Audio Readings August 10, 2012 Friday of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time

 2 Corinthians 9:6-10;Psalm 112:1-2, 5-9; John 12:24-26

St. Lawrence

God is able to make every grace abundant for you, so that … you may have an abundance for every good work. (2 Corinthians 9:8)

Openly following Jesus in third-century Rome was a risky business. Emperor Valerian II was killing believers right and left. Nonetheless, Lawrence, a deacon and trusted friend of Pope Sixtus II, continued his pastoral work with little concern for his safety.

Still, the time came when the pre­fect of Rome ordered Lawrence to collect all the church’s treasures and hand them over. But instead of gath­ering the church’s wealth together, Lawrence distributed it to the sick and needy. When the day came, he then presented these poor people to the prefect, saying: “Here is the trea­sure of the church.”

This bold move sealed Lawrence’s death sentence, but it didn’t take away his joy. The story goes that even as Lawrence was being burned alive on a gridiron, he said: “Turn me over, I’m done on this side.” So just how did Lawrence face his death with so much courage and even good humor?

Today’s first reading gives us a clue: God made his grace “abundant” for Lawrence, and that grace enabled him to give of him­self in such a heroic way. Probably long before this persecution began, Lawrence had begun to rely on this grace and let it shape his charac­ter. How else could he have the strength to stand up to the prefect so peacefully?

Most of us aren’t living with daily, violent persecution, but we do face challenging situations every day. We can dedicate our day to serving or spend it expecting to be served. We can choose to for­give or to lash out. We can turn to Jesus or try to make a go of it with our own resources. Whatever it is, it all starts with receiving the Lord’s grace in our hearts. If we can get in that habit with the small things of life, we will be so much better pre­pared when the big challenges come our way!

“Jesus, I know that you gave up everything so that I could live. Help me to receive your grace today so that I can give myself to you and the people around me.” ~WAU

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About gemdk

I am a cradle Catholic who made my first Holy Communion over 5o years ago at All Saints Catholic Church in Houston,TX in 1961. Went to Mass every Sunday as a child and teen and then young adult. Fell away for about 12 years in the late 80's, early 90's and then realized what was missing in my life was my Catholic upbringing and faith. Found my home at Sacred Heart in Crosby. Filling up the void I had for those 12 years in more ways than I can imagine, loving every minute of it. But this blog is not about me as much as it is for me and anyone who wants/needs to hear the word of God. I'm merely the instrument God uses to post the readings.
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