August 10, 2015

Lawrence

August 10, 2015:  St. Lawrence, Deacon and Martyr

See nine connections between my outfit
and today's readings and feast?

Legend at bottom

Listen

  • Dying to live/ Chapman:  lyrics  (gospel) [from a children's Christian musical our daughter was in; she actually sang this, but I can't find the libretto and am not sure of the composer.  Please comment if you know.]
  • Behold the wood/ Schutte:  sheet music; not seasonal, but look at v. 1 (gospel)
Pope Francis
"World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation":  I'm setting up in the Catholic Church the “World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation” on Sept. 1, as in the Orthodox Church.  To help overcome the ecological crisis we draw from our heritage the reasons that feed our passion for the care of creation, remembering spiritual life isn't dissociated from the body, nature, or worldly realities but lived in communion with all that surrounds us. (Laudato Sí, 216).   The crisis calls us to an ecological conversion whereby the effects of our encounter with Christ are evident in our relationship with the world (217).  Living our vocation to be protectors of God’s work is essential to a life of virtue, not optional or secondary.
The Day offers us an opportunity to renew our participation in the vocation as custodians of creation, thanking God for the works he's entrusted to us, invoking his help and mercy.  Celebrating it on the same date as the Orthodox will be an opportunity to bear witness to our growing communion.  All Christians are faced with identical, important challenges; we must give common replies to be more credible and effective.  I hope this Day can involve other Churches and Communities....  I invoke Mary, Mother of God and of St. Francis, whose Canticle of the Creatures inspires so many to live in praise of the Creator and with respect for creation....
Read
    Grain of wheat
  • 2 Cor 9:6-10  Whether you sow sparingly or bountifully, that's how you'll reap.  God loves a cheerful giver.  God can make every grace abundant for you.  The one who supplies seed and bread will supply and multiply your seed and increase the harvest of your righteousness.
  • Ps 112:1-2, 5-9  "Blessed the man who is gracious and lends to those in need."  His heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.  Lavishly he gives to the poor,  His generosity shall endure.
  • Jn 12:24-26  “Unless a wheat grain falls and dies, it remains just a grain; but if it dies, it produces much fruit.  Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life.  To serve me, follow me, and the Father will honor you.”
Reflect
    • Creighton:  St. Lawrence is remembered for his care for the poor, whom he characterized the treasure of the Church, and for his courage and faithfulness.  Acts of kindness and courage are an important part of Christian tradition handed down from generation to generation.  Much of what's most important in life is caught, not taught. / To sow, a farmer had to take seed from wheat stored the previous year, an act of faith since the wheat is no longer available as food.  There are many perils for the planted crop, and no guarantees.  But taking the risk was the only path to a sustainable supply of food. / We have to sow our lives, though we often don’t see the fruits.  We're reluctant, but there's no security without giving ourselves to God through a lifetime of choices.  May God help us grow everyday actions and habits of generosity that will enrich his kingdom....
      Martyrdom of St. Lawrence
      (Masters of the Acts of Mercy)
      [See Tibaldi's]
    • One Bread One Body:  "The school of giving":  St. Lawrence resembled God in his giving.  God gave us his Son; Lawrence loved the poor so much that he gave the church's treasures to them and, and gave his life for Jesus.  How am I giving to build God's kingdom?  Time, treasure, talents, work, will, relationships, plans, pain, heart...?  Am I a cheerful, willing, humble, thankful, zealous, sacrificial giver?
    • Passionist:  Jesus' teaching on the grain of wheat also applies to how we die.  The Church calls for “acceptance in the face of death”, and weighing the potential burdens and costs of treatment against potential benefits.  We're called to cling to nothing, not even life itself.  If we don't view death as the ultimate evil, perhaps we can get better at accepting it with faith, dignity, and grace, perhaps taking better advantage of palliative care, being more present to loved ones, reconciling with people, tying up loose ends, or saying goodbye; the way we die can be a sign that we're part of something bigger, that this life is not the ultimate good.  May my life and death produce fruit and be a source of inspiration and hope.  May I have the strength to stop the fight when it becomes futile, living fully whatever days I have, then going peacefully....
    • DailyScripture.net:  Jesus' audience understood the principle of life from seeds sown.  The image of the grain dying to grow and bear fruit is a metaphor of Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection.  When we "die" to ourselves, we "rise" to new life in Christ.  God gives us grace to say yes to his will and to reject what's contrary....
    Dress legend
    • 'Plant' pin:  Sow sparingly, reap sparingly; sow bountifully, reap bountifully.  (1st reading)
    • 'Money' tie:  God loves a cheerful giver (1st reading); blessed those who lend to those in need... (psalm)
    • 'Girl with heart' pin:  ...their hearts are firm, trusting in the Lord  (psalm)
    • 'Abacus' pin:  God will 'multiplyyour seed (1st reading)
    • 'Wheat' pin:  "If a wheat grain falls and dies,..."  (gospel)
    • Red 'fruit' pin:  "...it produces much fruit"  (gospel); red for St. Lawrence's martyrdom (feast)
    • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season