Color: Red; Intent: God as Love
O Indwelling One, the mystic God of Love who dwellest within the hearts of men and within the secret soul of the universe, we lay our hearts upon Thy shrine. Accept, we pray Thee, our love, and transform it into the likeness of Thyself, so that it may ever shine with the undying fire of Thine infinite compassion, who livest and reignest forever and ever. Amen.
The Lesson is taken from the first Epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians:
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of Angels, and have not love, I am become as a sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not love, it profiteth me nothing. Love suffereth long, and is kind; love envieth not; love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Love never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophecy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then I shall know even as I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, love these three; but the greatest of these is love.
The Gospel is taken from the First Epistle General of St. John:
Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God, and everyone that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is Love. Beloved, if God so loved us, we aught also to love one another. No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and His love is perfected in us. Hereby know we that we dwell in Him, and He in us, because He hath given us His Spirit. God is love, and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear; because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love Him, because He first loved us. If a man say: I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar; for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God, whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from Him, that he who loveth God love his brother also.
Homilies for the Fourth Sunday after Trinity by Bishop Stephan Hoeller