Love: The More Excellent Way To Live
Reflections on the readings for the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time (February 3, 2019): JER 1:4-5,17-19; PS 71:1-2,3-4,5-6,15-17; 1COR 12:31-13:13; LK 4:21-30
MISSIO offers “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
Today we read St. Paul’s famous discourse on love.
It has become popular to include this reading during the marriage ceremony. Certainly it is important for a bride and groom to focus on love, but that is just one aspect of this necessary virtue. And, it is clearly not the one that St. Paul was specifically addressing. He wanted Christians to understand the vital need for love within their whole community. The Holy Spirit offers many gifts to followers of Christ. Yet only by embracing the strength of love in living out our entire lives can we fulfill the plans God has for us. It takes time and effort and, above all, cooperation with God’s grace, to develop mature love. “At present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. At present I know partially; then I shall know fully, as I am fully known. So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:12-13).
God is the source of love. He sent His Son to relieve the burden of sin and the finality of the grave by sacrificing Himself for all humankind. As Christ’s disciples, we need to emulate His goodness and mercy as closely as possible. And that means rejoicing in God’s love, returning His love and sharing it generously with our brothers and sisters.
Suggested missionary action: We can spend some time with today’s reading from 1 Corinthians. And we can ask our Lord to help us focus on the various aspects of what love is – and is not – each day this week and put them into practice, in our homes, community and half a world away.