Ordinary Time, 4th Sunday (C) No doubt you heard today's second reading at a wedding or two. 1 Corinthians 13 was actually addressed to a Christian community. The Christians of Corinth are comparing their spiritual gifts. St. Paul wants to remind them, and us, that the greatest gift is love.

This reading can be used as a kind of Examination of Conscience. We can put our name into the reading and see how we are doing. And that's when we realize: I am not always patient, kind... and my love most certainly does fail. Where did St. Paul get all this?

He himself had experienced a conversion. He knows true love because he knows Jesus. St. Paul is describing Jesus to us. No one else can love up to this standard. We Christians are caught between the warmth of God's love and the coldness of the world. Unfortunately, many of us are being pulled into the cold dark world. Here are my top five suggestions to help you move you closer to the love of Jesus:

  1. Daily Prayer
  2. Sunday Mass
  3. Monthly Confession
  4. Christian Community and/or good Christian friends
  5. Face the obstacles that keep me from loving and being loved

(30 Jan 2022)

Going Deeper: What is one obstacle you are aware of that weakens your ability to love and be loved? How can this point you in the right direction for Lenten sacrifice? What kind of help do you need to move the obstacles that you can't move by yourself?

Powered by Patrons. Thank you to our newest mission partner, Rita, who says, "Dear Fr. Joel, I am finishing my Oriens journey for the first time and I wanted to let you know that this journey has been life-changing. I was baptized catholic, but not raised in the faith. As an adult, I went through RCIA. I experienced a deeper conversion a few years later and have been on this journey of faith ever since. Over time, my prayer life has been inconsistent. Some times it was great, some times it was non-existant, but it typically felt "dry" and "empty." For a variety of reasons, I have struggled to receive and experience God's love and to truly open myself up to Him. This all changed when I received an email ad for Oriens and I decided to order it for my advent journal/book. I have experienced God's love and care for me in a way I never imagined possible. My prayer life is deeper, richer, more fruitful. I can clearly see how God was preparing me for this journey during advent and Christmas and I just want to thank you for providing the vehicle to get me here. I hope you will continue publishing Oriens. I plan to do it every year it is available! Thank you, again, and know that I will be praying for you and your ministry! May God Bless You."