As Valentine's Day approaches I try to reflect on my life and how I follow in Jesus' example in loving all people and especially God. The most important rule Jesus gave us was "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength."
When I read this I reflect on how I have included God into my life. Have I put him first? Have I loved God with all my heart and trusted Him with all my heart? I think in my life there have been times when I have put God aside because of stress and the busy schedule of life. As Catholics, we should remember that God is there to help with things like stress in life and we should embrace God in our lives instead of pushing him away. This is something I work on often in my life.
The second most important rule Jesus gave us was, "Love your neighbor as yourself." We are called to follow Jesus' example and love everyone unconditionally, like God loves us. By spreading the love of Jesus and being kind to others we are living out this message. Jesus was kind and caring to all people. He talked to lepers, prostitutes and people rejected by others. This makes me think of the people who were kind to me or talked to me when I did not know anyone. I think about all the people who have forgiven me and showed their love.
A time when this happened in my life is when I started field hockey in my freshman year of high school and I did not know anyone. A sophomore came up to me and talked to me and helped me with drills because I had no idea what I was doing nor did I know anyone. I'll never forget the thoughtfulness of my friend that day because even though she did not know me, she showed me kindness when I most needed it.
Living Jesus' example in my life isn't the easiest thing, but it is what we are called to do. Sometimes it is easy to forget about Church and want to focus on other things but Church is so important. I also think its important to help and be kind to people like Jesus did. I try to do this in my life by volunteering and doing community service. As Catholics we are called to spread the loving and living word of Jesus. The simplest way to do this is lead a loving life and show kindness towards all. During this time, I plan to strive to follow Jesus' example and spread the love of God to all people.
Veronika Tibold is a parishioner at Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Elma.