The first reading at mass today is one of my favorites! It’s very popular — I hear it a lot of weddings — in fact, I actually read this at my aunt & uncle’s wedding about 8 years ago.
First Reading: 1 Corinthians 12:31-13:13
31 But earnestly desire the higher gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way.
1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant
5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;
6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.
7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.
9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part,
10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.
11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.
12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
Essentially, we can do nothing well if we don’t do it with love.
I think about this often — especially when I think of the menial, daily chores and tasks at hand. From making coffee to cleaning crumbs off our dining table; from going up and down the stairs to do our laundry to cleaning our bathroom counters. I don’t enjoy these chores, really.
But I know that each second of each day is an opportunity to love, to serve God, to serve my husband… and whereas it used to be difficult to understand how I could truly serve God by making coffee in the morning or by taking out our trash at the end of the day, I know that it is not what I’m doing — but how I’m doing it.
I saw this quote earlier this morning and loved it: “The school of Christ is the school of love. In the last day, when the general examination takes place… Love will be the whole syllabus.” (St. Robert Bellarmine)
I’d better start studying…!
I need to think — with love, to act — with love, to speak — with love.
Today’s first reading was a great reminder to me. Instead of trying sleep just a few minutes longer so my husband can make the coffee (I’ll admit, I might have done that this morning…), I can wake up — not begrudgingly, but willingly, lovingly — and do this for him. These small acts of love for my husband will help me to better love God.