Both Valentine’s day and Lent season are two things that most people are familiar with. Valentine’s day is explicit with its message about the celebration of love, while Lent in its remembrance of Christ’s suffering is also at the same time talking about a greater love that is overlooked by many.
Valentine’s day has been around for a long time. Although there are many speculations on how it was initiated, people nowadays celebrate it and identify the Valentine’s day as the celebration of love. What kind of love? A romantic love which people celebrate with chocolate, bouquets of flowers, candlelight dinners, or sadly a one-night-stand love in hotel rooms.
At the same time, Lent season starts today. Lent is a season of repentance as a preparation for the coming of Easter Sunday. It is a season when Christians are called to commemorate the suffering of Christ before his death on the cross. It is a forty-day length of reflection and pondering of one’s sins. It starts with Ash Wednesday which is still faithfully observed by the Catholics and some Protestant denominations until today. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the journey that leads to the commemoration of the greatest romance: the loving Lord died for his dear people to free them from the slavery of their own sins. Many celebrate it with practicing abstinence of eating certain kinds of foods, fasting, and also giving up things that they really love doing.
Happened to fall on the same day this year, Valentine’s day and Lent speak out one important message to me personally; both represent love – the worldly one and the divine one. There’s nothing wrong with the worldly one and I personally think it is okay to have the longing of the worldly one because even the holy people are struggling with their own desires of being in an intimate one. What’s wrong is that if we love the fleeting one more than the eternal One.
I don’t know which and how you celebrate both Valentine’s day and Ash Wednesday. I don’t even know how you respond to the reality of these two. I am no judge. But here is my prayer, a prayer to me and all other Christian fellows out there; when Valentine’s day and the beginning of Lent meet in one day – may we never lose sight of the greater love; “In this is love, not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” – 1 John 4:10
Love always ❤