Wednesday of the Twenty-Fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Malvern Minute


Wednesday of the Twenty-Fourth Week in Ordinary Time

September 16, 2020

Deacon Anthony J. Cincotta

Saint Mary Magdalen parish, Media, PA

 Memorial Feast: Saint Cornelius, Pope, and Saint Cyprian, Bishop, Martyrs

First Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians 12:31-13:13

Psalm 33:2-5, 12, 22

Luke 7:31-35


“If I do not have love, I gain nothing.”  These words from Paul’s letter to the Corinthians are part of a reading that is a favorite at wedding liturgies and ceremonies.  The entire reading gives us a “warm and fuzzy” feeling.  Actually, as you study the reading, it is a hard-edged and tough message from Paul.

Paul is talking about what transforms a group of individualists into one body, the Body of Christ.  If you read the verses just prior to what you heard today, Paul describes the various gifts the member of the body have and uses; such as teaching, prophecy, healing and others.  These are gifts which the Corinthians took pride in.  But then he tells us that the greatest gift is none of these.  It is, instead, love.

The English word “love” is a poor translation of the Greek word that Paul uses.  I believe a better translation would be “self-giving.”  Bear with me as I read the phrase again, but substitute “love” with “self-giving.”

“…if I have prophetic powers and understand all mysteries and knowledge, and if I have all faith so as to move mountains, but am not self-giving, I am nothing…Self-giving is patient and kind; Self-giving is not jealous or boastful…Self-giving does not insist on getting its own way; it is not irritable or resentful…Self-giving bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things…”

Sisters and brothers, self-giving is how the first letter of Saint John defines God; self-giving is how Jesus manifested God for us; self-giving is the image of God in which we humans are created.  The Church, that is all of us, is the sacrament of Christ for our world.  But the Church is Christ only to the extent that it is self-givingSelf-giving begins with each one of us.

Question of the Day:  Will you give yourself to Jesus as He gave Himself to us?

Prayer:  My Lord Jesus, make me all holy.  With faithful self-giving, may I follow You in all Your ways.  Amen.



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