A FEAST OF LOVE Posted February 14, 2024 by admin@interfaith


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February 14, 2024

by Thomas P. Bonacci, C.P.

When I was a boy, I dreaded St. Valentine’s Day. The teachers in my school would have us kids exchange Valentine’s Day cards. Not everyone would receive a card. We were in terror of being ignored, forgotten, or dismissed. 

Think today of those who are ignored, forgotten, and dismissed. Remember the struggling people of Ukraine, the hostages in Gaza, the conflict in the Middle East, not to mention the hungry and abandoned who live in the streets of our towns and villages. Think of those who live lives of quiet desperation and fear.

Today, I am thankful for the Feast of St. Valentine. It is wonderful to consciously set time aside to express your love to someone you love and cherish. How lovely it would be if every day were St. Valentine’s Day.

This year, the Feast of Love falls on Ash Wednesday. For many Christians, Ash Wednesday begins a season of fasting and repentance. The day of fasting collides with the day of cherishing a loved one. What are we to do? Feast or fast?

We have a great opportunity to examine why we do what we do. Fasting invites us to live simply so others may simply live. The authentic religious practices of any faith tradition are an invitation to live justly for the sake of the World.

Consider the stirring words of Isaiah 58: 6-7: “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen, says God: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter— when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?”    

Whatever our religious practice and devotion might be, it is always the proper time to turn our attention to the hurting and those in need. Perhaps, on this St. Valentine’s Day, we might go out of our way to cherish and love someone who is forgotten, ignored, or dismissed.

Blessings to you, Holy Community, for opening your heart to those in need. Thank you for the feast of your love. Gratitude to you for sharing your heart on this day and every day.

Tom Bonacci
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925-787- 9279