Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A word from the heart!

This week I came across an article I had clipped from our local newspaper some weeks ago. It was the story of a woman who had grown up in the inner city. She left home to become a rap star but when she saw and experienced a world that was governed by street gangs, she left her music pursuits and put together a nonprofit organization aimed at helping people in crisis. She also became an author and returned to her hometown to promote her book. Hence the story in the local newspaper.

What struck me in the article were her comments about the young men involved in the gangs. “It saddens my heart,” she said that “so many people are looking for love, and they find it in gang activity. When somebody hurts or is hurting, there is something lacking, and it’s usually love, so that’s why they become hard-hearted.”

When I meditated on the first reading for Holy Mass today, taken from Chapter 13 of St. Paul’s Letter to the Corinthians, I was reminded of this article. St. Paul writes:

"If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails…

St. Paul goes on to say that faith, hope and love are the greatest virtues but love is the greatest because at the end of our life we will no longer need trust nor hope, but love will be perfected and endure for all of eternity. So….it is very important for us to be loving! St. Paul’s description of love is very good matter for examining our consciences. Is there anyone in your life who is hurting and needs to be loved? There is in mine. Jesus is our model for loving. St. Paul says, “Love never fails!”

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