"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love,
I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal"
1 Corinthians 13:1 (NKJV)
In 1874, Henry Drummond (1851-1897) wrote "The best thing in the world", a message on the Pauline text of love. The text was taken up and repeated a few years ago by Paul Coelho in "The Supreme Gift". Love can not be defined, it is like a prism that reflects light in the colors of the rainbow. Patience, goodness, generosity, humility, kindness, dedication, tolerance, ingenuity and sincerity make it up. We are called to learn to love from God, in fact "we love because He first loved us" (1 John 4:19). God is love, which purifies and transforms. Despite all the effort, will not be enough to change the human being, not even time can change man. Only love is able to transform it. As a believer first and humble minister of the gospel later, I confirm what the apostle Paul wrote when he declared that without love we are a "resounding harpsichord". The phrases "sounding brass" and "clanging cymbal" are not a dissonance of the music, but indicate a more or less deafening and disconnected noise, as could happen in some pagan rite in which these instruments were employed: a tinkle without harmony, a noise far relative of a melody.
A man went to his father and said, "I can not stand my wife anymore, I want to kill her, but I'm afraid she will be aware of it. "Sure", replied the father, who added, "There's a problem, you have to make sure nobody suspects you". "How will I do then?", Asked his son. "You will have to take care of her, be kind, grateful, patient, loving, less selfish, give her more listening and attention". Then giving him a vial he added, "Every day you will give her some poison in food, so she will die slowly". After a few days, the man came back shocked by his father: "I do not want my wife to die anymore, I realized that I love her". "How do I do now since I have poisoned her?" "Do not worry, it was just rice powder, it will not die, the poison was inside of you, and you were dying". When we feed grudges, we die slowly without realizing it. It is time to make peace with ourselves (and God); only then will we be able to do it with others.
Jesus kept recommending to his disciples: "Abide in my love" (John 15:9). C.S. Lewis wrote: "To love means, in any case, to be vulnerable. Whatever is dear to you, your heart sooner or later will have to suffer for its cause, and perhaps even to break. If you want to be sure that it remains intact, do not give it to anyone, not even an animal. Protect it by wrapping it carefully with hobbies and small luxuries; avoid any kind of involvement; close it with the lock in the chest, or in the coffin, of your selfishness. But in that casket (safe, in the dark, immobile, in a vacuum) it will change: it will not break; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable [...] The only place, apart from heaven, where [your heart] can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is hell" (C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves, page 111). Before it is too late we take the initiative to love, to give, to help and above all to enjoy the joy of forgiving.
May 3 is World Press Freedom Day. We pray that in every part of the world the freedom to express and communicate is granted, without any conditioning or control of any kind.
Weekly Bible reading plan
30 April 1Kings 8-9; Luke 21: 1-19
01 May 1Kings 10-11; Luke 21: 20-38
02 May 1Kings 12-13; Luke 22: 1-30
03 May 1Kings 14-15; Luke 22: 31-46
04 May 1Kings 16-18; Luke 22: 47-71
05 May 1Kings 19-20; Luke 23: 1-25
06 May 1Kings 21-22; Luke 23: 26-56
Photo by LayHwa Chew, www.freeimages.com