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