February 13, 2022
Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, hidden in our readings, are three challenges:
Where do we place our FAITH?
How do we fire our HOPE?
How do we LOVE?
In our Jeremiah reading, an unfortunate person has placed faith in an untrustworthy “friend”, and the results – typical of Jeremiah – are dire. But the prophet goes on to say that the one who puts trust and faith in the Lord will flourish like a tree near running water.
In the reading from Corinthians, Paul has some strong words about hope:
That sentence is powerful! It can be a life-long meditation.
In other words, where is our hope focused? Do we hope for comfort, success, healing, peace only for this earthly life? If so, we are missing the point, Paul says. Our one true hope is to be united with God in eternal life and our choices should lead to that fulfillment.
In our Gospel, Jesus shows us how to love by placing before us the “least ones” whom he loves best. We too are to love and comfort those who are poor, hungry, bereaved and despised by the heartless.
Today’s readings invite us to look at our life. Is it blossoming with joy, grace and spiritual vitality? Or are we struggling with all the doubts, worries, dramas and depression that come from a self-absorbed life?
Maybe, like me, you sometimes look at a person carrying great difficulty in their lives and wonder at their joy. How can they maintain that trust and joy in the midst of their challenges? These readings offer an answer. They have put their faith and hope in the right place. They have learned to love like God loves.
Poetry: Bernard of Clairvaux, On the Song of Songs, vol. 4, 83.2.4.
I love because I love:
I love that I may love…
Love is the only one of the motions of the soul,
of its senses and affections,
in which the creature can respond to its Creator,
even if not as an equal,
and repay God’s favor in some similar way …
Music: Faith, Hope and Love ~ David Ogden ( Lyrics below)
Faith, hope, and love: let these remain among you.
Faith, hope, and love: the greatest of these is love.
The love of Christ has gathered us together; let us rejoice and be glad in him.
Let us fear and love the living God, and love each other from the depths of the heart.
When we are together, we should not be divided in mind;
Let there be an end to bitterness and quarrels, and in our midst be Christ our God.
In company with the blessed, may we see your face in glory,
pure and unbounded joy for ever and ever.
I give you a new commandment, love one another as I have loved you.
Faith, hope, and love, let these remain among you.
Faith, hope and love; the greatest of these is love.