6b. Submission

Instead of thinking of submission as a passive act of being unwillingly subjugated or oppressed, try seeing submission as a trunk upholding its tree: a strong trunk upholds the rightness of the tree and thus contributes to the identity and survival of the other, even though the root, trunk, branches, leaves, each has a different role to play in the identity and survival of the living being.

A human person is made in the image and likeness of God, and this dignity is to be upheld as a way of upholding the righteousness of the Creator God who reigns above all His created things. When we submit to the authority of our Creator God we willingly participate in the purpose He made for us: to worship and serve Him.

Christians are further formed to submit to the authority of the Son of God -Jesus Christ- as well as the Bride of Christ -His one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church- because through His seven sacraments the two become one flesh.

This submission is an act of free-will and gratefulness to the Father with whom, through His Sacraments, members of Jesus’ Bride are reconciled.

The Bride of Christ also submits to Godly authorities (Acts 5:29).

Marriage is the first Sacrament instituted by God, when questioned about marriage, Jesus responded, “In the beginning….” (Matt. 19:3-12). But it gets better. Per the Apostle Paul, marriage between a man and his wife is a sign that points toward the marriage between Jesus Christ and His Bride:

“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ…for we are members of His body. ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ This is a profound mystery –but I am talking about Christ and the Church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband” (Eph. 5:21, 30-33).

The epitome of submission is the Triune God. The relationships between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are in perfect submission to one another. Therefore, submission is not a curse, but rather, when it is properly understood and gratefully willed, it is a blessing whose fruit remains faith, hope and love –and the greatest of these is love.