Here is today’s New Testament reading, from 1 Thessalonians: ‘For this reason, brethren, in all our distress and affliction we have been comforted about you through your faith; for now we live, if you stand fast in the Lord. For what thanksgiving can we render to God for you, for all the joy which we feel for your sake before our God, praying earnestly night and day that we may see you face to face and supply what is lacking in your faith? Now may our God and Father himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you; and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all men, as we do to you, so that he may establish your hearts unblameable in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints’.

St John Chrysostom commented: ‘For consider, I pray; Paul, he that was bold in the face of fire, hard as adamant, firm and unshaken, on every side compact, riveted in the fear of God, and inflexible; for, who (said he) shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or anguish, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? He that was bold in the face of all these things, and of earth and sea, he that laughed to scorn the adamantine gates of death, whom nothing ever withstood — he, when he saw the tears of some whom he loved, was so broken and crushed — the adamantine man — that he did not even conceal his feelings, but said straightway, What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? … For great is the force of love’.

Our prayer is that we may all grow and abound in that love of which St Paul writes, and of which before him the Song of Solomon bore witness: ‘Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it’. May God bless you as you seek His way of love this day.