Issued by the Catholic Center for Studies and Media - Jordan. Editor-in-chief Fr. Rif'at Bader - موقع أبونا

Published on Sunday, 14 February 2021

Valentine this year: Keep your distance

  By Fr. Dr. Rif’at Bader :

Valentine this year is not manifested in parties and red roses. It is rather the feast of genuine love embodied in homelands, homes and hospitals, caused by the Corona disease. It is people’s yearning for one another as a result of suspicion of being infected, or of being infected in reality, or of reaching critical stages. Prayers are said, tears are shed at a time when an infected person, rather than the multitude of infected people, receives hundreds of messages, and prayers for a speedy recovery and for a restoration to normal life.


Love this year implies distancing and rejecting physical contact. It is physical distancing that does imply an emotional one. The well-wishes cards state these days, "If you love me keep away from me" or "By keeping away from you, I 'll heal". In the church pews, people maintain distances including family members, yet hearts beat with love and prayers for the members of the small family as well as the extended one, and this is what we regularly call, "The Human Family".


Valentine this year is depicted in a photo that went viral on social media networking sites showing British Margaret and Derek Firth, staying in a abutting twin beds, after having been married for 70 years. The last photo of the couple, (both 91) was in the hospital after both of them were infected with coronavirus. Derek died first, while his wife died three days later.


In the social media, Valentine is depicted by a man who asks his fiancée to shut her eyes to surprise her with the season's gift. Once she opens her eyes, she sees the Pfizer vaccine wrapped with a Valentine's gift. Then, she shouts out with joy and amazement.


As for the vaccine, one of the manifestations of love and solidarity this year is to maintain its fair distribution among  peoples, so that it is not monopolized by a rich country that controls weak and poor countries. Further to its manifestations is what happened in our beloved country whereby the arriving brethren, or the refugees as referred to by the United Nations, have received vaccine shots just like our dear citizen. This attitude has had a huge repercussion throughout the world.


These days have changed us a lot. The virus changed several standards, prevented traditional and seasonal celebrations that brings pleasure and fills the pockets of businesspeople with money.


But Saint Valentine, the source of the event in the third century, is happy this year since people have placed themselves and their creative minds by living the “Valentine’s rites" with new innovations concomitant  with the circumstances the world is undergoing as it implores healing.


This year, "Valentine's Day" is online. What is important is that love has different facets despite the fact that humanity is still suffering.


May God bless you all.