August 10, 2017


August 10, 2017:  St. Lawrence, Deacon and Martyr

  • Red shirt, 'blood drop' pin:  St. Lawrence's martyrdom
  • 'Plant' pin:  Sow sparingly, reap sparingly; sow bountifully, reap bountifully (1st reading)
  • 'Money' tie:  God loves a cheerful giver (1st reading); blessed those who fear the Lord and lend to those in need;... (psalm)
  • 'Heart' pin:  "...their hearts are firm, trusting in the Lord" (psalm)
  • 'Abacus' pin:  God will 'multiplyyour seed (1st reading)
  • 'Wheat' pin:  "The one who supplies seed and bread will increase the harvest of your justice" (1st reading); "If a wheat grain falls and dies,..."  (gospel)
  • 'Fruit' pin:  " produces much fruit"  (gospel)

  • Dying to live/ Chapman:  lyrics  (gospel) (our daughter sang this in a Christian musical :-)

    • 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.”
    • Creighton:  In cheerfully giving of ourselves, our time, our treasure, not out of duty, we receive.  Jesus says we'll be asked to give much in following and serving him, though the reward will be great.  "Lord, teach me to be generous..."
    • One Bread, One Body:  "From giving to living":  Giving sets the tone for living. If we give bountifully, we'll live an abundant life, but if we give sparingly, begrudgingly, doing the minimum, not going beyond the letter, we'll feel we're getting little out of life, our joy seems to be in "a bag with holes in it," the salt of our lives goes flat, and we're "good for nothing but to be thrown out...."  The more we "alms-give," the more our lives become "all-giving"; we become like Jesus, the "the grain of wheat" that "falls to the ground and dies" to produce "much fruit."  "Jesus himself said, 'There's more happiness in giving than receiving.'"
      Martyrdom of St. Lawrence
      (Masters of the Acts of Mercy)
      [See Tibaldi's]
    • Passionist:  The dying of the grain of wheat can refer to dying to our false selves, or our physical death.  Many people fear death, especially dying in pain, and consider assisted suicide.  We're not bound to use extraordinary means to preserve life, but we should alleviate end-of-life suffering via effective compassionate palliative care.  Instead of viewing death as the ultimate evil, to be fought with every ounce of strength till the very end, we should accept death with faith, dignity, and grace.  Jesus himself didn't cling to life.  May the way we die be a visible sign that we're part of something bigger, that we can sink into the river of God’s peace and love as we take our last breath.  May our lives and deaths produce much fruit and inspire and give hope to others.  When the fight becomes futile, may we realize it and have the strength to live fully the time that remains.  In life and death may we be instruments of Christ.
    •  "If it dies, it bears much fruit":  Jesus' audience understood new life produced by dead seeds sown.  Jesus was referring to his own death and resurrection, and our death and rebirth.  Jesus knew that  his victory would come only through the cross.  When we "die" to ourselves, we "rise" to new life in Christ.  God gives us grace to say "yes" to him and reject what's contrary to his plan for us, and he promises we'll bear much "fruit" for him if we deny ourselves for his sake....

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