Brothers and sisters: Strive eagerly for the greatest spiritual gifts. But I shall show you a still more excellent way. If I speak in human and angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, love is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.
If there are prophecies, they will be brought to nothing; if tongues, they will cease; if knowledge, it will be brought to nothing. For we know partially and we prophesy partially, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I used to talk as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I put aside childish things. 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.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
Love, love, love!!! We have heard this reading at many a wedding as two young people start their life together. It can simply be a lot of “warm fuzzies” or it can really mean something. So let’s take a shot at the latter.
St. Ignatius is very clear in the fourth week of the Spiritual Exercises that love is not just “warm fuzzies.” First, he says love ought to show itself more in deeds than simply in words. Secondly, he says love consists in a mutual sharing of goods. In other words, love is very concrete.
The economics of love are unlike the economics of anything else we know. The more we give love away to others, the more love returns to us. Love is not a scarce commodity allocated by the laws of supply and demand. It is unlimited and we have the power to create as much love as we are willing.
Lastly, love is a force whose power we should never underestimate. In each of our lives, I am sure we have experienced how it can pick us up when we are down, how it can bring people together in the deepest of relationships, and heal the most serious wounds. Remember, there is no such thing as a small act of love!
—David McNulty works for the Midwest Jesuits. Dave and his wife Judy are grandparents of six.
Dear Jesus, help me to spread your fragrance everywhere I go;
Flood my soul with your spirit and life;
Penetrate and possess my whole being so completely
That all my life may be only a radiance of yours;
Shine through me and be so in me
That everyone with whom I come into contact
May feel your presence within me.
Let them look up and see no longer me—but only Jesus.
—John Henry Cardinal NewmanPlease share the Good Word with your friends!