St. Paul and Pope Francis on Love in Daily Life
(submitted by Deacon Jim Krupka)
In his first letter to the Corinthians, St. Paul uses words to describe what love is and is not. Love is patient, kind and rejoices in right. Love bears, believes, hopes and endures all things. Love is not irritable, resentful, arrogant, rude, jealous, boastful, or selfish. Collectively these words say that love is more than a feeling. Love is “to do good.”
Imagine a world where we get up each morning and remember the Great Commandment: Love God and love neighbor. We could set the tone for our day by remembering the words from St. Paul. Think of the changes in the world that would come from that. Every person would be a gift to each other as we rise above ourselves and value each other. As we focus on living as gifts to each other, we live a way of love that is not jealous or boastful. The call is to respect each person’s esteem. We learn to appreciate others’ achievements and good fortune without envy. We take a breath before speaking too much about ourselves. We move away from showing off beyond reality. We are aware of any tendency to take on a sense of righteousness like the Scribes and Pharisees. St. Paul uses words that mean “puffed up” in contrast to love that builds all up. Pope Francis asks us to remember the call to live “agreeably with those around us.” Love is not rude. Our words and gestures should be pleasing and not abrasive. Instead of bringing irritation to others, bring comfort and encouragement.
St. Paul offered these words about love to all of humanity, hoping that the good news of Jesus would transform the world. Pope Francis speaks to us as we live in families. The Pope says about family life, “Never let the day end without making peace in the family.” Start with a place for God in your home. With His strength, make a move toward peace. Even a tiny gesture can open the door to peace. The courage to do that comes from genuine love. A gesture of love from one opens the gate for love from others. Make it happen in your home.