In the beginning of this passage we hear Saint Paul saying, “If I speak in human and angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing.”(1 Corinthians 13: 1-3) Saint Paul is reminding the people of Corinth that everything they do must be done out of love. As a College Seminarian in formation for the priesthood everything that I do must be done out of love. As a priest going up to the pulpit preaching the Word of God, which is Jesus Christ, there is no other way of preaching but with love. No one wants to hear resounding gongs or clashing cymbals every time you get to the pulpit. The congregation also does not want to hear a bunch of Nothing! They want to hear God, the one who IS Love. Saint Paul writes, “It [Love] bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.”(1 Corinthians 13:7-8) This is a message that we all have to remember especially when it comes to hard or difficult times in life. If one has Christ as the center their lives, one will never fail. As Catholics we must stand up for the Truth even when I might hurt a little. As we hear Jesus say in the Gospel of John, “I am the way and the truth and the life.” (John 14:6) As Catholics we must follow the Truth and Preach the Truth never forgetting that it has to be done with Love or it is Nothing.
I was blessed to have to opportunity to take a mission trip / retreat out in Colorado with Seton Hall students just last week. During out trip we did service with Christ in the City, which is an organization in Denver that works with the homeless, and we also volunteered at a local Catholic School in the city. After our days of service in the city of Denver all of us were able to take a day of recollection or what we called a “Desert Day.” The term “Desert Day” comes from our rich tradition of the Deserts Fathers and their spirituality in the early Church. This Desert Day was a day of silence and reflection and I was blessed to be able to spend it in a hermitage where I had my own private chapel with the presence of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. This day was filled with fruitful prayer especially when it came to Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians. (1 Corinthians 13:1-13)