Daily Office Readings for Monday of proper 23: Year 1
“Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth.” (1st Corinthians 13: 4 to 6)
In Paul’s 1st Corinthians letter, verses 1 through 13 are perhaps some of the most remembered passages of the New Testament. He begins by explaining how hollow and empty we are without love. And then he describes exactly what love is. I also like recalling the ending of his words. He says of faith, hope and love, love is the greatest of them all; (1st Corinthians 13:13).
Paul says love is patient, kind, not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. He says love does not insist on its own way or is irritable or resentful. It does not celebrate wrongdoing but celebrates doing what is right and truthful. Personally, I fail with some of these. I do get irritable; I have found myself boasting from time to time, and perhaps some other short comings. I am still striving to overcome these deficiencies.
I agree with Paul’s definitions of love. So I also agree that I fall short of it. But I am still a work in progress. I think my strong suits are patience, not being rude and not insisting on my own way. I have work to do in order that I may live more fully into what love is. I have heard it said that once it is identified or spoken of, we can then aim for it. Thank you Paul.
I think the real challenge is just wanting to love more. Making love our priority makes us more godly because God is love. In full disclosure, I think sometimes even God gets a little irritated with us. Maybe we are more godly than we think. And, since I believe that God wins, every time; I must also consider that God insists in God’s own Way. I am happy about our God of love being this way.
As we are drawn more and more back to God, we are drawn to Love. I feel the best way to live our lives is to rid ourselves of all strife, jealousy, envy, malice and hatred. Perhaps making 1st Corinthians 13: 1 to 13, a daily recitation, will help us get there. Maybe these words will plant seeds of love within us and bloom. It’s worth a try.
As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love, to serve, and to teach, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John