One Minute Reflection – 10 August – Feast of Saint Lawrence (Died 258), Deacon and Martyr, Gospel: John 12:24–26
“Whoever loves his life loses it and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life” … John 12:25
REFLECTION – “The Roman Church commends this day to us as the blessed Laurence’s day of triumph, on which he trod down the world as it roared and raged against him, spurned it as it coaxed and wheedled him and in each case, conquered the devil as he persecuted him. … The blessed Lawrence carried out the office of deacon in the Church of Rome. In that office he administered Christ’s sacred blood to the faithful and for Christ’s sake he shed his own blood. The blessed apostle John clearly expounded the mystery of the Lord’s Supper when he said: “Just as Christ laid down his life for us, so should we lay down our lives for our brothers” (1 Jn 3:16). Saint Lawrence understood this and acted accordingly. His self-sacrifice was similar in kind to that which he received at the altar. He loved Christ in his life and imitated Him in death.
Brethren, let us imitate Lawrence if we truly love Christ. We cannot show a better proof of our love than by imitating Him. “Christ suffered for us, leaving us an example that we might follow his footsteps” (1 Pt 2:21)… Indeed the garden of the Lord contains not only the roses of martyrdom but also the lilies of virginity, the ivy of marriage and the violets of widowhood. So no-one, my dear brethren, need despair of his vocation. Christ suffered for all… Therefore we must try to understand how the Christian ought to imitate Christ other than by shedding his blood or enduring martyrdom.
The apostle Paul says of our Lord Jesus Christ: “His state was divine, yet he did not cling to his equality with God.” What majesty was His! Paul adds: “He emptied himself to assume the condition of a slave and became as men are” (Phil 2,6f.). What humility He showed! Christ humbled Himsel,; the Christian has His example to imitate. “Christ became obedient” (v.8). Why then should a Christian be proud? It was after enduring this humility and defeating death that Christ ascended into heaven, let us follow Him.” … St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor of the Church (From a sermon delivered by St Augustine in about 400 AD on the occasion of the Feast of St Lawrence.)
PRAYER – Lord God, You inspired St Lawrence with so ardent a love that his life was renowned for the service of Your people and his death for the splendour of his martyrdom. Help us to love what he loved and to live as he showed us. St Lawrence, Martyr for Christ and His Church, pray for us. Through our Lord, Jesus Christ, in union with the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever amen.