Jesus said to his disciples:
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies,
it remains just a grain of wheat;
but if it dies, it produces much fruit.
Whoever loves his life loses it,
and whoever hates his life in this world
will preserve it for eternal life.
Whoever serves me must follow me,
and where I am, there also will my servant be.
The Father will honor whoever serves me.” (Jn 12:24-26)
Today is the feast of Lawrence, Deacon/Martyr.
After Pope St. Sixtus was condemned to death, the Prefect of Rome ordered Lawrence to bring the Church’s treasure to him. Lawrence said he would do so in three days time.
He went through the city and gathered all the poor and sick people who had been supported by the Church.
When he brought them to the Prefect, he said: “This is the Church’s treasure!”
The Prefect was so enraged that he condemned Lawrence to death on the gridiron.
Lawrence was tied on top of an iron grill over a low fire that slowly roasted his flesh.
It was said that, before he died, he joked with his executioners: “Turn me over, I’m done on this side!”
Just before he died, he said, “It’s cooked enough now.”
Unless the grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat. But if it dies, it produces much fruit.
As much as Lawrence brought people to the Lord while he was alive, so much more did the manner in which he faced his death. His martyrdom served to bring even more people to God. He, indeed, produced much fruit.
FAITH ACTION: Are you tired of doing the same things for people without reward or recognition? As you do good today, say to God, “May my deeds bear much fruit for you, Lord.”