Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Love is having to say you're sorry over and over

[adapted from this morning's homily on 1 Corinthians 12: 31--13: 13]

St. Paul suffers from overexposure in this section of his letter to the Corinthians.  We have all heard this countless times at weddings, and in that context, it is easy to pass over the call to conversion that Paul sets forth.  So let us ask ourselves if we are living according to what we profess.

Are we patient because loving?  All too often, in fact, we make an idol out of efficiency and speed, and find ways to exclude or shame the slow.  Are we not quick to fault others for unkindness toward ourselves, without asking whether we are truly kind?  Do we rejoice in the gifts of others or use them as occasions for jealousy?  I will confess to being pompous and quick-tempered, and surely there is no lack of rudeness in our world.  Not only do many of us brood over injuries, manyof us are frequently on the lookout for further grievances to pad our sense of victimization.

That we fall short of our ideal is not news, and certainly not reason for despair.  In fact, it is why we gather daily at the Lord's altar to commemorate His deliverance from our captivity to hate and indifference.  May we imitate our Lord's example of love through the grace that He has promised us.

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If I, who seem to be your right hand and am called Presbyter and seem to
preach the Word of God, If I do something against the discipline of the Church
and the Rule of the Gospel so that I become a scandal to you, The Church, then
may the whole Church, in unanimous resolve, cut me, its right hand, off, and
throw me away.

Origen of Alexandria
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