SUNDAY JANUARY 31, 2010
1 CORINTHIANS 12:31 – 13:13
I am reminded today of the story of a child who
was going to church to pray every day at the same hour. The priest, seeing that the child was coming every day and spent some
minutes kneeling befote the Blessed Sacrament, asked him one day: "what do you ask
God for every day? What is your problem?” And the child answered: "I do not ask him for anything. I do not have big problems. The only thing that I ask
God for is what I can do to help him.”
Today we will focus our Sunday meditation on
Saint Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, which is well known as the “Hymn to love," which many couples choose for
the liturgy of their wedding.
The apostle Paul analyzes the role that love
plays in our relation to God and others.
We know that love has been the inspiration of
innumerable artists in the course of history; it is the central theme of almost all literary works; music expresses the happiness
due to fulfilled love as well as the pain and anger for broken hearts. Love is an inevitable theme in films.
What is the central affirmation of the apostle
Paul? He affirms, in a strong way, that love is the central value of human existence, and the one that gives sense to everything
that we do. Let's listen again to his words: "If I speak in human and angelic tongues, but do not have love, I am a resounding
gong or a clashing cymbal.”
These words of Saint Paul invite us to check
the priorities with which we live our lives:
DEAR PARENTS: there are parents who dedicate
too little time to their children because of their Jobs or other commitments that draw them away from home. For this reason they neither see their children growing nor share with them the first years of life,
which are definitive for their affective and intellectual development. Quoting San Paul, the hectic lives of these parents
make them be only “resounding gongs or clashing cymbals.”
DEAR PRIESTS: there are priests who are taken
up by their apostolic works. They do not have time to share with the people, to participate in their happy and sad moments. Quoting again San Paul, we can affirm that the hectic activities of these priests
make them be only “resounding gongs sor clashing cymbals”, since they have no time to love the people.
Saint Paul, a wise man who knows human life, claims that love needs to be expressed in daily life and it must be cultivated. Otherwise,
love fades. Because of this, Saint Paul encourages us to grow in comprehension, service to others, humility, good manners,
One of our common mistakes in our personal relationships
is to believe that love is guaranteed and is completely risksproof, as if it were protected by a total insurance policy. Let me mention three factors that are Essentials for living an authentic love.
FIRST FACTOR. Small details play a central role
in nourishing love. We often neglect the small details in our life simply because
they are small. Big mistake! The high quality of living together is the result of small gestures, small actions, and simple
SECOND FACTOR. Communication. If there are good
channels of communication, love thrives; if these channels are blocked, love fades.
Besides communication is much more than just exchanging information; Communications implies the capability to analyze
problems and situations with objectivity; the hardest thing in communication is to be able to share one another’s feelings
without judging them, without discrediting them, in silent and respectful understanding.
THIRD FACTOR. Readiness to forgive. A granted
pardon supposes a serious commitment for a personal change of life. It does not limit itself to empty words or returning later
to the wrong steps. An authentic pardon means turning the page to start writing a new chapter in the book of our human relationships.
It is time to finish this Sunday meditation.
Let's sum up the messages that Saint Paul conveys to us about an authentic love: It is as an essential element in order
that our life should make sense, and our “YES” to love must be confirmed every day.