God is LOVE

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1Corinthians 13: 1-13

“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.  If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude.  Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong but rejoices in the right.  Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things; endures all things.

Love never ends; as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.  For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophecy is imperfect; but when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away.

When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up childish ways.  For now, we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face.  Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood.  So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. “

The world celebrated Valentine’s Day on February 14.  In some places, it is highly commercialized.  However, people want to express their love to their loved ones by giving gifts, flowers, chocolates, etc.  Public plazas were filled with people – families and lovers celebrating “heart’s day” or another way of saying “I love you” and giving time for the loved one.

For couples, it’s nice to romanticize love but day to day relationship is not romantic.  Expressing “I love you” is oftentimes not romantic.  Ask someone who is married for 10 years or more.  It entails a lot of care, sacrifice, patience and tolerance.  However it can also be enjoyable and inspiring.  It’s a matter of attitude.  Nevertheless it is a matter of style and creativity.  Some couples are able to maintain the “romance” even after 50 years of togetherness.  Perhaps it has something to do with focus and acceptance.  Many couples separate or one having an affair with someone else perhaps because the person has not accepted fully and totally that he/she has already a lifetime partner and not available for another in the same relationship.  If there is difficulty in the relationship, it can happen to anyone even with the new partner.  It is normal to have differences since they are different people coming from different families, different backgrounds and personal history.  There is much to learn from each other.  All these can be resolved if there is true love.  However if this was not clear at the start or there was a big misunderstanding in the marriage preparation, the relationship is bound to fail.  With enough data and long process, the Church may declare annulment of marriage vows since there was no real marriage from the very start.

For friends, love can be constant and lasting.  It’s a different kind of love than the one which is shared by couples.  It is not sexual or romantic.  It is usually on the basis of same likes, dislikes, same place they grew up together, classmates, same work, same ministry, common hobbies, common friends, etc.  It can be between boy and girl, boy and boy or girl and girl.  Friends do not necessarily meet or see each other often although frequent contacts may be helpful to the relationship.  Contacts here may be personal or through the social networking sites or cell phone messages or internet chat.  The world is getting smaller because of the progress in information technology.  Chatting with friends from different parts of the globe at almost the same time is possible.

For family members, love is a given and sometimes taken for granted because it is presumed to be always there.  However, nothing should be taken for granted for the one you think is the nearest to you may be the farthest after all.  Expressing love for parents and siblings in various ways should not be taken for granted.  Small gestures of love and care may mean a lot especially for our ageing parents, grandparents, aunties and uncles. Occasional visits are welcome gestures.

For people whom we are not related and who do not even know us, we also show love and care by helping them when they need help.  To show kindness without expecting any return favor to these people could be the most fulfilling thing one can experience.  Service can be enjoyable or tiresome depending on how one looks at it and feels about it.  When service is done with love, it is enjoyable and fulfilling.

God shows His favor and mercy to everyone including those who do not accept Him.  The sun shines for everyone.  The air that we breathe is for everyone.  The rain to water our plants and fill our dams, are for everyone.  Our natural resources are God’s gifts to us all.  But sometimes people are so greedy that they hoard it to themselves and others may not be able to use it anymore.  Oftentimes, God is blamed why people are poor.  It is only people themselves who are responsible for this social problem of poverty.  There are many factors to look into in this problem. The work of the social scientists may not be enough since it is an integrated problem.

God is Love.  Where there is true love in any of the above relationships, God is there.  True love is possible when God is part of the relationship.  Our love for God translates into love for others.  God’s mission becomes our mission which is salvation for all.   We pray that God continues to pour His everlasting, faithful and merciful love to all of us so that we can continue to love and serve others with joy and compassion!  Then true peace and God’s Kingdom may come!

*** Star


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