Tuesday of the 11th Week in Ordinary Time
Paul makes a curious remark to the Corinthians to spur them into action–after telling them of the generosity of the Macedonians and reminding them of the gifts they have from God, he says that he wishes to test “the genuineness of [their] love.” He does not wish to see whether or not they have love, but whether or not that love is genuine. This can sound especially odd to modern ears, since we usually assume that all love is genuine love. But Paul knows that there are many kinds of love, and that some love is little more than sentimentality. True love pours itself out in concern for the beloved.
Paul does not want the Corinthians’ love and generosity to just be some momentary feeling of pity, but a constant response to God’s goodness. Jesus does not stop giving them gifts, nor does He limit the sort of gifts that He gives them. As a result, they cannot say “I will help now, but not then,” or “I will help in this way, but not that.” For ourselves, there is no lack of places that need help and genuine loving concern. As often as we are aware of God’s love, we should be asking ourselves how to respond to that love. As often as we receive gifts from God, we should be asking ourselves how to use these gifts in love. Genuine love is not a fashion, but a constant, daily response.