Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25 Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor.- John 12:24-26 NRSV
Lose To Gain
Today is the feast of St. Lawrence. For those who may not know much about this incredible saint please allow mw a brief introduction. Lawrence was a deacon of the church of Rome and in charge of the treasury. The Roman emperor Valerian, around the year 258, demanded that Lawrence relinquish the treasury of the church to Roman officials. Lawrence brought the poor and widows and presented them as the treasure of the church (which they are). He was then martyred.
The story of St. Lawrence teaches us a lot about today’s Gospel. Following Christ means that we truly follow. It doesn’t mean that we just follow on Sunday, or when people are watching. Following Christ is something that is done every minute of everyday, and it will “interfere” with your life.
In dying for the faith St. Lawrence set an important example that we see in the saints. The willingness to follow Christ no matter the cost. St. Lawrence showed that the treasure of the church is not money, but the souls that hold by the hand into the heavenly embrace of Christ.
Perhaps you are reading the Gospel from today’s Mass and wonder how it may apply. As Christians we all bear fruit, whether good or bad. Which one is it? If we are following Christ, then we will bear good fruit from our faith and actions. This will plant seeds of faith in those we encounter and may very likely bear fruit latter. Or we can be a bad example, and the fruit that we show will cause scandal and lead others away from Christ.
The only way to true freedom is to lose ourselves to Christ and allow him to fill us with the Holy Spirit. Receive the sacrament of baptism and be set free from the slavery to sin. Follow Jesus through the good and the bad, and follow him no matter what may be happening. It will not always be easy, but he will always be there.
My body is well done. Turn it over; it is roasted enough on that side.-St. Lawrence during his martyrdom
If we were required to die twice, we could jettison one death. But man dies once only, and upon this death depends his eternity. Where the tree falls, there it shall lie. If, at the hour of death, someone is living in bad habit, the poor soul will fall on the side of hell. If, on the other hand, he is in the state of grace, it will take the road for heaven. Oh, happy road!- St. John Vianney
No earthly pleasures, no kingdoms of this world can benefit me in any way. I prefer death in Christ Jesus to power over the farthest limits of the earth. He who died in place of us is the one object of my quest. He who rose for our sakes is my one desire. – St. Ignatius of Antioch