Happy Valentine’s Day, friends!
I have always loved this holiday, not because of a penchant for stuffed animals and waxy chocolate, but because the legends surrounding the life of Saint Valentine are so, so epic!
In any case, today’s gospel reading is so fitting for a day celebrating all things love. In Mark 8:1-10, we see Christ’s heart “moved with pity” because of the hunger of the 4,000. He multiplied the loaves and ensured that everyone had their fill. He loved them so well that there was a surplus of leftover food.
How often do we, like the disciples, doubt our God’s ability to provide? How often do we succumb to fear and the perception of scarcity? Personally, I find myself in that head space more often than I care to admit. No matter what we ‘hunger’ for, God wants to provide. Most importantly though, He just wants our hearts!
We are more than our relationship status, more than the model of our car or the square footage of our house, more than our grades, or our job, and that promotion that we didn’t get. We are, as St. John Paul II put it, “not the sum of our weaknesses and failures; we are the sum of the Father’s love for us and our real capacity to become the image of his Son.”
So, this Valentine’s Day, let’s spend some time with Love incarnate. Here’s one of my all-time favourite poems for inspiration:
Fall in Love
Attributed to Fr. Pedro Arrupe, SJ (1907-1991)
Nothing is more practical than
finding God, than
falling in Love
in a quite absolute, final way.
What you are in love with,
what seizes your imagination, will affect everything.
It will decide
what will get you out of bed in the morning,
what you do with your evenings,
how you spend your weekends,
what you read, whom you know,
what breaks your heart,
and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.
Fall in Love, stay in love,
and it will decide everything.