We have such a beautiful First Reading today which both serves as a reminder and a challenge for me.
Since Couples for Christ announced its theme for 2015, God has already started preparing me for it. Ever since I joined the community back in 2006, my journey had always been one with CFC's journey. From Lamentations when I had nothing left to do but just hope, to the call of loving one another especially one's enemies, to moving forward in Christ, to experiencing the fullness of life, to putting on the full armor of God as described in Ephesians, to proclaiming the greatness of the Lord, to obeying and witnessing, and now beholding and pondering... CFC's story has become my own story as well.
Next year, we are called to LOVE MORE inspired by John 21:15-17. And to me that means forgiving, sacrificing, and dying more! But that would also mean living more! As what Cardinal Tagle beautifully explained, "When we do not love we do not fully live because the dynamic of living is the dynamic of loving, but these two are forms of dying. The one who loves dies a million deaths, the one who dies lives fully."
And because God is a God of the "Here and Now", He reminds and challenges me to love more today! :)
From the First Reading...
First Letter to the Corinthians 12:31.13:1-13.
Brothers and sisters: Strive eagerly for the greatest spiritual gifts. But I shall show you a still more excellent way.
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.
Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, (love) 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 injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth.
It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails. If there are prophecies, they will be brought to nothing; if tongues, they will cease; if knowledge, it will be brought to nothing.
For we know partially and we prophesy partially, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.
When I was a child, I used to talk as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I put aside childish things.
At present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. At present I know partially; then I shall know fully, as I am fully known.
So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
... which reminded me of this beautiful song that I learned way back in college:
I AM NOTHING (Ginny Owens)
I could travel over oceans, cross the deserts, climb the mountains
Just to share Your story, bring You glory, and win souls for You
And I could sing like an angel, songs so humble and so thankful
Full of drama and emotion, so the world would know Your truth
I could give away my money and my clothes and my food
To restore those people who are poor, and lost, and down-and-out
Oh, I could succeed at all these things,
Find favor with peasants and kings,
But if I do not love, I am nothing.
I could live a flawless life,
Never cheat or steal or lie,
And always speak so kindly, smile so warmly, and go about doing good
I could dedicate myself to do what everyone else wants me to
Listen to them, compliment them, say the things I should
I could show up every Sunday, lead the choir and Bible Study
And they all might come to know me as a leader and a friend
Oh, I could achieve success on Earth, but success cannot define my worth
And all these actions, all these words, they will not matter in the end
'Cause songs will fade to silence,
Stories, they will cease
The dust will settle, covering all my selfless deeds.
So as I strive to serve You,
Won't You make it clear to me,
That if I do not love, I am nothing.
And if I cannot live my life loving my brother,
Then how can I love the One who lived His life for me?
Oh, sent to Earth from Heaven,
Humble Servant, Holy King,
Come to share a story, get no glory, and save my searching soul,
You knew that I'd deny You, crucify You, but nothing could stop You from
living for me, dying for me, so that I would know
That songs will fade to silence,
Stories, they will cease,
The dust will settle covering all my selfless deeds
But Your life here had made it clear enough for me to see
That if I do not love, I am nothing.
Clearly, God is asking me to do this:
|Photo Credit: Sprik Space|
Because that's the only way to live... for without Love, life is nothing... without Love, I am nothing! :)