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Sunday, February 1, 2004

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4th Sunday Ordinary Time

Jeremiah 1:4-5, 17-19
1 Corinthians 12:31—13:13
Psalm 71
Luke 4:21-30

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agape with agape love

"Now I will show you the way which surpasses all the others." —1 Corinthians 12:31

God is Love, that is, "agape" love (see 1 Jn 4:16). If we do not have this divine, unconditional love, we are "among the living dead" (1 Jn 3:14), we know "nothing of God" (1 Jn 4:8), we are nothing (1 Cor 13:2), and we "gain nothing" no matter how gifted we are and how great are our works (1 Cor 13:3). St. John of the Cross has taught: "At the evening of life, we shall be judged on our love" (Catechism, 1022).

God's kind of love suffers a long time (1 Cor 13:4 in Greek) and bears our burdens (1 Cor 13:4 in Greek). Agape love is not jealously possessive (see 1 Cor 13:4), prideful (see 1 Cor 13:4), disordered (see 1 Cor 13:5 in Greek), or selfish (1 Cor 13:5). In true love, we are not easily irritated (1 Cor 13:5) or hypersensitive. True love forgives so that we don't count others' offenses (1 Cor 13:5). Instead, we count our blessings.

To live in God's love is obviously humanly impossible. However, the Holy Spirit produces the fruit of love in our lives (Gal 5:22) by purifying our hearts, forming our consciences, and deepening our faith (1 Tm 1:5). Come, Holy Spirit of love.

Prayer:  Father, grace me to forgive and love my worst enemies.

Promise:  "They will fight against you, but not prevail over you, for I am with you to deliver you, says the Lord." —Jer 1:19

Praise:  Praise the risen Jesus, our Love, our Lord, our God, our All!

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape on Love on audio AV 58-1 or video V-58.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Richard Walling, July 18, 2003

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 24, 2003