Saint Mary of the Angels homilies and reflections

Homily. January 31, 2010. 1 Corinthians on love. Misael Enrique Meza Rueda, SJ

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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, and generosity.

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 words.

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.

 

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