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Home » Daily Readings, New Testament Writers

The Christian Household

Submitted by on Wednesday, 29 October 2008One Comment
  • Reading I: Ephesians 6:1-9
  • Resp. Psalm:  Psalm 145:10-11,13-14
  • Gospel Reading:  Luke 13;22-30


After Paul admonishes husbands and wives to love one another in the way that Christ loves his Church, he moves on to parent-children and master-slave relationships.  These are all relationships within the same household (husbands and wives who are also the parents of their children and are masters — dominus dominaque — of their slaves.  In all these relationships, Paul sets before them the requirements of the Law but with a reference to Christ.  Thus, for children, Paul recalls the fourth commandment.  He however adds an admonition to Fathers since it is the paterfamilias who takes care of the affairs of the children.

The slaves are admonished with a reference to Christ.  Is it perhaps because the slaves are not Jewish-Christians like their masters?  The exhortation to slave owners recalls the same words that Paul uses to Philemon with regards to Onesimus:  there is an appeal to the fact that now both masters and slaves are under one Lord.

The responsorial psalm is about the majesty of God’s kingdom (Psalm 145).   The theme fits well with the first reading in that the household that Paul asks the Ephesians to build is a household under the reign of God.

The Message of the Synod Fathers was directed especially to households who are invited to once more listen to the Word of God.  Here is what the Synod Fathers say to them:

The family, enclosed between the domestic walls with its joys and sufferings, is a fundamental space where the word of God is to be allowed to enter. The Bible is full of small and great family stories, and the Psalmist depicts with liveliness the serene picture of a father sitting at the table, surrounded by his wife, like a fruitful vine, and by his children, "shoots of an olive tree" (Ps 128). In the same way, Christianity itself, from its origins, celebrated the liturgy in the daily home life, just as Israel entrusted the Passover celebration to the family (cf. Exodus 12:21-27). The spreading of the word of God is passed on through the generations so that parents become "the first preachers of the faith" (LG 11). Once more the Psalmist recalled that: "What we have heard and know, what our ancestors have told us, we shall not conceal from their descendants, but will tell to a generation still to come: the praises of the Lord, his power, the wonderful deeds he has done … They should be sure to tell their own children" (Psalm 78:3-4.6).

Therefore, every home should have its own Bible and safeguard it in a visible and dignified way, to read it and to pray with it, while, at the same time, the family should propose forms and models of a prayerful, catechetical and didactic education on how to use the Scriptures, so that "young men and women, old people and children together" (Psalm 148:12) may hear, understand, glorify and live the word of God. In particular, the new generations, children and youth, should be the ones receiving an appropriate and specific pedagogy that leads them to experience the fascination of the figure of Christ, opening the door of their mind and their heart, as well as through the encounter with and authentic witness of adults, the positive influence of friends and the great company of the ecclesial community.  (The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church, no. 12)


Read an explanation of the Gospel reading here:  Those Who Will Be Saved.
Ephesians 6:1-9
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
1Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is just.
2Honour thy father and thy mother, which is the first commandment with a promise:
3That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest be long lived upon earth.
4And you, fathers, provoke not your children to anger; but bring them up in the discipline and correction of the Lord.
5Servants, be obedient to them that are your lords according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the simplicity of your heart, as to Christ:
6Not serving to the eye, as it were pleasing men, but, as the servants of Christ doing the will of God from the heart,
7With a good will serving, as to the Lord, and not to men.
8Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man shall do, the same shall he receive from the Lord, whether he be bond, or free.
9And you, masters, do the same things to them, forbearing threatenings, knowing that the Lord both of them and you is in heaven; and there is no respect of persons with him.
Psalm 145:10-11,13-14
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
10Let all thy works, O lord, praise thee: and let thy saints bless thee.
11They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom: and shall tell of thy power:
13Thy kingdom is a kingdom of all ages: and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations. The Lord is faithful in all his words: and holy in all his works.
14The Lord lifteth up all that fall: and setteth up all that are cast down.
Exodus 12:21-27
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
21And Moses called all the ancients of the children of Israel, and said to them: Go take a lamb by your families, and sacrifice the Phase.
22And dip a bunch of hyssop in the blood that is at the door, and sprinkle the transom of the door therewith, and both the door cheeks: let none of you go out of the door of his house till morning.
23For the Lord will pass through striking the Egyptians: and when he shall see the blood on the transom, and on both the posts, he will pass over the door of the house, and not suffer the destroyer to come into your houses and to hurt you.
24Thou shalt keep this thing as a law for thee and thy children for ever.
25And when you have entered into the land which the Lord will give you as he hath promised, you shall observe these ceremonies.
26And when your children shall say to you: What is the meaning of this service?
27You shall say to them: It is the victim of the passage of the Lord, when he passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, striking the Egyptians, and saving our houses. And the people bowing themselves, adored.
Psalm 78:3-4
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
3How great things have we heard and known, and our fathers have told us.
4They have not been hidden from their children, in another generation. Declaring the praises of the Lord, and his powers, and his wonders which he hath done.
Psalm 148:12
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
12Young men and maidens: let the old with the younger, praise the name of the Lord:

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One Comment »

  • Daily Inspirations » Ready for Battle said:

    […] gesture when accepting new recruits.  After Paul tells the Ephesians to practise the life style of a Christian within the household, he gives them a final admonition regarding the struggle in which they are […]

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