Monday, XIX Week of Ordinary Time, Year A

Saint Lawrence, Pray for Us

Readings: 1st: 2 Cor 9:6-10; Ps 111; Gos: Jn 12:24-26

This brief reflection was written by Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans). He is a missionary in Puerto Rico, the island of enchantment. He is the Chancellor of the Dioceses of Fajardo-Humacao, Puerto Rico; the Parish Priest of Parroquia la Resurrección del Senor, Canovanas and the Major Superior of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans), Circumscription of Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic. For more details and comments contact him at:  canice_c_njoku@yahoo.com, canicechukwuemeka@gmail.com.

Today, the Monday of the nineteenth week of ordinary time, the Church celebrates the feast of Saint Lawrence, Deacon and Martyr.

Lawrence, the heroic martyr was born in the year 225 AD. He was one of the deacons who served the Roman Church. He was in charge of the goods of the Church and the distribution of alms among the poor.

He was one of the victims of the persecution of Valerian in 258, as were Pope Sixtus II and many other Roman clerics. On 6 August, 258 Pope Sixtus II was captured in a catacomb and executed immediately.

Later, the emperor asked Lawrence to account for, and submit the church’s property he administered. Lawrence summoned many poor people he was serving and presented them to the emperor saying: “These are the treasures of the Church.”

Angered by this, the emperor ordered Lawrence to be burnt to death on August 10, 258. Lawrence bore great witness with his life.

Saint Lawrence “literally” lived and fulfilled the words of Christ in today’s gospel: “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.”  

Today’s gospel simply reminds us of a natural fact of life. That, as Christians our life is simply transformed at death, it is not lost. This is especially, when one loses one’s life for the sake of Christ and his kingdom

Hence, it a call to be courageous in our missions even in the face of persecutions. It is a call to give it all for the hope we have in the restoration and resurrection of the dead; and in the kingdom of God.

So, as we celebrate the feast of Saint Lawrence today, let us ask God to give us the strength and courage to bear a good witness to him, even with our life, when it is required from us.

Saint Lawrence, Pray for Us

Peace be with you.

Maranatha!

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