A reading from St. Paul's letter to the Romans
Let love be without any pretense.
Avoid what is evil;
stick to what is good.
In love, let your feelings of deep affection for one another come to expression
and regard others as more important as yourself.
In the service of the Lord,
work not halfheartedly but with conscientiousness and an eager spirit.
Be joyful in hope,
persevere in hardship;
keep praying regularly;
share with any of God's holy people who are in need;
look for opportunities to be hospitable.
Bless your persecutors, never curse them, bless them.
Rejoice with others when they rejoice, and be sad with those in sorrow.
Give the same consideration to all others alike.
Pay no regard to social standing,
but meet humble people on their own terms.
Do not congratulate yourself on your own wisdom.
Never pay back evil with evil,
but bear in mind the ideal that all regard with respect.
As much as possible, and to the utmost of your ability,
be at peace with everyone.
The word of the Lord.
Yes, yours, my love, is the right human face.
In my mind I had waited for this long,
Seeing the false and searching for the true,
Then found you as a traveler finds a place of welcome
suddenly amid the wrong valleys and rocks and twisting roads.
But you, what shall I call you?
A fountain in a waste,
A well of water in a country dry,
Or anything that’s honest and good,
An eye that makes the whole world bright.
Your open heart, simple with giving, gives the primal deed,
The first good world, the blossom, the blowing seed,
The hearth, the steadfast land, the wandering sea.
Not beautiful or rare in every part.
But like yourself, as they were meant to be.