A pillar of iron and love
Some people actively hate those who take their Christian faith seriously.
Yesterday’s readings (sorry for the delay in posting) told us how to live in such a world.
In the Gospel (Luke 4:21-30), Jesus’ friends and neighbors turn murderously against him but He walks steadily on the path God has set for Him.
In the first reading (Jeremiah 1:4-5, 17-19), God sends the prophet Jeremiah forth with powerful words.
But do you gird your loins;
stand up and tell them
all that I command you.
Be not crushed on their account,
as though I would leave you crushed before them;
for it is I this day
who have made you
a fortified city,
a pillar of iron,
a wall of brass,
against the whole land:
against Judah’s kings and princes,
against its priests and people.
They will fight against you
but not prevail over you,
for I am with you
to deliver you,
says the LORD.
These words of power are for us as well.
God is with us, no matter what bad things may happen, if we are faithful.
But we are not to stand against the world simply as a battlement of stone and iron.
While we must be faithful and true to God, we must also stand with love in our hearts.
Not simply the emotional love of greeting cards and silly stories, but the real love that Christ showed on the cross and that Saint Paul describes in the second reading (1 Corinthians 12:31-13:13).
Love is patient,
love is kind.
It is not jealous,
it is not pompous,
it is not inflated,
it is not rude,
it does not seek its own interests,
it is not quick-tempered,
it does not brood over injury,
it does not rejoice over wrongdoing
but rejoices with the truth.
It bears all things,
believes all things,
hopes all things,
endures all things.
Love never fails.
May we be faithful, may we be strong, and may we truly love.