By Chaplain (Capt.) Bernardino Yebra
Special to GUIDON
A priest proposed some practical exercises on love in his homily. He called it, “A Checklist on Love. How loving a person are you?” The exercise is based on 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, which states “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.”
He asked the congregation to read the passage again putting “Jesus” and “He” wherever they find “love” and “it.”
Jesus is patient, He is kind. He does not envy, He does not boast, He is not proud.
He is not rude, He is not self-seeking, He is not easily angered, He keeps no record of wrongs. Jesus does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. He always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Every line reads so beautifully. It’s easy to agree with every line of the passage.
Now the priest asked the congregation to read the passage again, this time using each individual’s name (your name) and the pronoun “I” wherever it says “love” and “it.”
(Your name) is patient, I am kind. I do not envy, I do not boast, I am not proud. I am not rude, I am not self-seeking, I am not easily angered, I keep no record of wrongs. (Your name) does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. I always protect, always trust, always hope, always persevere.
“Do I still agree with every line in the passage? How do you score yourself on a scale of 1 to 10?” the priest asked.
Now, let me use the same question. Do you still agree you are patient, kind, not self-seeking, not easily angered, et cetera?
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI reminds us, “The breakthrough to the new man takes place in Jesus Christ …the whole of his life and finally in the self sacrifice on the cross, offers a measure and a prototype of future humanity.”
May this Valentine’s Day call us to “breakthrough” in becoming more loving men and women.
Maturing in love is found in the person and by the power of Jesus who is ultimately stronger than hate and destruction. Happy Valentine’s Day.