Where has January gone? We are now into the second month of the year, and as usual time is passing by very quickly. Nowhere more so than in the church’s calendar, as the season of Lent will be upon us very soon. Interestingly enough, Ash Wednesday falls this year on the day we celebrate Saint Valentine. We remember on the feast of Saint Valentine all things connected to love. There will be many gifts and cards exchanged on that day, some secretly, and some out in the open. It should be a bumper day for florists everywhere, selling their red roses, and I guess this is also a day when sellers of chocolate will rub their hands in glee!
Ash Wednesday is the beginning of the season of Lent, and Lent leads up to the passion of Jesus Christ, and what we call Holy Week. Many Christians will mark their forehead with a cross that is formed by ash – sometimes ash from the burning of Palm Crosses from the previous year. During the season of Lent, we are urged to examine our lives to see how they measure up to the way God requests us to live.
I think it is fitting that these two occasions occur on the same day, as both make the connection with love. Saint Valentine’s Day is a day when we celebrate the love between two people, and by the same token, Lent enables us to recall the love that God has for all people everywhere through the death and resurrection of his Son, Jesus Christ. February 14th this year is a good day to celebrate love – the love two people have for each other, and the love that God has for everyone.
With God’s peace and blessing