Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Obligatory Valentine's Day Post

It is a well known fact that my roommates and I have seen more than our fair share of weddings these past few years. As one of my roommates was getting ready this morning to attend yet another one, we were commenting (okay, rather, sarcastically mocking) the choice to get married the day before Valentine's Day. My roommate is in a relationship and I was asking her if she felt like it was putting a damper on her romantic weekend. Instead, she responded: "I'm more ticked that they are ruining my President's Day (aka long weekend)".

Ah, yes. That's how we roll around these parts these days.

Not that we aren't saps for a good wedding. During the Mass, I always contemplate the readings and the vows and unite my prayers with the couple. I am always happy for them. I don't let my cynicism slip into the Rite (I save that for the reception ;)

So Valentine's Day has kind of become the same cynical opportunity. I'd like to think that even if I was in a romantic relationship, I would still recognize the commerciality, Hallmark monopoly of it. It's not like the commerciality of Christmas- a holiday that still has HUGE religious importance. I'm sure St. Valentine was a cool dude, but...I also don't think he will feel neglected if I sit at home watching Arrested Development DVDs instead of singing hymns or something.

This year, though, Valentine's Day does fall on a Sunday, so there is a higher significance attached. I am going to have to get off my butt and get to Mass ;) Curious as to what Jesus might be telling me this Valentine's, I looked ahead at tomorrow's readings. I was DELIGHTED to find that they are rather cynical and twisted themselves (well, maybe cynical isn't the right word. BUt lovey-dovey, chocolately gooey, they are not ;)

Jeremiah 17:5-8 "Cursed is the one who trusts in human beings,
who seeks his strength in flesh,
whose heart turns away from the LORD.
He is like a barren bush in the desert
that enjoys no change of season,
but stands in a lava waste,
a salt and empty earth."

haha- YES! This is what I'm talking about. I like LAVA WASTE and CURSED-ness on my Valentine's Day ;)

But all kidding aside, I was relieved to read this reading that assures us that- as cheezy at seems- Jesus really is our ultimate valentine (I know, I know...I vomited a little in my mouth as I wrote that. Not because of Jesus, but because of the cheeze factor. I'm getting soft...). This reading is a single girl's assurance that only Jesus can truly satisfy. We have to trust in Him before we can trust in anyone else.

The Gospel is the Beatitudes which are beautiful for their paradox. It's not the straightforward John 3:16 where Jesus straight up says He loves us. It's the ol', blessed are those who are PERSECUTED. Blessed are those who MOURN. The kingdom of God is hard! Not all "rainbows and butterflies" to steal from a Maroon 5 song.

I was- if you can believe it- actually hoping for some readings a little more sweet and sugary (I have, afterall, started to acknowledge how adorable BABY PANDAS are. GETTING SOFT, I tell you!) And this isn't to say Jesus doesn't work this way. He obviously does woo us and knows the best way to love us. But the valentine's day cycnic in me appreciated the TRUE challenge of love presented to us in the readings this weekend. Love is TRUST. Love is challenge. Love is paradox. And I am thankful to Jesus for this reminder.

It's almost like Jesus is TRYING to keep me tough... I don't know how I feel about this. I'm still going to be eating chocolates regardless. You can count on that.


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