St. Lawrence, Feast
1st Reading: 2 Cor 9:6-10
Brothers and sisters: 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. Moreover, God is able to make every grace abundant for you, so that in all things, always having all you need, you may have an abundance for every good work. As it is written: He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor; his righteousness endures forever. The one who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed and increase the harvest of your righteousness.
Gospel: Jn 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.”
BORN TO DIE FOR OTHERS: Jesus says that he has come to this world to provide abundant life for others. (cf. Jn 10:10). Death is the necessary condition for the generation of life. The death of Jesus is shown as a kernel of wheat sown in the ground, dying to bring forth a rich harvest. Jesus will be put to death and his death will bring life to the world. Jesus’ act of self-sacrificing love is a lesson for his followers. A follower of Jesus must learn to focus himself on Jesus Christ, who is the supreme revelation of God. For Jesus, the cross is the throne and death is glorification. As Jesus’ crucifixion is the path to his glorification so the believer’s death is the path to vindication. The father honours the one who follows the paths of Jesus, his son.
Prayer: Thank you Lord for dying for me.
CHEERFUL GIVING: Most of us spend the better part of our active life trying to make money. We spend our physical, mental and emotional energies to earn. In this way, giving money or things that are purchased with money becomes equivalent to giving our lives. However, we know that it is God who has given us these energies. St. Paul encourages us to give with an open heart and without being forced. Giving cheerfully means that we are showing appreciation for what God has done for us. Jesus teaches that for a seed to grow it has to die. To die is to lose life and therefore losing what we have spent our lives making is what is expected here. We give to worthy causes that include the church and through that, we are able to do more than we could do as individuals.
NEW LIFE IN CHRIST: A seed if not planted remains single and dry.Such a seed cannot meet the needs of the owner. It is only after being planted under favorable conditions that germination process begins. It then grows into a plant which will give the farmer good yields. This is a mystery that science has not yet given answers. It shows God’s control of nature. Our lives as Christians can be compared to that of a seed. God has entrusted us with more talents. The more we use them, the more productive we become to the society. This also applies to our spiritual life. Those who wish to come to eternal life must be prepared to lay down their lives in self-gift. We should neither cling to our lives nor be carried by what the world offers. Believing in Christ who is the life and resurrection means that death does not have the last word over us. Christ will raise us up to share in his eternal life. Faith is a necessary condition for our resurrection. We should place our hope in Christ.