Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you.

Dear Parishioners and Visitors,

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,

before you were born I dedicated you.

Today's second reading, taken from Saint Paul's first letter to the Corinthians, presents to us a text we have heard on many different occasions, mostly at weddings. This text, like the rest of the letter, was not intended for newlyweds. It is a letter addressed to a community in the midst of great division and turmoil; a community that is trying to find its place in the midst of a pagan world.

Many in the Christian community in the Greek city of Corinth were paying too much attention  to the different  manifestations  of the Spirit through different gifts. And in doing so, they were forgetting the main purpose of every Christian community and individual life; to manifest to the world the manifold love of God through the daily life of its members.

Saint Paul is making clear to them that all of God's gifts without love are empty and worthless. Love should be at the core of the Christian community and its efforts. He goes so far as to say, ”If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast, but do not franc love, I gain nothing.” Even the ultimate sacrifice of surrendering our lives, if done without love, is meaningless.

Love is not a romantic expression for Saint Paul. Love is the ultimate imitation of Christ. In love we find the fulfillment of our election. It is because we are the elect, the chosen ones by God's mercy that we are to proclaim to the world the deep meaning of our election. We were elected to love. Lille Saint Paul reminds us, love never fails.

We are to be known in the world as the people who believe and proclaim love. Love that is a reflection of the love God has manifested in our life through our election in Christ. Love is the only path to perfection. Love is the way of life for a Christian in the world, because everything else will pass away, only love remains.

—fr. Alberto Rodriguez, O.P.