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Showing Your Love: Weekly Message for 2-14-17
Dear Friends in Christ,
Today we celebrate Saint Valentine’s Day. Saint Valentine was a priest during the persecution of Christians in the third century who ministered to the martyrs before he himself was martyred on February 14 th, around 270 A.D. The dogmatic constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium describes martyrdom as the greatest proof of love (n. 42): “Since Jesus, the Son of God, manifested His charity by laying down His life for us, so too no one has greater love than he who lays down his life for Christ and His brothers…The Church, then, considers martyrdom as an exceptional gift and as the fullest proof of love.”
True martyrdom, like true love, is laying down your life for the sake of another. It shows your love. It’s interesting that today people don’t understand what love truly is: giving yourself completely and freely. Love means different things to different people today, but St. Valentine reminds us today about it’s true meaning.
Even non-believers today remember Valentine’s Day and try to show their love with flowers, cards, and candy. Lumen Gentium teaches that martyrdom is a gift as well as a proof of love. If we show our love, it’s because we’ve been loved. Those small tokens of affection are an acknowledgement of a love given. Every one of us can trace the trajectory of our lives back to a moment of love, not just the love of our parents, but the love of God, who created us and gave his life for us out of love. Let’s show that same love toward others as well.
May God’s love fill you always.
Father Nikola Derpich, L.C.
Author, Finding the Plug