Friday, August 09, 2019
SATURDAY, 18TH Week in Ordinary Time
ST. LAWRENCE, Deacon and Martyr
2 Cor 9: 6 – 10 / Jn 12: 24 – 26
A Roman deacon, St. Lawrence (d. 258) was martyred during the persecution of Valerian by roasting on a gridiron.
FROM THE 1ST READING: 2 Cor 9: 6 – 8
Remember: the one who sows meagerly will reap meagerly, and there shall be generous harvests for the one who sows generously. Each of you should give as you decided personally, and not reluctantly as if obliged. God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to fill you with every good thing, so that you have enough of everything at all times, and give abundantly for any good work.
GOSPEL READING: Jn 12: 24 – 26
Jesus said, "Truly, I say to you, unless the grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies, it remains alone, but if it dies, it produces much fruit.
"Those who love their life destroy it, and those who despise their life in this world keep it for everlasting life.
"Whoever wants to serve me, let him follow me, and wherever I am, there shall my servant be also. If anyone serves me, my Father will honor him."
In today's Gospel reading, our Lord used the metaphor of a grain of wheat to illustrate his teaching on true discipleship. The image of a grain of wheat falling into the ground and its eventual growth into a mature plant producing a harvest is easy for anyone to understand because it is the way of nature.
Jesus stresses that this way of dying to produce fruit is the preferred and only way of following him not only because it is the way and law of nature but because this is what Jesus himself chose to do for us.
And true followers and disciples of Christ are expected to follow the example and footsteps of their Master, "who has not come to be served but to serve and give his life to redeem many." (Mk 10: 45)
After St. Peter's profession of faith in Jesus as the Messiah, Jesus' message to his disciples was very clear, "if you want to follow me, deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me." (Mk 9: 34)
St. Lawrence of the early Church is an excellent example of giving up his life in the following of Christ and in the service of the Church. In giving up his life, like the grain of wheat falling into the ground and dying in order to grow and bear a harvest, St. Lawrence's courage and martyrdom have encouraged and strengthened the faith of countless others.
The first reading from St. Paul's second letter to the Church in Corinth confirms the necessity of giving generously in order to reap great harvests: "the one who sows meagerly will reap meagerly, and there shall be generous harvests for the one who sows generously." Each of us should give as we ourselves wish, and not reluctantly as if obliged: "God loves a cheerful giver."
FINALLY, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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