At weddings I hear over and over the famous reading of St. Paul’s Letter to the Corinthians⎯the famous ‘recipe’ for living loving relationships: “Love is patient, love is kind. Love is not jealous, is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered. Love does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails…Faith, hope and love, remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
In a lovely article by Musician/Liturgist Dolly Sokol (AIM Liturgy Resources) she says: “Jesus reminds us of the Father’s great love. God has forever become wedded to the human race through the gift of the Son, Jesus, and through the redemption that Jesus gained for us. If God is wedded to us, so must we wed ourselves to each other…the love of Christians for each other is more like the committed, wedded, enduring love of husband and wife.” Or it should be!
God has set the example of love for us: in our salvation through the Passion, Death and Resurrection of His Son; and in the new life of creation we experience every Spring. We are asked to follow this example of sacrificial and generous love, and to witness love like God’s in the world. Here is something I have heard preached at weddings: if you ever want a check of your self and of your behavior, say the above Scripture from Corinthians, and substitute your own name for the word ‘love’. “Elizabeth is patient, Elizabeth is kind…” Ask yourself if this is the truth about you…it works for me, and may also be an opportunity for personal reflection and reconciliation for you, too.
In this season of new life⎯and in any season of ‘new’ starts—ie: new commitments, new relationships, (next fall’s) new school, new beginnings (New Year), any fresh start⎯we see before our eyes the wonder of the Resurrection in our lives and also in acts of forgiveness, generosity and renewal. We are an Easter people! We each may live every day in the newness of faith, hope and love—the greatest of these is love, because “God is love.”