Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 12:31 – 13:13

A reading from the first letter of Paul to the Corinthians.

Set your hearts on the greater gifts.  Now I will show you the way which surpasses all the others.  If I speak with human tongues and angelic as well, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong, a clanging cymbal.  If I have the gift of prophecy and, with full knowledge, comprehend all mysteries, if I have faith great enough to move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.  If I give everything I have to feed the poor and hand over my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient; love is kind.  Love is not jealous, it does not put on airs, it is not snobbish.  Love is never rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not prone to anger; neither does it brood over injuries.  Love does not rejoice in what is wrong, but rejoices with the truth.  There is no limit to love’s forbearance, to its trust, its hope, its power to endure.

Love never fails.  Prophecies will cease, tongues will be silent, knowledge will pass away.  Our knowledge is imperfect and our prophesying is imperfect.  When the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away.  When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child.  When I became an adult, I put childish ways aside.  Now we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, then we shall see face to face.  My knowledge is imperfect now; then I shall know even as I am known.  There are in the end three things that last: faith, hope and love, and the greatest of these is love.

The Word of God recorded in the first letter of Paul to the Corinthians.

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