1 Corinthians 12:31-13:4 But strive for the greater gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way. If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient; love is kind.
1 Corinthians 16:14 Let all that you do be done in love.
Veronica’s simple action is an ancient tradition not recounted in the Gospels, made especially memorable by the haunting image portrayed by artists throughout history of the face of Jesus, bruised and bloodied yet serene and calm. For Paul, no attitude or action was greater than such a simple act of love. He insisted that love trumps all other virtues, all other endeavors. If we have not love, we are reduced to nothing. The way of the cross itself is one great act of love, and Paul knew that the cross was the symbol of God’s love for all humanity.
Lord, you taught in both word and deed that love conquers all. Move our hearts to offer love to all we meet in this life, and keep the bond of love strong in your church. Amen.