The Greatest Love of All

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The Catholic Calendar for Wednesday, September 19, 2018
Wednesday of the Twenty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time

Scripture from today’s Liturgy of the Word:
1 Corinthians 12:31-13:13
Psalm 33:2-3, 4-5, 12 and 22
Luke 7:31-35

A reflection on today’s Sacred Scripture:

Love never fails” (1 Corinthians 13:8).

St. Paul’s love discourse is most associated with matrimonial love because it speaks of love’s permanence. It’s often the selected reading at weddings because it teaches the betrothed how to give of themselves and resolve differences by means of the greatest spiritual gifts, faith, hope and love.

But since we all have God within us and God Himself is love, this writing is unquestionably meant to inspire us all—not just the wedded, but also single persons who are especially close to Jesus as they journey toward perfection and holiness without a human family.

Paul’s “excellent way” is sure to lead us all there as we strive eagerly for these gifts which are found in imitating the virtues of Christ. It’s impossible to ever envision our Lord as jealous, pompous, inflated, rude, self-seeking, quick-tempered or brooding. But we easily see these in ourselves because we only partially know Him; we only partially know love.

So this writing of Paul’s encourages us to emulate Jesus in patience, kindness, perseverance, belief, hope and endurance, whether with our spouse or any one of our neighbors. These are the same virtues that lead us to love in the first place and that will ultimately lead us to knowing fully, the greatest Love of all.  e.

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Trust

 

Thinking about St. Peter this morning. He just didn’t catch on. What did Peter have that God would choose him even after he denied Him 3 times. Peter spoke before he thought. That can be irritating. Acts and then thinks. Always says the wrong thing. But God chose Peter. God chooses dummies. That’s why He chose me!

So, what did Peter have? He wasn’t afraid or ashamed to fail. Many are petrified of it. There’s no disgrace in failing. Am I honest? Do I have integrity? No one believes in the truth today. No one wants to hear it. But Peter was willing to do what most would find ridiculous. Out of obedience to God. Peter was obedient. Simple, honest – obedient. He threw the net. And Jesus filled it with fish. Peter didn’t even recognize the Lord. It was John who said, “It’s the Lord.” Because when you love God, you recognize Him. John loved the Lord. But poor Peter. He couldn’t get anything right. Peter wraps his cloak around himself and then jumps into the water. When Peter realized it was Jesus, he RAN to Him. He accepted God’s forgiveness. He didn’t doubt for a second that he was forgiven. He was sorry. He knew that God forgives and forgets. God teaches us how to forgive by giving example. He showed us that it’s our enemies who teach us to forgive. We learn by our sins. Or not. We’re to forgive and then serve as Jesus served. Most of us would have been unable to face Jesus in that boat.

Dear disciples, many will not listen to one such as Peter, one such as you. You’ll be mocked for your obedience and willingness. Eyes will roll. Peter said yes. That’s all God asks of us.

Always keep this in mind: Don’t harbor hatred. Believe in God’s way: simplicity, humility, trust. Be attuned to God’s will. Be obedient, say yes. It’s not easy sometimes, but we can get up and begin again like St. Peter. The greatest gift we can give to God is to accept His mercy, which is infinite. Blessings!

e.