Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

February 1, 2022 | By Bishop Roy E. Campbell, Jr.

“So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

Love allows us to have faith – to believe in what we have not seen. Love allows us to have hope – to look forward to receiving what we believe in faith. But what is love? St. Paul tells us some attributes of love. Love is patient, kind, believes all things, and hopes all things. Love never fails. He also tells us some things that love is not. It is not jealous, rude, quick-tempered, or holds a grudge.

“The gifts of love,” are often used at weddings. The wedding couple uses this reading to express how they intend to show their love for each other. There is another gift of love, the gift of giving; we can give our love to others. The gift of Love allows us to do things that may sometimes seem extraordinary, even miraculous.

So, what is this love that gives us faith, which gives us hope, which also allows us to do extraordinary and miraculous things? What is this love that allows a man and wife to love each other so much that they love their children even before they are born? What is this love that allows them to raise their children in a loving family, while at the same time giving their love to care for other family and neighbors? THIS LOVE IS GOD!

Jesus told the people in His hometown of Nazareth that God’s love is so great that He is bringing salvation not just to the Jews, but also to the Gentiles. He was telling them that God’s love is for everyone, and Jesus’ salvation is for everyone. The Jews could not accept that. They thought that God’s love and salvation were only for them. If God loved everyone, then they would have to love everyone too. Jesus was telling them that God wants everyone to be His chosen people.

When we come to receive the Eucharist, think about how much God loves us, His chosen people. Like parents who could not bear to leave their children alone to “fend for themselves,” God cannot bear to leave us alone. God has given Himself to live in us in the Eucharist, so that we can live in Him and be with Him for eternity. This is true love. THIS IS THE LOVE OF GOD!

– Bp. Roy Campbell

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