Coincidentally, today’s reading is about self-sacrifice and guaranteed persecution on the same day as St. Valentine is celebrated around the world. He was a martyr in the early Church under the reign of Claudius II in 269 for marrying Christian couples (he was a priest). While we may not always be martyred in most countries for the beliefs that brought him to jail and pay the ultimate price, there is persecution of another type in everyday secular cultures.
Let us remember the love that St. Valentine held for The Lord when he gave his life for him.
“If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself
and take up his cross daily and follow me.”