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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Love never fails

"Faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love." 1 Cor 13:13

We hear St Paul telling us that love is the foundation of the Gospel so often that we often fail to pause and reflect upon it. It's no different when we hear friends or family say good morning, or good night. We hear them, but because they say the same thing everyday, we fail to appreciate their greetings. A slow reading of the 13th chapter of Paul's first letter to the Corinthians can be a richly rewarding practice, and it might even help us listen to the gentle greetings of friends more intently.

How important it is to remember that unless we live and act in love, everything that the gospel commands of us is empty. We might be prophets for our own time, but no one will hear us if we don't live in love. All of us have experienced this in our everyday lives. When our tone or attitude is harsh, nothing we say, no matter how important, is heard. Our arrogance gets in the way of God's truth.

A recent column in the NY Times that recounted an appearance by Cardinal Dolan and the comic Stephen Colbert at Fordham University went a step further and insisted that others might experience our love more easily if we use humor to proclaim the Good News. (Dolan and Colbert)  But when Colbert was asked what  to do when Christian leaders speak with hate, especially about homosexuals, the comic was blunt. “If someone spreads hate,” he said, “then they’re not your religious leader.” St. Paul would have answered in the same way.

Today, no matter what you must do, do it with love.

How can we speak the truth with love?

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