2 CORINTHIANS 9:6-10; PSALM 112; JOHN 12:24-26.

In the Gospel of today, Jesus made some very powerful statements. We need to spend time reflecting on these statements.

Let me call our attention to three of them.

I. If a man serves me, he must follow me.
How can I claim to serve God when I do not follow the teachings and examples of Jesus?

II. Wherever I am, my servant will be there too.
Am I where Jesus is?
Am I where Jesus can be?
Am I where Jesus wants me to be?
Do I long to be where Jesus is?

III. If anyone serves me, my Father will honour him.
If we want the Father to honour us, we must serve Jesus. The question is, “what does it mean to serve Jesus?”

To serve Jesus is:

A. To obey Him in all things

B. To surrender all we have and are to Him, holding nothing back from Him, not even our lives.

C. To see and honour Him in others.

D. To work faithfully for the expansion of His kingdom here on earth.

E. To be at the service of His very close friends – the poor, the needy, the unloved and those in need of special care, not for selfish interest but seeking only His glory and honour.

St. Laurence, whose feast is today, is an example of someone who served the Lord and was honoured by the Father.

Laurence was born in Oscar, Spain, in the year 225 AD.  He was one of the most renowned deacons of the Church.

At the beginning of August 258, the Roman Emperor Valerian issued a decree that all Bishops, Priests and deacons should be immediately put to death.

On August 6, the same year, Pope Sixtus II, together with some deacons, was apprehended and executed. The Holy Pope was arrested while celebrating mass and beheaded.

Laurence too was arrested and since he was in charge of the treasures of the Church, he was instructed to hand over everything to the state. Laurence requested three days to put things together and hand them over.

Within the given days, he went to share the treasures of the Church with the poor and the needy.  On the fourth day, when he was apprehended and the treasures were requested from him, he brought forward the hungry, the poor and the destitute and presented them to the authorities as the treasures of the Church.

In a rage of fury, he was tied and placed on a red-burning ‎gridiron. He accepted this sentence with joy and in the calm assurance that heaven awaited him. In fact, according to some traditions, he was admonishing the executioners to become Christians lest they suffered greater punishment. After a while, he managed to tell the executioners, “I am done this side, turn me over.”

Laurence died on August 10, 258. Many conversions to Christianity throughout Rome reportedly followed Laurence’s death, including the conversion of some senators who witnessed his execution.

In today’s First Reading, St. Paul says that the deeds of those who are free in almsgiving and who give to the poor, will never be forgotten. St. Laurence fulfilled this and he will be remembered on earth forever and rewarded in heaven forever.

We pray that the Lord will make us good and faithful servants like St. Laurence and that we may be courageous enough to choose eternal life over this life when we face the need to make that choice.

Categories: Reflections