When Lord Jesus left this world, His word spread across the lands and people took notice. His glories were spread through story telling. The speculation is that this story telling manifested itself as the “Gospels” of Jesus. The New Testament, today, has four Gospels (although it is reported there were more). The four Gospels are Mathew, Mark, Luke and John and all of them tell a story of Jesus in its unique ways.
Immediately after Jesus’s departure, perhaps in a span of 50-100 years, people took up to Jesus’s teachings devoutly and dedicated their lives to him in a sincere and ardent way. This uprising in consciousness resulted in a movement of sorts where the “early followers of Jesus” started to preach the mission of Jesus, helping the poor (especially the Gentiles) and enriching their faith upon the Father in Heaven. This movement brought about hope and inner strength among the common man. This uprising, of course, was despised by the Roman kings and they wanted to quash the movement. Now, keep in mind, there was no such thing as “Christianity” at that time…it was simply faithful followers of Jesus who transformed their lives and wanted to help others. This selfless service to mankind was seen in a negative light by the Roman kings. The Romans started to harass and murder Jesus followers, especially the serious ones. These killings, in fact, helped spread the message even more as the news of the martyrs spread long and wide and made the common man to take notice.
These martyrs were the true heroes and followers of Jesus Christ. Without their dedication and selfless love for Jesus, Christianity (although it is my opinion that the Christian practice today is not what the early followers propagated) would not exist. Although Lord Jesus initiated this movement, it was carried and sustained by these unsung soldiers of faith who then turned to martyrs.
One such martyr, it is believed, is St Valentine. Although there is no one commonly accepted theory of St Valentine, still the one thing that is commonly accepted is that he sacrificed his life for his love for Jesus Christ by helping the poor and spreading Jesus’s message. St Valentine, like others, was a selfless hero who preached the true “Gospel” of the science of “love of God” through service and giving.
Today is Valentine’s Day and we should spare a thought for St Valentine and his message as taught by Jesus Christ. The greatest commandment Jesus Christ taught and apparently propagated by His early followers were
“Love Thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul and with all thy mind” and
“Love thy neighbor as thyself”
– Gospel of Mathew ch 22 text 37 & 39
These two commandments laid the foundation for what was supposed to be a “pure” religion of God. Unfortunately, like many others, the influence of Kali has distorted Jesus’s teachings. However, on this day, while many are rejoicing partaking in sensual desires in the name of St Valentine, let us pray to follow in his footsteps by desiring to Love God unconditionally and desiring to help our neighbors (including our four-legged friends, plants and aquatics) invoke their own relationship with God.
Happy St Valentine’s Day!