Theological virtues for 2022 – Catholic Review
As we go through the Christmas season and begin a new year, we have listened to scripture readings in which God first reveals His Son to the world.
In the Gospel of Luke, we heard the angel announce to the shepherds “news of great joy which will be for all men”. Matthew tells the story of the Magi who saw a star and knew it signaled something monumental: a Messiah was born.
But as we approach the corner and head towards 2022, another familiar scripture comes to mind: Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, in which the church in Corinth urges the Church in Corinth to “search eagerly. the greatest spiritual gifts, ”which he defines as faith. , hope and love, “but the greatest of them is love” (1 Cor 13:13).
How to approach the New Year with these theological virtues in mind?
If we are people of faith, we will exercise our belief in God by attending Mass and showing others by the way we live our life that we have a personal relationship with Jesus. It is easy to say, “I am saved by Jesus”; it takes more effort to make this salvation evident to the world.
One of the common references to Mass urges us: “Go in peace, glorifying the Lord with your life. If we don’t practice our Catholic Christianity outside of the hour of the week when we attend Mass, then our faith is not very strong, and it certainly won’t inspire anyone.
Hope is hard to come these days. We are all so exhausted from the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, with new variants and mutations pushing progress forward in giddiness. We need hope – desperately.
Jesus represents that hope. It is he who reassures us that death is not the end, that heaven awaits us on the other side.
Everyone loves to talk about “brands” these days – corporate and personal; one need only look at the stars of TikTok or Instagram to see personal branding taken to the extreme. But it’s important to remember that the “mark” of Jesus’ ministry was to uplift people that society had rejected: the blind, the lame, the “unclean”, beggars, and sinners. He brought hope to people who never expected to have hope.
Isaiah prophesied: “The people who walked in darkness saw a great light; on those who dwell in a land of darkness, a light has shone ”(Is 9,1). It is not difficult to see that we, like the Israelites, are struggling, waiting for the light. Jesus brings hope and light to all.
But you have to take the bushel out of the light to make it shine.
And that’s where love comes in. When we exercise the greatest of the theological virtues, our light shines – the light of Christ in us.
“If I speak in human and angelic tongues but have no love, I am a resounding gong or an exploding cymbal” Paul says to the Corinthians (1 Cor 13,1).
We all know too many gongs and cymbals these days – they fill our airwaves and social media feeds. We have to get out of this negativity.
Sometimes we have to start loving people just by being nice, not criticizing or beating down. It can help remove some of the toxic people and their comments from your feed – while praying for them.
Living the theological virtues of faith, hope, and love may well be the plan we need for a happy and healthy New Year.
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