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AUGUST 10. Ord Time B. Wk 19. Tue. Jn.12. 24-26

Jesus said to his disciples:

‘I tell you, most solemnly,

unless a wheat grain falls on the ground and dies,

it remains only a single grain;

but if it dies,

it yields a rich harvest.

Anyone who loves his life loses it;

anyone who hates his life in this world

will keep it for the eternal life.

If a man serves me, he must follow me,

wherever I am, my servant will be there too.

If anyone serves me, my Father will honour him.’


Today is the feast of St. Laurence, who was martyred on August 10th in the year 258. He was given a prominent place in the early church that has been maintained throughout history; - even though little is known about him. As he was one of the earliest martyrs in the Church it is good to recall his death, and in doing so remember the multitude of Christians throughout history who given their lives for their Faith; - in imitation of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.


The words of Christ in today’s Gospel point to the need for a seed to die if it is to bear fruit; - a lesson which can be easily understood and applied to the life of not only the martyrs, but also to Christ and anyone who professes to be one of his followers.


‘If anyone has a mind to come my way, let him deny himself take up his cross and follow me!’


What Christ is asking of his followers here is that they die to their own desires and wishes; - replacing them with the Will of God; - a practice that involves a real death; - not a physical death; - but one that calls for the renunciation of one’s own will.


But the main reason Christ calls for this renunciation is it allows the Christian to bear witness to his Love for God; - putting his before one’s own interests; - which is exactly what Christ did for us on Calvary.


The value of Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross comes, not only from his sufferings, but from the fact he put the will of God ahead of his own; - motivated by Love!


And in showing his love for God; - and his people in this way; - Christ then invited Christians to do the same; - to bear witness to their love by renouncing their own interests and their own desires.


And this involves genuine sacrifice and “death” to one’s own plans and desires; - which is why Christ placed great emphasis on Charity, or Love of Neighbour; - as it calls on us to renounce our own will; - and our own interests; - in order to “love” our neighbour!


Christians find this type of “death” very difficult because we are sinners; - with the definition of sin being to put our own will ahead of the will of God! Christ wants us to put God and Neighbour first; - a true spiritual death to our own interests and desires!


A love that St. Laurance bore witness to; - as have multitudes of fellow martyrs after him!


Gospel Acclamation Jn8:12


Alleluia, alleluia!

I am the light of the world, says the Lord;

whoever follows me will have the light of life.

Alleluia!




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