Brothers and sisters:
Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, it 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. Love never fails.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Ever go shopping for a bridal shower or wedding gift? Or go in search for a card that has meaning to it to relay a message of love. These words are found in many cards on many plaques. It is about love and what we are when we have it. When we have a Church wedding this is part of one of the readings that is chosen among a list for the ceremony. Not all use this one but many do.
I remember receiving a wedding gift, a plaque with this saying on it. It serves as a reminder how we are to love. But often we forget to love this way. We tend to become selfish when we live with each other. We share but selfishly, we give white lies when we are caught in mischief. We tend to lash out when others hurt us. Often we are rude to others. In a sense many of us are the complete opposite of what love is.
Are we patient when we are at a red light and it turns green but the vehicle in front doesn't move fast enough and we blow our horn. Not really! Are we patient while waiting in a line that moves slowly, and run to change lines when another opens up, so we can hurry up and get out. How about when people are talking to us, are we patient then or do we show them our anxiety to leave their presence. Is there patience then?
Are we kind to those less fortunate or do we look away and treat them as lowlifes. How about our elderly who have slowed down through the years are we kind to them? We tend to show more kindness to animals than we do people. Is it because they are cuter than people, helpless. If we can be kind to animals who are helpless why not be kind to people who are the same way.
Are we rude, have inflated egos, pompous, self-seeking, quick tempered, jealous? Do we have any of these temperaments? If we do then we do not have love, not in the sense of what Jesus speaks of. Love does not go off in a second and explode in a temper tantrum. Love is not jealous of those who are around us for whatever reason, but rejoices in them. Love is not self-seeking, but self serving, where we serve without cost to ourselves. Love is not pompous, it does not put on airs. Love is not rude to people, and there is plenty of that too. Love is not having an inflated ego, a big head over it's own self worth.
How often do we toot our own horns in what we have done and related it to others. Are boasting out of inflated egos, are we pompous about what we have achieved so others will feel inferior. Are we any of these?
When we love, we love from a heart filled with love for God. We love without reserve all who we see, talk to, and listen to. We love those who hurt us, we love those who hate us, we love beyond ourselves. When we love in this capacity we have achieved the desires of God's heart.