Be A Valentine: Let Love Heal the World

The understanding of Valentine’s Day has been expanded to include serving humanity selflessly. Every year, February 14th has been set aside to celebrate love globally. To this end, Bishop Emmanuel Adetoyese  of the Catholic  Church of Nigeria, Oyo Diocese, who captures the essence of that special day which goes beyond exchanging gifts or having an intimacy;  posits that all should become an agent of authentic love. Funke Olaode reports

He spoke passionately about the essence of love. And as a man of God whose vocation is to preach the Gospel to people either on the pulpit or as a form of evangelism, Bishop, Catholic Diocese of Oyo, Bishop Emmanuel Adetoyese Badejo is eminently qualified to examine the word, ‘love.’

But in his view, Bishop Badejo sees love as a form of empathy rather than the way it is portrayed by lovers. According to him, authentic love can heal the heart and heal the world.

Valentine’s Day as a time to show love is a welcome celebration for today’s world, lacking so much compassion and love. Saint Valentine, with whom the celebration is associated, lived a life of selfless and sacrificial love which goes beyond flowers, material gifts, kisses and sex.

All who celebrate Valentine’s Day should really become agents of authentic, life-giving love in all forms. If Valentine is truly about showing and spreading true love, then we all need it.  Children, youth, adults, the elderly, the dying and even the dead, all need love. 

No matter who we are, bishops, priests, pastors, politicians, businessmen, civil servants, traders, entertainers, sportsmen and artisans, young or old, we all need love to remain sane and make everyday life meaningful.

Listening to him as he poured out his heart, his piece is a very  unique reflection that touches the heart.  It is a very informative and educative masterpiece telling us how we as a people  can use the significance of Valentine, which is simply an unconditional  Love of God and how we can imbibe it in our lives to fight against insurgencies, killings, massacres, kidnappings, in-fighting and all social vices that we experience in our world that is not peculiar to Nigeria.

It is a common sight that nations fight against one another, waging wars against each other. ” There is greed in the land; there is no care for the poor. The rich are getting richer while the poor are getting poorer. Do we all know the essence of Valentine? It is easy to say happy Valentine. Are we living the life of true meaning valentine?”  

He says further: “I have not found a better description of love than what Saint Paul wrote in the Bible, in his letter to the Corinthians: “Love is always patient and kind; love is never jealous; love is not boastful or conceited, it is never rude and never seeks its own advantage, it does not take offence or store up grievances. Love does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but finds its joy in truth. It is always ready to make allowances, to trust, to hope and to endure whatever comes. Love never ends” (1Cor. 13: 4-8).

On how this principle applies in our daily lives and governance, he added: “That kind of Valentine love is needed in the world today. We need it in our homes, we need it in our churches, mosques. We need it in our schools, we need it in our streets. We need authentic agents of love in our markets and we need them in our parks.

“We need them in our banks where people now suffer for no fault of theirs. We need them in our filling stations, in our businesses and in our playgrounds. We need authentic love in every heart so that our country and our world can heal of all the hurts we have and be sane again.”

“Valentine is not just about lovers hanging out in pairs. Valentine is also a parent who selflessly cares for their children with love. Valentine is celebrated by soldiers and security agents who lay down their life to protect others and their nation.

“It is Valentine’s Day when civil servants serve the public with a genuine sense of duty. Yes, it is Valentine when politicians work to address the true needs of the citizens under their care. Authentic Valentines make a difference in homes, families and in society.

“We thus need to celebrate such Valentine Days not only in February but every day of the year to help remake a more just, compassionate, and more loving world.

“That manner of love will conquer all our greed, selfishness, wickedness, and hate and such love never ends! So get right ahead, celebrate more valentine’s days and light up the world. After all… God is love!’, he concluded.

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