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- Written by Br. Daniel Thomas, OP
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Friday in the Eighteenth week of the Church year and Feast of: St. Lawrence (d. 258?)
2 Corinthians 9:6-10
“Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” (2Cor 9:6)
Or, to put it in today’s jargon: “What goes around comes around!”
Today, as the Church celebrates the Feast of St. Lawrence, we are given three Scripture readings that are specifically chosen for the feast. Unlike our regular weekdays when we read more or less sequentially through different books of the Bible. That means we can more easily see the connections and, hopefully, gain more insight into our own journey of faith.
The first point – which I quoted above – is pretty obvious: “What goes around, comes around." This reminds me of the parable of the talents and how the last guy failed the test by fearing the boss. He buried his “treasure” so that it wouldn’t be lost and he lost it the end! It’s not that we have to be fantastically clever in the way we deal with the gifts that God has given us. We just have to do something! Even as passive as putting it in the bank to gain interest.
Today’s Responsorial Psalm – 112 – lays out in very clear terms the ways we need to live our lives: Blessed is the one who is gracious and lends to those in need.”
Legend has it that when the Roman authorities confronted St. Lawrence to pay tax on the “treasures of the Church” he gathered all the sacred vessels together, sold them and gave the proceeds to the poor, the lame, and the widows. When asked to present the “treasures” he lined up all these poor people and told the Roman official, “Here are the real treasures of the Church: earthen vessels; living stones which make up the structure of the Church. And for this act of defiance he was subjected to a cruel death by being burned on an iron grill. The story is told that he said to his executioners, “I’m done on this side. Turn me over!"
Now, not many of us will ever be put in similar circumstances, but it reminds us that – like it or lump it – we will all come to that point of passing from this life as we know it. Can we pray through the intercession of St. Lawrence to have the grace to say, “I’m done with this part of life; turn me over into Paradise.” It’s only then that we’ll hear the Lord saying, “Well done, good and faithful servant … enter into the joy of your master.” Amen!
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