At almost every wedding, you will hear a reading from Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, “Love is patient, love is kind....”. I imagine that couples pick this reading because it sounds very nice and it exhibits traits of a good marriage - kindness and patience and not jealous and on. I always joke with the couple and thank them for their choice and about the originality of picking that reading. Everyone loves that scripture passage.
When I listen to that reading - I do not think of the love between husband and wife though. Maybe it is just the difference between being called to Holy Orders rather than marriage. And that very well might be the case. But I always in my heart replace the word “love” in that specific reading with “God”. The reason is because of our second reading this weekend from the first letter of Saint John: “God is love”. The next time you are at a wedding and listen to that reading - take yourself out of “wedding/party mode” for a second and try it. “God is patient, God is kind, God does not envy, God does not boast, God is not proud...”. It is a reading about God and His qualities and greatness and not our own.
Truth is it is very easy for us to take all of our readings this weekend and be swept away by popular Jesus quotes and Scripture passages and roll it up into one very nice ball of cute sayings and let ourselves say “awwwww” as if we are looking at an adorable baby. But we should be brought back down to reality with our Gospel - “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” When you look across - at the beautiful mosaic in our church - are you filled with that same feeling of looking at a cute baby?
The love of God, and the words of our Lord, are beautiful. But they exist in the real. They exist in sacrifices and times we have the grace (love) of God to be patient when we certainly don’t want to be. The grace to be humble when we want to be proud. The grace to be kind when we want to hurt someone. God exists in the sacrificial living that leads to Resurrection. And so, yea, Saint Paul’s letter to the people of Corinth is a great reading for weddings - as long as we keep WHO love really is, as our focus and our strength.
May the Lord give you His peace,