Ash Wednesday and Valentine's Day fall on the same date this year. It may seem strange to think of a day full of love on the same day as such a solemn occasion.Think of the dilemma of someone who receives a box of chocolates from an admirer on the same day they give up chocolate for Lent.
Ash Wednesday kicks off the season of Lent. We think of Lent as a sad time, as a time of sacrifice as we begin once again the journey to the cross alongside our Lord. But it is equally a journey of love as we see in Jesus' sacrifice the abounding love of God, willing to give up so much for the sake of his beloved children.
The love we share on Valentine's Day is a reflection of the love that God has for us. As the Bible tells us "We love because God first loved us." (1 John 4:19)
May you give and receive love this Valentine's Day. And may you know God's love more clearly as you begin your Lenten journey this Ash Wednesday.