|Cross of the Order of St. Valentine|
SAINT VALENTINE’S DAY
The Church’s commemoration of Valentine has nothing to do with lovers! It originated with two separate people, both called Valentine. Valentine of Terni was a 3rd century bishop who was martyred at Rome in 273. Valentine of Rome was a priest who was also martyred for his faith in the mid 3rd century. It is likely that these two stories became confused over time, with the two martyrdoms becoming in effect one commemoration.
The present-day custom of sending cards and flowers declaring love may owe its existence to John Donne who wrote a marriage song for Princess Elizabeth’s marriage to Frederick V, Elector Palatine on St Valentine’s Day in 1632. Donne’s marriage song merged the religious commemoration of Valentine with fertility symbolism.
The Old Testament Lesson
The Old Testament Lesson for today is taken from Isaiah 63:7-14
I will recount the gracious deeds of the LORD, the praiseworthy acts of the LORD, because of all that the LORD has done for us, and the great favor to the house of Israel that he has shown them according to his mercy, according to the abundance of his steadfast love. For he said, "Surely they are my people, children who will not deal falsely" and he became their savior in all their distress. It was no messenger or angel but his presence that saved them; in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old. But they rebelled and grieved his holy spirit; therefore he became their enemy; he himself fought against them. Then they remembered the days of old, of Moses his servant. Where is the one who brought them up out of the sea with the shepherds of his flock? Where is the one who put within them his holy spirit, who caused his glorious arm to march at the right hand of Moses, who divided the waters before them to make for himself an everlasting name, who led them through the depths? Like a horse in the desert, they did not stumble. Like cattle that go down into the valley, the spirit of the LORD gave them rest. Thus you led your people, to make for yourself a glorious name.
This is the Word of the Lord
Thanks be to God
The Epistle Lesson
The Epistle Lesson for today is taken from 1 Timothy 1:18-2:8
I am giving you these instructions, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies made earlier about you, so that by following them you may fight the good fight, having faith and a good conscience. By rejecting conscience, certain persons have suffered shipwreck in the faith; among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have turned over to Satan, so that they may learn not to blaspheme. First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity. This is right and is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God; there is also one mediator between God and humankind, Christ Jesus, himself human, who gave himself a ransom for all-- this was attested at the right time. For this I was appointed a herald and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth. I desire, then, that in every place the men should pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or argument;
This is the Word of the Lord
Thanks be to God
The Holy Gospel Lesson
The Holy Gospel is written in Mark 11:12-26
Glory be to Thee, O Lord
On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he was hungry. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see whether perhaps he would find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. He said to it, "May no one ever eat fruit from you again." And his disciples heard it. Then they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling and those who were buying in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves; and he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. He was teaching and saying, "Is it not written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations'? But you have made it a den of robbers." And when the chief priests and the scribes heard it, they kept looking for a way to kill him; for they were afraid of him, because the whole crowd was spellbound by his teaching. And when evening came, Jesus and his disciples went out of the city. In the morning as they passed by, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. Then Peter remembered and said to him, "Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered." Jesus answered them, "Have faith in God. Truly I tell you, if you say to this mountain, 'Be taken up and thrown into the sea,' and if you do not doubt in your heart, but believe that what you say will come to pass, it will be done for you. So I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. "Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone; so that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses."
Here ends the Gospel lesson for today.
Glory be to Thee ,O Christ!
Psalm 97 Dominus regnavit
1 The LORD is King; let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of the isles be glad.
2 Clouds and darkness are round about him, righteousness and justice are the foundations of his throne.
3 A fire goes before him and burns up his enemies on every side.
4 His lightnings light up the world; the earth sees it and is afraid.
5 The mountains melt like wax at the presence of the LORD, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.
6 The heavens declare his righteousness, and all the peoples see his glory.
7 Confounded be all who worship carved images and delight in false gods! Bow down before him, all you gods.
8 Zion hears and is glad, and the cities of Judah rejoice, because of your judgments, O LORD.
9 For you are the LORD, most high over all the earth; you are exalted far above all gods.
10 The LORD loves those who hate evil; he preserves the lives of his saints and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.
