The National Catholic Review

Some passages seem to need so much commentary to enter into their complex recesses to pull out hidden guidance, while others seem to hide their wisdom in plain view, shimmering on the surface. Let's try this one as a test case:

"All bitterness, fury, anger, shouting, and reviling
must be removed from you, along with all malice" (Ephesians 4:31).

I suppose we could try to parse the Greek of "bitterness, fury, anger, shouting, reviling ...and malice," but they seem pretty clear to me, especially as I drove through Chicago traffic yesterday. You would be amazed that out of all the people on the road, I am the only one who knows how to drive! What a gift God has given me. The gift disappeared in the wisp of anger, shouting and reviling, however, as I negotiated the inevitable summer lane closures.

"And be kind to one another, compassionate,
forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ" (Ephesians 4:32).

This makes sense also, though you would not believe the sort of people I have to deal with in my life. Do you think God truly wants me to be compassionate and kind to them, forgiving them for their rudeness, insolence and stupidity...you know, they have the kind of attitude I personally would never have!

"So be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love,
as Christ loved us and handed himself over for us
as a sacrificial offering to God for a fragrant aroma" (Ephesians 5:1-2).

This one's easy: we are children of God, called to imitate God and model our love of neighbor and God on Christ's sacrificial love for us. I know that the whole conception of "imitation" has Greek roots in Platonic and other Greek philosophical thought, and "sacrifice," well, you could write a book on that, I suppose, but these seem to be straightforward in terms of practical application. We should imitate God's love for everyone and care for all of those whom we meet.

I certainly wish I could do a bit more commentary on this passage; it seems too straightforward and clear to me.