Dear Friends,

January the 25th was Dydd Santes Dwynwen, the Welsh patron saint of Love and on February 14th we celebrate St Valentine’s Day and both these days remind us of the importance of expressing our love for those close to us. But how can we go beyond simply flowers and a card? Jesus says: ‘A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another’ (John 13:34). How can we show love in our everyday relationships like Jesus?

How well do we listen to others? How often do we find ourselves thinking of the next thing to say before someone has finished speaking? Jesus listened; He asked the question and waited patiently for the answer. You can’t rush listening – listening takes time and patience.

Jesus reached out to touch the untouchables in his world - the lepers - the sick – the possessed, and the children. One survey has suggested that we all need at least 8-10 meaningful touches a day to maintain emotional health! A warm handshake - touch on the arm – a hug – nothing too grand – gentle and appropriate. Always helpful for the other person not just for ourselves.

Jesus’ conversation was always full of grace and truth (John 1:14). Do we speak words of grace, by offering comfort, giving encouragement or expressing care and concern? Are we also ready to speak words of truth, in asking for forgiveness – in seeking reconciliation - in speaking out against conflict and injustice? Where is the challenge for us in expressing love this Valentine’s Day?

With every blessing to you and yours