Monday, 10 August 2015 : Feast of St. Lawrence, Deacon and Martyr (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we heard about God who has given us all so many good things, so many wonderful things that He had planted in us, as seeds that will germinate in due time, if we cultivate them and they will prosper. He has sowed many things in us, and He has given us the seeds of faith, the seeds of hope and the seeds of love.

All these are within us, inside our hearts, and await our action and work to awaken them. As Jesus said in the Gospel today, that the seed, that is the grain of wheat, if it does not die, then it remains alone and meaningless. Only when the grain of wheat falls onto the ground, then life can spring out from it and a new plant can grow from the seed.

This means that, by using the life of Christ as a comparison, we must take action and live our lives with faith and real action based on that faith in order that we may have the seeds inside us to bear much good fruits. If we do not do anything or do things that are contrary to what our Lord had taught us, then the seeds of faith, hope and love in us will not germinate and grow.

Jesus was faithful to the mission which He was entrusted with by His Father, that is to bring about salvation to all mankind, by teaching them the truth about the Lord and how to live their lives in accordance with the Law of God. And He was faithful to the very end, as He needed to endure all the sufferings and the punishments intended for our sins and wickedness, so that all of us may have a new hope of life.

He took up all of our iniquities and all the sufferings which should have been ours upon Himself, and bearing that great and heavy cross, He walked on and ascended patiently towards Calvary, faithful to the mission for which He came into this world and ultimately because of the great and boundless love which He has for all of us, and the pity and mercy which He has shown us, because He pitied our state, lost in the darkness of this world and not knowing which way to go to.

And He showed us all an example, on how to live our lives so that we too may share in the promises which He had given us and our ancestors, by leading an example Himself, showing that unless we take up our crosses and join Him, then we would have no part in the life and salvation which He will give all of His faithful. And just as He had died on the cross and rose again on the third day from the dead, we too must do the same.

This means that we should die to ourselves, to the temptations and desires of the flesh which have caused us to sin, and to throw far away all forms of worldliness and all sorts of selfish attitudes which remain in us. We should die to our desires, to the allures of the flesh and worldly pleasures, so that by sharing the death of Christ, we mah also share in His glorious resurrection, and be found worthy to receive the gift of eternal life He had promised all of us.

On this day, we celebrate together the feast of St. Lawrence the Deacon, who was also a great martyr of the Church and defender of the Faith. St. Lawrence was a deacon of the Church of Rome, appointed as such by Pope St. Sixtus II, whose feast we had just celebrated a few days ago. St. Lawrence was a hardworking servant of God, who gave his all in service to God and to His people.

St. Lawrence continued to remain faithful and committed to the tasks placed before Him. He ministered to the people of God, especially to the faithful ones during the persecution of the faithful and the Church by the Emperor Valerian. He ministered to the people of God, caring for them and kept a great and well-ordered system of distribution of goods to the faithful people of God.

And when he was arrested together with many other members of the Church, he remained true to his faith in God, and remained resolute and strong in his devotion to God until the end. He embraced the challenges and sufferings he was to face openly, and without fear, for he knows that, it is only by dying to his fears and placing his complete and full trust in the Lord that he will be saved and brought to the eternal glory promised by the Lord.

We can learn from his examples, in how we live our lives. We should follow his example in showing love to one another, caring for the poor and the less fortunate, and by loving those who are unloved and rejected, and then by also having a complete and full trust in the Lord, placing our trust in Him alone, and knowing that all who remain faithful to the Lord will not be disappointed.

May Almighty God be with us all always, and may St. Lawrence intercede for our sake always, that we may be helped on our path towards redemption and eternal life, that we may be righteous and just, and be found worthy at the end of our days. God bless us all. Amen.

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