This year Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day share the same date. Like Easter Sunday falling on 1st April (April Fool !), it may seem like an odd combination, yet the common link is love. Lent, beginning on Ash Wednesday, is about learning how to love God more, as we create space for Him in our lives.
Jesus was led into the desert by the Holy Spirit to ‘prepare for his mission’. There He was tempted by Satan, but demonstrated for us the path of real love.
Jesus is tempted to turn stones into bread. Love gets to the heart of human need, not just satisfying physical desires.
Satan tempts Jesus to worship him. However, worshipping God is the beginning of love and results in sacrificial service to meet the needs of others.
Finally, Jesus is tempted to put God to the test, by jumping off the Temple. Only real love can change hearts by practical love and care.
Lent teaches us how to live out the love of God in practice, as we follow Jesus in the way of the Cross.
About St. Valentine, we know very little, but we do know he was a follower of Christ committed to sharing God’s love with others. We know too, that he was a priest who lived in the 3rd Century AD and was martyred on February 14th. He also helped Christians in Rome during times of persecution and demonstrated the importance of showing real love in action.
With blessings for a Holy Lent and Happy Easter,