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Home » New Testament Writers

Let Love Be Intense (1 Pet. 4:7-13)

Submitted by on Friday, 28 May 2010No Comment


  • Reading I: 1 Peter 4:7-13
  • Resp. Psalm: Ps. 96
  • Gospel Reading:  Mark 11:11-26

"The end is near" (4:7) writes Peter and it is already being experienced by the community of faith in their places of exile (1:1) like a trial by fire (4:12). He exhorts the faithful to rejoice "to the extent that you share in the sufferings of Christ" (4:13). In view of "the end", he admonishes the faithful to prayer and to love.

The author of 1 Peter uses the noun and verb for love a total six times, twice for the noun (4:8; 5:15) and four times for the verb (1:8.22;2:17;4:8).

In 1:8, he recognizes the love that the faithful have towards the Lord whom they have not seen. The macharism of John 20:29 thus applies to them. In 1:22 he tells them to "love one another sincerely from the heart". He however makes it clear that love must result from a process whereby the faithful discipline their desires in "the obedience of truth" in view of "a love of the brotherhood that is not simulated". What Benedict XVI wrote in Deus caritas est about the need for love to be purified in order that one can love as the Lord loves is relevant here. We can also point out what the Pope writes about "love in truth"

Only in truth does charity shine forth, only in truth can charity be authentically lived. Truth is the light that gives meaning and value to charity. That light is both the light of reason and the light of faith, through which the intellect attains to the natural and supernatural truth of charity: it grasps its meaning as gift, acceptance, and communion. Without truth, charity degenerates into sentimentality. Love becomes an empty shell, to be filled in an arbitrary way. In a culture without truth, this is the fatal risk facing love. It falls prey to contingent subjective emotions and opinions, the word “love” is abused and distorted, to the point where it comes to mean the opposite. Truth frees charity from the constraints of an emotionalism that deprives it of relational and social content, and of a fideism that deprives it of human and universal breathing-space. In the truth, charity reflects the personal yet public dimension of faith in the God of the Bible, who is both Agápe and Lógos: Charity and Truth, Love and Word. (Caritas in Veritate, 3)

It is in this context that in 2:17 he admonishes the faithful to love the brotherhood (of believers, NIV) as people who have learned how to use their freedom not as a pretense for evil but as "servants of God" (2:16).

In 4:8, the author explains that they should love the brothers because "love covers a multitude of sins". He follows this with examples of how such a love can be concretely expressed: in hospitality (4:9), in the ministry of word and other services for the community (4:11). In this latter the faithful are like administrators who put at the service of the community the gifts received from God (4:10). Finally in 5:14, instead of saying "kiss peace", he says "kiss of love."

1 Peter 4:7-13
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
7But the end of all is at hand. Be prudent therefore, and watch in prayers.
8But before all things have a constant mutual charity among yourselves: for charity covereth a multitude of sins.
9Using hospitality one towards another, without murmuring,
10As every man hath received grace, ministering the same one to another: as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
11If any man speak, let him speak, as the words of God. If any man minister, let him do it, as of the power, which God administereth: that in all things God may be honoured through Jesus Christ: to whom is glory and empire for ever and ever. Amen.
12Dearly beloved, think not strange the burning heat which is to try you, as if some new thing happened to you;
13But if you partake of the sufferings of Christ, rejoice that when his glory shall be revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.
Mark 11:11-26
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
11And he entered into Jerusalem, into the temple: and having viewed all things round about, when now the eventide was come, he went out to Bethania with the twelve.
12And the next day when they came out from Bethania, he was hungry.
13And when he had seen afar off a fig tree having leaves, he came if perhaps he might find any thing on it. And when he was come to it, he found nothing but leaves. For it was not the time for figs.
14And answering he said to it: May no man hereafter eat fruit of thee any more for ever. And his disciples heard it.
15And they came to Jerusalem. And when he was entered into the temple, he began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the chairs of them that sold doves.
16And he suffered not that any man should carry a vessel through the temple;
17And he taught, saying to them: Is it not written, My house shall be called the house of prayer to all nations? But you have made it a den of thieves.
18Which when the chief priests and the scribes had heard, they sought how they might destroy him. For they feared him, because the whole multitude was in admiration at his doctrine.
19And when evening was come, he went forth out of the city.
20And when they passed by in the morning they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots.
21And Peter remembering, said to him: Rabbi, behold the fig tree, which thou didst curse, is withered away.
22And Jesus answering, saith to them: Have the faith of God.
23Amen I say to you, that whosoever shall say to this mountain, Be thou removed and be cast into the sea, and shall not stagger in his heart, but believe, that whatsoever he saith shall be done; it shall be done unto him.
24Therefore I say unto you, all things, whatsoever you ask when ye pray, believe that you shall receive; and they shall come unto you.
25And when you shall stand to pray, forgive, if you have aught against any man; that your Father also, who is in heaven, may forgive you your sins.
26But if you will not forgive, neither will your Father that is in heaven, forgive you your sins.
John 20:29
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
29Jesus saith to him: Because thou hast seen me, Thomas, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and have believed.

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