1 Maccabees 4-6; 1 Corinthians 13

1 Corinthians 13:1-7 If I speak in human and angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing.  Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, [love] is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

This is Paul’s resounding statement about love.  God is the perfection of love.  He ends Chapter 13 with

So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

 Love is the greatest of the theological virtues: in Heaven there will be no more need for faith (we shall see God as He is) and hope (our hope will be realized), but Love will remain.  Our earthly life is an opportunity to work on the love thing, and it is hard work: ask anyone who commutes to work in Atlanta every day.  I can’t pretend the middle-finger salutes I have dished out were intended as blessings.  But I keep trying to do better, as hopefully we all do.  My grandchildren are big help to me, melting my stony heart, as is my wife’s patience with me, which is so often humbling.  Love starts with family: if you have issues there, it’s going to be really hard to love those outside the family.

Have a blessed Sunday!

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