Father David's Reflection for Saturday of Week Eighteen (Ordinary Time) **Feast of Saint Lawrenc
The Entrance Antiphon gives us the key both to the life of Lawrence and to the readings: “Today let us honor
Saint Lawrence, who spent himself for the poor of the Church.” The Responsorial (Psalm 112) echoes it: “Happy the merciful who give to those in need.” Lawrence was martyred because when told him to hand over the presumed riches of the Church to the government he assembled the poor of Rome, pointed to them and said, “Here are the treasure of the Church.” The Roman officials did not take kindly to this. They burned him to death on a gridiron.
2Corinthians 9:6-10 pinpoints the principle that matches the spirit of Jesus, whose purpose in coming to earth was that human beings might “have life, and have it to the full.” Jesus just doesn’t know how to give in half measures. Neither should we.
Paul is making arrangements for the “bountiful gift” Corinth had promised to help the Church in Jerusalem. “Now it is not necessary for me to write you about the ministry to the saints,” he writes, but “The point is this: the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
In John 12:24-26 Jesus says, “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” At Baptism we “died in Christ’ and “rose in Christ” to live solely as his body on earth. At Mass we “present our bodies” again as a “living sacrifice.” Wherever our live bodies are, we are “sacrificed” to giving life to others through the physical expression of our faith, of our hope and of God’s healing, life-enhancing love in us. “Happy the merciful who give to those in need.
Initiative: Be inspired by the example of Lawrence to see the poor as our treasure.