the spirit of submission
"Slaves, obey your human masters with the reverence, the awe, and the sincerity you owe to Christ." —Ephesians 6:5
Everyone should submit to each other (Eph 5:21). Wives should submit to husbands (Eph 5:22), children to parents (Eph 6:1), and employees to employers (Eph 6:5). Those in authority should submit to the Lord (see Eph 6:4, 9). The Lord wants to create an entire culture of submission.
If we accept God's call to be submissive in circumstance after circumstance, we will open ourselves to being filled with the Spirit. The beginning of this teaching on submission in Ephesians is verse 5:21. Although this verse looks like a sentence in some translations, it is a participial phrase in the original. Verse 21 is subordinated to the main verb in the sentence, which is "be filled" (with the Holy Spirit) in 5:18. In the original Greek, the Lord is saying that we must live lives of submission if we are to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
Mary received the Holy Spirit after calling herself God's handmaid (Lk 1:38). Those who received the Spirit at the first Christian Pentecost humbled themselves in asking: "What are we to do?" (Acts 2:37) Twelve Ephesian men received the Spirit after they humbly admitted that they had never heard of the Spirit (Acts 19:2). Cornelius and his household received the Spirit after Cornelius prostrated himself in submission to Peter (Acts 10:25). The Spirit descended on Jesus when He submitted Himself to John's baptism (Mt 3:14-15). Life in submission leads to life in the Spirit.
Prayer: Father, I love You by submitting myself to those whom You have given authority over me.
Promise: "Try to come in through the narrow door." —Lk 13:24
Praise: Wanda's husband insults her and belittles her faith. She loves him and is consecrating him to Jesus by her submission to him (see 1 Cor 7:14).
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, April 2, 1996
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 3, 1996