Love is always patient and kind
Gospel Reflection for the 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C – February 3rd 2013
Full scripture for this Sunday is available on our parish website. Daily Scripture is also available. Our parish Prayers of the Faithful for this Sunday are made available on the Dublin Diocesan website.
NOTE: Our Reflection for this Sunday refers to the Second Reading – we see the love it describes in action as we look at the life of Jesus in the Gospel.
Love is always patient and kind; it is never jealous; love is never boastful or conceited; it is never rude or selfish; it does not take offence, and is not resentful. Love takes no pleasure in other people’s sins but delights in the truth; it is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes.
Love does not come to an end. But if there are gifts of prophecy, the time will come when they must fail; or the gift of languages, it will not continue for ever; and knowledge – for this, too, the time will come when it must fail. For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophesying is imperfect; but once perfection comes, all imperfect things will disappear. When I was a child, I used to talk like a child, and think like a child, and argue like a child, but now I am a man, all childish ways are put behind me. Now we are seeing a dim reflection in a mirror; but then we shall be seeing face to face. The knowledge that I have now is imperfect; but then I shall know as fully as I am known.
In short, there are three things that last: faith, hope and love; and the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:4-13
Jesus he began to speak in the synagogue, ‘This text is being fulfilled today even as you listen’. And he won the approval of all, and they were astonished by the gracious words that came from his lips.
They said, ‘This is Joseph’s son, surely?’ But he replied, ‘No doubt you will quote me the saying, “Physician, heal yourself” and tell me, “We have heard all that happened in Capernaum, do the same here in your own countryside”‘. And he went on, ‘I tell you solemnly, no prophet is ever accepted in his own country.
‘There were many widows in Israel, I can assure you, in Elijah’s day, when heaven remained shut for three years and six months and a great famine raged throughout the land, but Elijah was not sent to any one of these: he was sent to a widow at Zarephath, a Sidonian town. And in the prophet Elisha’s time there were many lepers in Israel, but none of these was cured, except the Syrian, Naaman.’
When they heard this everyone in the synagogue was enraged. They sprang to their feet and hustled him out of the town; and they took him up to the brow of the hill their town was built on, intending to throw him down the cliff, but he slipped through the crowd and walked away.
Luke 4: 21-30
‘God, that’s very true’ – a remark at our liturgy meeting after the second reading. Jealousy kills, envy too, and isn’t it great to rejoice in the good fortune of another?
Judged in love
Love is what we bring with us at the end of life. ‘We will be judged in the evening of life by love (St John of the Cross). Love for those near and close and more, for love in the gospel is more than love for just the family, the friend, the attractive one, the neighbour…for all.
There are different calls to Christian love – near and dear daily love, friendship, marriage, relationships. The wider world like in our job where we live in a loving way, in justice with all, not using others for personal gain; the wider world where a universal love makes me want to make a difference in the bigger world. Love carries us into wide seas and waters. It involves us with everyone. It obviously doesn’t mean we relate to everyone – nor that we even like everyone. Love is when others’ lives become at least as important as our own; and in the deepest loves like marriage, friendship often and family, others’ lives become even more important.
Love changes – we look back and see how the people we loved make the difference. Life is too short to look love in the face and say no. ‘We are moulded and remoulded by those who have loved us, and though their love may pass, we are nevertheless their work’ (F Mauriac).
The second reading today is hard to beat! We see it in action as we look at the life of Jesus.
Jesus whose heart is wide enough to love us all, make our hearts like yours.
Donal Neary SJ