Not just faith and hope but he compared it to all of those gifts like prophesy, understanding mysteries and the faith to move mountains. Why is love greater than gifts of power and knowledge, prophesy or mountain moving faith? Surely the church would have more success one might ask and persuade more people if the world saw that we could supernaturally predict the future or preform great signs and wonders aplenty?
Well, the first thing to realise about love is that it is the end, not the means. Many of these other things that St Paul talks about, these powers and gifts are a means to an end. In other words they have a function in achieving a goal.
The miracles and the prophecies are for the salvation of souls drawing us into the light and into the truth. But, the love of God within us is the essence of that salvation. That love is the stuff of life. It is the highest truth. It is the end, not merely the means to the end. It is the goal. For God is love. We are told that by John in his first epistle . It is in love that we are united to God Himself. These scriptural principles are also supported by our best reason, our best intuition. We know that for the one who is loving, love is greatest because it is better for a person to be good than to be just strong and clever. At our best we know the virtuous, kind person is more admirable than the merely talented or the powerful. Being a person of love is the ultimate goal of fulfilled humanity. For the person who is loving that is the fulfilment of who they should be. For those who are being loved, love is also the greatest because although there are many other gifts which St Paul mentions here, faith and hope and the power to move mountains and prophecy and in places in the same book he has mentioned healing and so on. These things are wonderful and bless people, but for those who are the object of love (who are receiving love) all of these other blessings are most effective if they are done in love.
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. †