Our Valentine to God
This year, St. Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday are celebrated on the same day. At first, I thought what a strange coincidence. Then, I thought that it seemed very appropriate. Love is the main theme of St. Valentine’s Day – and God is True Love.
As we give gifts of love to our family and friends, what then can we give to God? Everything that we have comes from God. God is love. We show our love for God by the way we use the gifts that He has given us. Our thanks start with our presence at Mass to share in His Eucharist banquet.
We thank God in a special way when we share what we have with others. How do we do that? We gain some insight from the Letter of James (James 2:14) “What good is it if someone says he has faith but does not have good works? Faith without (good) works is dead.”
How do we know where to direct our works? Here are some thoughts. What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. … It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the people’s sighs and sorrows. That is what love looks like.
We have already started our Lenten journey; how should we proceed? Our gospel readings are a good place to start.
In the Ash Wednesday gospel, Jesus starts us off in the right direction as He says: “Take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them, otherwise you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father.” In other words, Do our prayer and good works for love of God – not for love of self.
In this Sunday’s gospel Jesus proclaims the message of God as He ministers to the people. How are we called to proclaim the message of God (in prayer and deed) in our world? By our actions. In addition to our Mass schedule, OLW provides Stations of the Cross (every Friday during Lent at 7 pm, preceded by soup at 6 pm in the Gathering Place); Recitation of the Rosary (at 8 am prior to 8:30 daily Mass, and at 11 am on Sundays, preceding the 11:30 Mass); Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament (on Saturdays at 4 pm, preceding 5 pm Mass); and Multi-parish Reconciliation Services (from Monday, March 18 through Thursday, March 21); to name a few.
See the Our Lady of the Wayside 2024 Lenten Schedule HERE.
We show our love for others through our sharing ministries with Our Lady of Unity; Faith into Action; and the many wonderful ministries offered through Knights of Columbus and St. Vincent DePaul. All these and more are listed in our bulletin and on our website.
We’ve started our Forty Day journey that concludes on Easter Sunday, but our Faith Journey continues for the rest of our life.
The challenge for all of us is to make our changes permanent, not a mere forty day detour. What can we do to make the changes last? Each day brings new challenges and opportunities – we need to make those changes a part of our “memory bank.”
As a starting point, I reflected on Robert Frost’s poem – The Road not taken…
The first two lines are;
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood
And sorry I could not travel both
And the last two are:
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
What Frost is saying is that each day will bring different choices for us. Our challenge is to make the right choice – and to make it last. If we’re able to make these changes and make them a part of our daily life, I’m sure God will be very pleased with our “Valentine” to Him.
For more information about our ministries or Lenten activities, please email me at: email@example.com
Deacon Tom CorcoranTags: #deaconsbeacon, #lent, #lent2024, #olw, #olwparish, #ourladyofthewayside, #valentinesday