11 Light has sprung up for the righteous, and joyful gladness for those who are truehearted.
12 Rejoice in the LORD, you righteous, and give thanks to his holy Name.
Psalm 99 Dominus regnavit
1 The LORD is King; let the people tremble; he is enthroned upon the cherubim; let the earth shake.
2 The LORD is great in Zion; he is high above all peoples.
3 Let them confess his Name, which is great and awesome; he is the Holy One.
4 O mighty King, lover of justice, you have established equity; you have executed justice and righteousness in Jacob.
5 Proclaim the greatness of the LORD our God and fall down before his footstool; he is the Holy One.
6 Moses and Aaron among his priests, and Samuel among those who call upon his Name, they called upon the LORD, and he answered them.
7 He spoke to them out of the pillar of cloud; they kept his testimonies and the decree that he gave them.
8 O LORD our God, you answered them indeed; you were a God who forgave them, yet punished them for their evil deeds.
9 Proclaim the greatness of the LORD our God and worship him upon his holy hill; for the LORD our God is the Holy One.
Psalm 100 Jubilate Deo
1 Be joyful in the LORD, all you lands; serve the LORD with gladness and come before his presence with a song.
2 Know this: The LORD himself is God; he himself has made us, and we are his; we are his people and the sheep of his pasture.
3 Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise; give thanks to him and call upon his Name.
4 For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his faithfulness endures from age to age.
Psalm 94 Deus ultionum
1 O LORD God of vengeance, O God of vengeance, show yourself.
2 Rise up, O Judge of the world; give the arrogant their just deserts.
3 How long shall the wicked, O LORD, how long shall the wicked triumph?
4 They bluster in their insolence; all evildoers are full of boasting.
5 They crush your people, O LORD, and afflict your chosen nation.
6 They murder the widow and the stranger and put the orphans to death.
7 Yet they say, "The LORD does not see, the God of Jacob takes no notice."
8 Consider well, you dullards among the people; when will you fools understand?
9 He that planted the ear, does he not hear? he that formed the eye, does he not see?
10 He who admonishes the nations, will he not punish? he who teaches all the world, has he no knowledge?
11 The LORD knows our human thoughts; how like a puff of wind they are.
12 Happy are they whom you instruct, O Lord! whom you teach out of your law;
13 To give them rest in evil days, until a pit is dug for the wicked.
14 For the LORD will not abandon his people, nor will he forsake his own.
15 For judgment will again be just, and all the true of heart will follow it.
16 Who rose up for me against the wicked? who took my part against the evildoers?
17 If the LORD had not come to my help, I should soon have dwelt in the land of silence.
18 As often as I said, "My foot has slipped, " your love, O LORD, upheld me.
19 When many cares fill my mind, your consolations cheer my soul.
20 Can a corrupt tribunal have any part with you, one which frames evil into law?
21 They conspire against the life of the just and condemn the innocent to death.
22 But the LORD has become my stronghold, and my God the rock of my trust.
23 He will turn their wickedness back upon them and destroy them in their own malice; the LORD our God will destroy them.
Psalm 95 Venite, exultemus
1 Come, let us sing to the LORD; let us shout for joy to the Rock of our salvation.
2 Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving and raise a loud shout to him with psalms.
3 For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods.
4 In his hand are the caverns of the earth, and the heights of the hills are his also.
5 The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands have molded the dry land.
6 Come, let us bow down, and bend the knee, and kneel before the LORD our Maker.
7 For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture and the sheep of his hand. Oh, that today you would hearken to his voice!
8 Harden not your hearts, as your forebears did in the wilderness, at Meribah, and on that day at Massah, when they tempted me.
9 They put me to the test, though they had seen my works.
10 Forty years long I detested that generation and said, This people are wayward in their hearts; they do not know my ways."
11 So I swore in my wrath, "They shall not enter into my rest."
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The New Revised Standard Version Bible may be quoted and/or reprinted up to and inclusive of five hundred (500) verses without express written permission of the publisher, provided the verses quoted do not amount to a complete book of the Bible or account for fifty percent (50%) of the total work in which they are quoted.