Meditation for the Day

Feast of Saint Lawrence, Deacon and Martyr, August 10

As We Reflect upon the Many Opportunities Available to Us in Becoming the Extension of Christ through Love and Charity in Today’s World, May We Become a True Example from Which Others May Learn and Follow.

“…the just one shall be in everlasting remembrance. An evil report he shall not fear; his heart is firm, trusting in the LORD.” – words which we find in our Responsorial Psalm today, but words which are also most appropriate for today’s Feastday.

Today, we celebrate the Feast of Saint Lawrence, deacon and martyr, who gave his life for Christ. Lawrence’s martyrdom had a deep and lasting impression upon the early Church, for, as Saint Augustine once wrote, “In his life, he loved Christ; in his death, he followed in His footsteps.”

And is this not what our Lord speaks to us about today? “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 serves me must follow me, and where I am, there also will my servant be.”

Saint Lawrence was that servant, ordained to serve the needs of the Body of Christ, whatever those needs may have been. And, in his service, he paid the ultimate price. In his love for Christ, he lived that love in both humility and charity – even to the point of being martyred, as tradition tells us, by being cooked alive on a gridiron.

Despite the cross which awaited him, he never turned His back on the God in whom he placed all his trust. In spite of knowing that he would face death, he never lost sight of the eternal prize which awaited him for his faithfulness – for the faith he lived courageously, and a firm belief in the promises made by his and by our Savior.

Lawrence was the kind of servant of the Church who, as Paul tells us in our First Reading, sowed “bountifully”, so that what he reaped would also be bountiful through the grace of God. Our lives should be no different. Our lives of faith should also be a source from which seeds are planted, so that God may effect His wondrous works in those whom our lives touch.

Yes, by openly living our faith, we may be criticized and ridiculed by those who do not understand. But I do not believe we will ever have to face being martyred in the same way Saint Lawrence was.

We do know, however, that within the cultural environment in which we live today, anything which is openly spiritual is generally frowned upon by the secular and oftentimes atheistic mentality which has seduced governmental systems throughout most of the world.

And as a consequence, being and acting Christian can oftentimes seem like an up-hill battle, especially when we earn for ourselves ridicule, contempt, and, in more-and-more instances in the world, even persecution.

And how does our Lord address this issue in today’s Gospel? “Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life.”

For each of us, no matter what our journey in life may be, we must first look within ourselves and discern how we can best become a Christ-like example for others, whether it be within our own family environment or in the workplace or wherever we feel we are being called by Christ to become His extension in today’s world.

Some take comfort in praying outside of abortion clinics; others enjoy becoming volunteers in the soup kitchens for the poor and homeless, or visiting the elderly in nursing homes. Others who are Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist can volunteer in their parish or hospital ministry to bring our Lord’s True Presence to the sick and disabled.

When one takes the time to truly reflect upon the many opportunities available in becoming the extension of Christ through love and charity, we begin to live in imitation of the lives of the saints. For all their efforts, they have already been richly rewarded, and, prayerfully, with the help of God’s grace, so shall we.

When we have chosen to live our faith openly, when we have chosen to give witness to what we believe, from which others may benefit – then we, too, shall be held in high esteem by our Lord, who tells each and every one of us today, “The Father will honor whoever serves me.”

And, in this, there is no greater blessing!

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Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.

Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.

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Scripture for the Day

  • “…the righteous shall be remembered forever. He shall not fear an ill report; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD” (Psalm 112:6b-7)
  • “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 serves me must follow me, and where I am, there also will my servant be.” (John 12:24, 26a)
  • “Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life.” (John 12:25)
  • “Consider this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each must do as already determined, without sadness or compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:6-7)
  • “For we are his handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for the good works that God has prepared in advance, that we should live in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)
  • “Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deluding yourselves.” (James 1:22)
  • “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, then I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20)
  • “The Father will honor whoever serves me.” (John 12:26b)

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Prayer for the Day

“Most Loving Lord Jesus,
let me be wheat sown in the Earth,
to be harvested for You.

“Most Loving and Eternal Savior,
I want to follow wherever you lead me.
Give me fresh hope and joy in serving You
all the days of my life.

“You, Lord Jesus, Eternal Word of our Heavenly Father,
who have borne the heaviest of all Crosses,
no matter what sufferings or discomforts I may be given to bear,
may I always trust in Your Loving Presence in my life
and in Your providential Love for me. Amen.”

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