Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
To me this reads like one more version of the beatitudes or simply said treat others as you want to be treated. Paul, speaking to the new fledgling Christian communities, must have found it necessary to explain why they should be different because of the Christ experience.
These letters were written hundreds of years in the past. Preserve the good; treat one another with respect; have hope; serve God; and basically love one another with true affection, and be welcoming.
We are living in times when this same message must be repeated over and over. It is not so difficult to apply the sentiment to the locals in my community and the members of my own church. But I find it pretty difficult outside my own comfort zone–to refugees and the undocumented. So do we build walls or do we knock down the walls as we see the face of God looking at us for a place to rest his head?
—Camille Devaney serves as Board chair for the Ignatian Spirituality Project (ISP).
God of love, whose compassion never fails, we bring you the griefs and perils of peoples and nations. The pains of the sick and the injured, the sighing of prisoners and captives. The sorrows of the bereaved, the necessities of the homeless, the helplessness of the weak, the despair of weary, the failing powers of the aged. Comfort and relieve them, O merciful Lord. According to their several needs and your great mercy. Amen.
—St. Anselm of Canterbury