Love is an Action Verb
Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
January 30, 2022
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 injuries, it does not rejoice over wrong-doing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
1 Corinthians 13
We all know that Christ has commanded us to love one another. Love is the heart of the gospel: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, so that all who believe in him might not perish, but might have everlasting life” (John 3:16). We are called to respond to that love, but learning how to do it is a life-long struggle.
Always be faithful in little things because our strength is to be found in them. Nothing is too small for God….Practice fidelity in the tiniest things, not for their own sake, but because of the great thing we call the will of God…for which I myself have infinite respect.
Mother (Saint) Teresa of Calcutta
We must realize that part of our life’s journey is meant to establish our place in the next world. The level of spiritual maturity we have attained at the moment of death is the level at which we shall enter heaven or be perfected in purgatory. And so it is vitally important that we know what it means to love, because God is love. How does this action of mine affect the other? How does God see my action? How will it look in my life review?
To accomplish this, we need a plan of action. Fortunately, Saint Paul gives us one in the second reading today. We are put on earth to grow in our ability to love others. In scripture, love is not a feeling, but a set of behaviors. Saint Paul’s words, quoted above, should be a kind of “rule of life” for us. Every situation we encounter, no matter how frustrating or challenging it may be, is an opportunity to grow in love, to become, more and more, the person we were meant to be by God.
Each day, God allows us to have “growth moments” that enable us to “grow in love” by putting these behaviors into practice on a regular basis. These graced moments are opportunities to accumulate great wealth, if we but only realize it.