10th August – St Lawrence, Martyr & Deacon

Today is the feast day of St Lawrence, a deacon of the third century Roman church who was martyred by being burned alive. Here is the gospel followed by the Bishops’ website commentary.

lawrence

Gospel                              John 12:24-26
If anyone serves me, my Father will honour him.

Jesus said to his disciples:
I tell you, most solemnly,
unless a wheat grain falls on the ground and dies,
it remains only a single grain;
but if it dies, it yields a rich harvest.
Anyone who loves his life loses it;
anyone who hates his life in this world will keep it for the eternal life.
If a man serves me, he must follow me,
wherever I am, my servant will be there too.
If anyone serves me, my Father will honour him.

The Gospel of the Lord.

Gospel Reflection   Thursday, Saint Lawrence, deacon and martyr   

Today we celebrate the feast of Saint Lawrence. He was a deacon of the church in Rome in the middle of the third century and was martyred in the year 258 under the emperor Valerian. One of the Basilicas in Rome, Saint Lawrence outside the walls, is built over what has always believed to be his tomb. In the words of the gospel reading, having served Christ as a deacon, he followed Christ to the end, being put to death for his self-giving service as Christ was. The image Jesus uses in that gospel reading of the wheat grain that falls to the ground and dies and in dying yields a rich harvest was, firstly, an image of Jesus himself. He was the wheat grain who fell to the earth and died and in dying yielded a rich harvest, passing through death into a new and fuller life and opening up that life to us all. It is also an image of all who would follow him. Jesus is saying to us that if we share in his self-giving love, if we die to our own selfishness, we will yield a rich harvest, both in this life and in eternity. Saint Paul in today’s first reading expresses the same truth. He first declares, ‘God loves a cheerful giver’ and then states that if we become cheerful givers, there is no limit to the blessings which God can send us. It is not enough to be a giver, Paul is saying, but we need to be cheerful givers. We are to share in the Lord’s self-giving love not grudgingly or as if under compulsion but willing and gladly, in response to the Lord’s abundant love of us. The church and the world need ‘cheerful givers’. That is our calling.

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The Gospel reflection comes from WEEKDAY REFLECTIONSTo know the love of Christ 2016/2017 by Martin Hogan published by  The Messenger c/f www.messenger.ie
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