February 14th is always Valentine’s Day and a time when couples show their love for one another through gifts of one kind or another. Of course, not every one has a significant other of the human kind, but we all have a significant other of the divine kind—God. This year, Ash Wednesday falls on Valentine’s Day and provides an opportunity for us to give God some special gifts to show our love for Him. The traditional gifts of chocolate and flowers don’t mean anything to God. Instead, He wants our prayers, almsgiving (money to the poor), and sacrifice. However, God doesn’t want these gifts just on Valentine’s Day. Because it’s Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent, He desires 40 days of prayer, sacrifice, and almsgiving.
In sharing gifts with our human significant others, we receive their love in return for a number of days, weeks, months, and years at the most. But in sharing our gifts of sacrifice and love with God, we receive his gifts of grace and love, and we can keep them for eternity. That’s love worth winning.