BLOG: Happy Va[LENT]ine’s Day!13th February 2018
Walking around town this week you’ll be surrounded by cards, flowers, chocolates, everything you’ll need to prepare a perfect date for Valentine’s Day. However, don’t forget to take your ‘special someone’ to mass to receive your ashes on February 14th because this year St Valentine shares his day with the start of Lent, Ash Wednesday. This might not seem like the most romantic of date ideas, but it does remind us of the greatest act of love that ever happened: when Jesus sacrificed Himself out of love for us.
I’ve been doing some reflecting leading up to this day, and the thing that’s been standing out the most to me is the difference between the love we celebrate on Valentine’s Day and the love that Jesus promises us.
So many things I’ve seen surrounding Valentine’s day seem to only scratch the surface when it comes to love. Scrolling through social media today I’ve seen posts explaining how to get a last minute Valentine’s date, what to wear for your evening out and what to buy for your date. It can seem as though the focus is on superficial and fleeting feelings; one night of romance, an attraction based on looks, trying to prove our affection with material goods.
Please don’t think I’m hating on Valentine’s Day, I love being in love! I think it’s great that we celebrate those who mean a lot to us. I just can’t help but think there’s more to love than this. This is when I look to Jesus and think how appropriate that the day we celebrate love is also the day we start preparing for the greatest act of love ever given.
Jesus’ love challenges me to go deeper this Valentine’s day and do more than just send a card to my boyfriend, I’m challenged to look at how I treat others and see if I’m loving with Jesus’ heart. The love that God asks of us is sacrificial, it calls us to go beyond cards and gifts and choose to will the good of those we care for.
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:12-13)
You will probably never have to give your life for someone however this year as the priest makes a cross on your forehead with ashes and says ‘Repent and believe in the Good News’ I’d encourage to think about how you can share that Good News with others. The Good News that Jesus loves us and redeems us.
We’re praying for you this Lent!