Scripture: 1st Reading: 2Cor9,6-10; Resp. Psalm: Ps112,1-2,5-9; Gosp. Accl.: Jn8,12; Gospel: Jn12,24-26
The word of God today takes us once again to the agrarian world. This is the world of freshness, fruitfulness, new life, productivity and closeness to nature. The word talks about one of the most elementary procedures in farming, which is to sow. When one well in a piece of land, for instance, sows good deeds of very high quality and nurtures the plant that comes out of this, that person can be guaranteed a good harvest. That implies also that when one sows sparingly, he also reaps sparingly.
The word of God today is a metaphor for what our lives should be. The word is directing us to an attitude of mind that each of us should have: that of giving to God with cheerfulness and generousity. The word of God tells us that we must do as we have made up our minds, not reluctantly or under compulsion. Our giving must be cheerful, because only those who give cheerfully are loved by God.
This giving can be in terms of the material things that God in His mercy has endowed us with. It could also be in terms of using our lives for the service and glory of His name. The word tells us that we shall receive blessing in abundance for every gift that we give up for God, since "He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your resources and increase the harvest of your righteousness."
The life of Saint Lawrence, a deacon of the Roman Church, who died for his faith in the year 258, bears eloquent testimony to this teaching. Lawrence was outstanding in his love and service of the poor and totally faithful to the Church in everything. Lawrence gave himself up so that the treasure of the church would not be tampered with.
Lawrence exemplified in his life the teaching of our Lord in today's gospel passage. He was indeed a grain of wheat that fell down and died and that bore great fruits. Lawrence did not love his life over and above his love of God. Rather, he hated his life here on earth, hated the allurements of earthly life, in order to keep his life for eternity. He served Jesus his master, followed Him faithfully, and was honoured by the Father for his fidelity to His Son.
Let us imitate his life of service to God and humanity. Let us follow him in his love for the church. Let us emulate his love for the poor. Let us copy his example of single-minded devotion that led him to shed his blood for the sake of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Such a noble example of Christian life! Such an outstanding man in the practice of virtue. Such a soul totally consumed with the love of God. May he intercede for us in our desire to serve God with purity of hearts and souls.
Let us pray: "O God, giver of that ardour of love for you, by which Saint Lawrence was outstandingly faithful in service and glorious in martyrdom; grant that we may love what he loved and put into practice what he taught." Amen. May the Living Word of God find a true dwelling place within our hearts and souls today and always.