10th August Feast of Saint Lawrence, Deacon and Martyr
Gospel: John 12:24-26
Jesus said to his disciples: “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; 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. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there also will my servant be. The Father will honor whoever serves me.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
The Mass intention is for John Staniland RIP.
Discipleship, according to today’s Gospel, meant following the Master’s footsteps. If Jesus proclaimed the Good News, His followers should do the same. If Jesus healed the sick and brokenhearted, His disciples ought to do the same. If Jesus offered His life for all, we Christians must trod the same path. We are not merely grains of wheat. Our lives have to be shared with others so that we can bear fruit.
Today we commemorate St Lawrence, one of the Roman Church’s seven deacons who looked after the poor. When priests, including Pope Sixtus II, were killed due to persecution of Christians, St Lawrence gave the Church’s wealth to the poor. When demanded by the Roman prefect to handover the Church’s possessions, he presented the destitute, orphans, blind, and lame as the “Church’s treasure”. As result, he was roasted on a gridiron. He met a horrible end, but now shares the glory of the Risen Jesus. Indeed, as Jesus said, “The Father will honor whoever serves me”.
· What prevents you from sharing with others, especially the stranger, the unlovable, or the nobody?
· Who do you consider as a treasure of the Church? How do you look after that treasure?
· As he was being roasted, St Lawrence said to his tormentors: “Learn, unhappy man, how great is the power of my God; for your burning coals give me refreshment but they will be your eternal punishment”. How do these words inspire you when you hear of or experience persecutions?
Lord Jesus, thank You for Your Word today. Through the example and prayers of St Lawrence, bless all deacons that they may lovingly bring the Good News to the poor. Give me strength to comfort those in need. Amen.