Reading: Romans 12:9-21

Reflection: If we allow our view of love to be too strongly influenced by what we see on our television screens, we will probably come to the conclusion that love is nothing more than a rather untrustworthy feeling over which we have no control. We may long for the butterflies in our tummies, the breathless excitement, and the passion of such feelings, but we will also worry about what will happen when they change or end. Today’s reading gives us a completely different picture of love.

The apostle describes love as something practical. Love is something we choose, and it filters through every part of our lives. This may be less romantic than the Hollywood image, but it is far more reliable and lasting. Notice how this description of love speaks about how we work (not being lazy), how we deal with others (with generosity and hospitality), how we face the future (with hope and patient prayer), how we face conflict and struggle (rejecting vengeance, and returning good for evil). This is love that heals and liberates both the lover and the beloved. It’s the kind of love God demonstrated in Jesus, and it’s the kind of love that leads us to abundant life. How can you live your love in practical ways today?

Practice for Today: The essence of love is always to seek the best for the other person. This is easy with people we like, and who return our love. With enemies and antagonists, it is much harder, but the truth remains that love is a choice, and it is practical.

Today, try to act with love in every situation, no matter how difficult it may be.

Prayer for Today: Give me the strength and wisdom to act with love in every circumstance, O God.