Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:
August 10, A.D. 2004
Scripture from Today's Liturgy of the Word:
2 Corinthians 9:6-10
Psalm 112:1-2, 5-6, 7-8, 9
A brief reflection on today's Scripture passages:
Today the Church honors St. Lawrence, deacon and martyr, of whom tradition tells us that he joked with his persecutors while being burned to death. It is said that he told them that he was done on one side and could be turned over now. St. Lawrence sets an extreme example of the cheerful giver referred to in the first reading. God does not ask many of us to go to that point in our serving Him.
In the Gospel reading from St. John for today, Christ makes a startling yet simplistic statement to those who had been with Him. "Whoever serves Me must follow Me." (John 12:24-26) Why would He make such an obvious statement?
Could it be that disciples then and now would get caught up in their supposed 'mission' and forget who they were following? Of course we know the answer to be true. We get too busy to pray, to study about our faith and even sometimes to attend church...all in the name of serving. Who then are we serving? Who has become our 'god' that we follow?
Through our baptism we have put on Christ. The three times we were immersed in water during the baptismal ceremony signify the three days that Christ spent in the darkness in the tomb before emerging into the brightness of a new day and into a garden, so symbolic of new life. We too step forth from darkness on our baptismal day. Christ suffered for us so that we can be restored and prepared to serve as His disciples. Such preparation is only the beginning, though necessary, of course. It is up to us to choose many times a day to be following Christ, as there are many 'strange gods' around us. Christ also urges that we ask for the graces necessary for us to serve Him and that He can make every grace abundant for us. It is all so simple to do! We just need to pray and persevere! St. Lawrence, pray for us.
- Joan of Jesus, OCDS
(jmurphy at utica dot edu)
Tuesday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time
St. Lawrence, deacon and martyr
Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:
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