September 21 Epistle Reading

Ephesians 5:20-26

20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another in the fear of God. 22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,

St. John Chrysostom in his Homily XIX on Ephesians V wrote:

“Tell me, how does the bee frame her comb, and then you shall speak about God as well. Master the handiwork of the ant, the spider, and the swallow, and then you shall speak about God as well …He indeed who says that he is ignorant knows something. And what is that? That it is incomprehensible to man…God has marked out limits to our knowledge, and has laid them deep in nature. He assigns the whole to His will. So then let us only ‘give thanks for all things’ …This is the part of a well-disposed, of a wise, of an intelligent servant …Let there be an interchange of service and submission. For then there will be no such thing as slavish service… It would be better to be a slave in this way than free in any other. Imagine the case of a man having a hundred slaves and in no way serving them; and suppose again a different case, of a hundred friends, all waiting on one another. Which will lead the happier life?”

Theodoret in his Epistle to the Ephesians wrote:

“The apostle has been very constrained in setting forth this analogy [of the husband as the head of the wife, as Christ is the head of the church, his body]. Its purpose is to encourage women to respect men and to implant in men an affection for their wives.”

St. John of Chrysostom in his Homily on Ephesians wrote:

“By what ‘word is she washed’? ‘In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.’ He did not simply bathe her; he adorned her, making her glorious, having no spot or wrinkle or anything lacking. Let us too seek that sort of beauty, and grace will make us able to refract it. The husband does not seek from the wife something she does not have to give. For you see the pattern: the church has received everything from Christ.”

Augustine the Blessed in his On Marriage and Concupiscence said:

“By the same bath of regeneration and water of sanctification all sins of the redeemed are cleansed and healed, not only those which are pardoned at this time in baptism but also those that are subsequently contracted by human infirmity or ignorance.”

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