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Sunday, January 28, 2001

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4th Sunday Ordinary Time

Jeremiah 1:4-5, 17-19
1 Corinthians 12:31—13:13
Psalm 71
Luke 4:21-30

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simply impossible love

"There are in the end three things that last: faith, hope, and love, and the greatest of these is love." —1 Corinthians 13:13

Life is simple. The meaning of life is love, for God is Love (1 Jn 4:16). All we have to do is to love God with all our hearts (Dt 6:5), love ourselves (Mt 22:39), and love our neighbors (Mt 22:39).

Life is humanly impossible, for the meaning of life is love, and it is humanly impossible to love. God is easy to love sometimes (see Lk 4:22). But then He speaks the truth in love (see Eph 4:15), and we desire to throw Him over a cliff (Lk 4:29-30). Moreover, although it is quite easy to be selfish, it is humanly impossible to love ourselves. We live in the midst of an epidemic of self-hatred. Abortion, euthanasia, alcoholism, addictive behavior, TV-idolatry, and major influences in our culture of death are obvious or subtle manifestations of self-hatred. Finally, to love our neighbors means to love everyone, including our enemies (Mt 5:43-44). This is the most obvious indication of the human impossibility of love.

How can we relate to God, Who is Love, when we are not in love or even loving? "We, for our part, love because He first loved us" (1 Jn 4:19). Do a one-minute crucifix novena. Look at a crucifix for at least one minute a day for nine days. Let the Holy Spirit reveal in a new and deeper way Abba's love for you (Gal 4:6; Rm 5:5).

Prayer:  Abba, may I live in love and live in You (1 Jn 4:16).

Promise:  "If I give everything I have to feed the poor and hand over my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing." —1 Cor 13:3

Praise:  Praise Jesus, risen Love, Lord, and God! Praise You, Jesus, for loving us perfectly, even while we were still sinners (Rm 5:8).

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Edward J. Gratsch, July 15, 2000

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 17, 2000