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‘Beloved, let us love one another’

Since being ordained, I have had the privilege to witness many weddings. Recently, while talking to a couple, I let it slip out that I was relieved that they had chosen something other than 1 Corinthians 13, which reads, “Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous ....” (I hadn’t read closely because she said, “Oh, that’s my favorite reading; it’s right here in the program!”)
 
This encounter has made me do a little soul searching about why I don’t do backflips when I hear this reading. Simply put, I think living this Scripture about love is impossible ... well, impossible without God. 
 
So maybe my focus should be on how can I move these couples (and all of us) from the notion of romantic love to love as Christ loves: “Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God” (1 Jn 4:7). Knows God! So love has its origin in a deep relationship with God.
 
Knowledge of God is not information; it’s relationship and intimacy. In fact, the closer we draw to Christ, the more we realize he shows us clearly what love really looks like. “This is my commandment: Love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (Jn 15:12-13).
 
Take a moment and think, “When was the last time I made another person’s happiness more important than my own?” Many things can block this self-giving, like fear, unforgiveness, anger and resentment. This is why we cannot love without first receiving the love of Christ. Jesus helps us move beyond ourselves and experience true love by laying down our lives in little hidden ways for those around us.
 
Father Timothy Forgét is pastor of St. Jane Frances de Chantal Parish in Randolph and St. Mary of the Seven Dolors Parish in Osmond. Contact him at twforget@archomaha.org.

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