Readings for Wednesday September 17, 2008
First Reading: 1 Corinthians 12:31-13:13
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 33
Gospel: Luke 7:31-35
What is love? This is a popular question among many people today. In fact, this great question even sparked the still popular song "What is Love," by the artist Haddaway in 1993. Of course we do not find the answer to this question in any pop music. No, we must look to a source that is much wiser for the right answer.
In the reading today, St. Paul writes to the church of Corinth, and tells them (and us) how important love is. He tells them what love is, as well as what it is not. This is important because like the people of Paul's time, we tend to get confused about these sorts of things things. But God, knowing us all too well inspires Paul to write what love is and what it is not. He know that we need to hear examples of both. I am sure that when reading this scripture, many of you were reminded of a wedding that you might have been to. Why is this such a great reading for weddings? Because it tells the bride and groom what love is and what it is not. The bride and groom need to understand that the marriage will require great love in order for them to thrive, and we need the examples to help us understand. Many of us confuse the term love with that warm, squishy, butterflies in the stomach feeling that we get when we see that special somebody. This is what many of us are lead to believe that love is, simply a feeling...but it is so much more. Read below of what St. Paul tells us love is and is not. I have also included some thoughts that came to me when reading each of these (underneath in italics).
Love is patient, love is kind.
(love takes its time, it is not in a rush)
It is not jealous, love is not pompous,
(it is not full of pride, and accepts all)
it is not inflated, it is not rude,
(it is genuine and real, from the heart)
it does not seek its own interests,
(it is completely selfless)
it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury,
(remember it is patient, it seeks to heal not break)
it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth.
(it isn't about who is right and who is wrong, it is about the truth and the way)
It bears all things, believes all things,
(through love we can get through anything in faith)
hopes all things, endures all things.
(with love we can look ahead, and persevere)
I realize that it seems as though we have been talking about love a lot on this blog, but I know it is for a reason. I know that the Lord has put it on my heart to reflect on it...not just to share, but because we all need to work on loving more and better. I don't know about you, but I am very far from the place of having mastered the art of loving everyone as God intends me to. This reading is important for us to remember when we are angry and want to hate, when we are hurt and want to blame, and when we are ashamed and want to hide.
"So faith, hope, love remain, these three;
but the greatest of these is love."
Father above, we thank you for your love and mercy. Even though we are not deserving, you love us without hesitation every second of our lives. Lord may we look to others with this same mercy, especially those who we find it most difficult to love. Lord we pray for all those filled with hate, that they may find the strength and courage to let go of this hate and open their hearts to you. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.