Today’s Gospel: John 12:24-26 – St. Lawrence
I have often been a deacon at Masses on this day honoring St. Lawrence, Deacon and Martyr. In keeping with today’s Gospel, Lawrence surrendered his life; a seed that died, but in its death producing many other living seeds. Lawrence gave his life participating in Mass in the very catacombs I’ve visited in Italy.
Excuse that I share personal words. Today is also the annual celebration of my father’s birth: Thomas LAWRENCE Fox; may he rest in peace. As a seed sprouting from St. Lawrence, my dad’s parents honored today’s martyr by giving my dad recognition of the sacrifice of birthing new members of the Faith.
And I wonder if my own dear parents ever have thought that their son would become a deacon serving the people of God and honoring the name of Lawrence? When I have preached on this day, I’ve honored St. Lawrence, and many times, we’ve had the day’s Mass said for the intentions of my father.
When I was a child, Catholic faith practice meant just that: we were Catholic because of what we practiced. That’s not all bad because we recognize Christ and each other ‘in the breaking of the bread.’ But St. Lawrence reminds us that we ought to have a faith that we are willing to die for.
Today, with all the assaults, heresies and relativism in the world, a Catholic life lived as one hour on Sundays isn’t going to give much, if any, saintly witness to the world.
As a teaching found today in the Gospel, may God’s grace inspire us to die ‘little deaths’ of self, giving rise and witness to many new seeds of faith-life. May we give evidence of what we profess in our prayers and liturgies.
Am I so in love with my faith that I am willing to die to share it with others?
St. Lawrence, help us to give witness to the miracle of faith, resurrection. In death is found new life. Amen.
Copyright 2017 Deacon Tom Fox