Love Is All That Matters
by Mark Votava
“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophesy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing” (1 Corinthians 13: 1-3).
- 1 Corinthians 13 love in the particulars of everyday life
We need to see our lives as the expression of this 1 Corinthians 13 love as the body of Christ in the particulars of everyday life together in the parish. This is God’s will for us. We cannot escape the call.
- Being kind to one another and showing patience
Our local context will teach us how to love, being kind to one another and showing patience. This begins in the particulars of life now. The relational context we find ourselves in will constantly manifest love all around us.
- The kingdom of love begins here and now
Catherine Doherty says, “The kingdom of God, which is the kingdom of love, begins here and now.”
- The neighborhood is the medium where we learn to love
God is already working in the neighborhood all around us in our locality if we would only become aware of what is going on. The neighborhood is the medium where we learn to love relationally. The communal imagination will be cultivated through this 1 Corinthians 13 way of life in the particulars of each situation we find ourselves in.
- Every relationship brings opportunities to love
Love is calling out to us relationally in all of life. Every relationship brings opportunities to love. This is what should define us over the course of our lives.
- Love is a hard reality to face
Love has been a hard reality for me to face as I have tried to reduce following Christ to something else. My local context always calls me back to the reality of relational love toward others when I tend to do this. God is constantly teaching me through the relational context of the neighborhood that love is all that matters. Anything less will not do.
- I cannot ignore this call to love
So many times I have lost the focus of this 1 Corinthians 13 love. But I am coming to understand that this is what I need to base my life on. Jesus is calling to me through the seasons of life, through the wind I feel on my face as I walk outside in my neighborhood, to love. I cannot ignore this call to love. I cannot ignore this call to the parish. I cannot ignore this call to live relationally.
Do you sense a call to live into this 1 Corinthians 13 love?