by life in the Lord?

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