Homily for Monday of the 19th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle II
Theme: The cost of following Jesus
By: Fr. Benny Tuazon
Homily for Monday August 10 2020
(Jn. 12:24-36) Feast of St. Lawrence, Deacon and Martyr
In today’s Gospel Jesus told His disciples the cost of following Him. Nothing, even life, will be left to be held for the faith:
“… 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.”
Death is warranted in the Christian Faith not as a penalty but as an offering for the faith. Death is seen not as the end of life but an expression of self emptiness, an entry to life eternal.
St. Lawrence was ordained a deacon in order help in the apostolate of the Church. He took care of the poor, the widows and the orphans and even sold a lot of sacred vessels so he can give them more money. The prefect of Rome came to hear about what he was doing and summoned him to turn over the Church treasures to the emperor so he can use them to fortify his army and since poverty had been espoused by Jesus. To wit, St. Lawrence answered, “The Church is indeed rich; nor hath the emperor any treasure equal to what it possesses. I will show you a VALUABLE PART; but allow me a little time to set everything in order, and to make an inventory.”
After three days, St. Lawrence presented to the prefect in rows the decrepit, widows, orphans, the blind, the lame, maime, lepers, and maidens.St. Lawrence said, “These are the treasures of the Church.” The prefect was astonished. The prefect was fuming and arrested St. Lawrence and swore to put him to a slow and painful death. St. Lawrence was tied to a gridiron with glowing coals under it. The story was told that after a while, he asked his guard to turn him over for one side is broiled enough! St. Lawrence died praising God and his body oozing with the sweet smell of Christ.
Martyrdom is grace. Not everyone of us will be given that opportunity to be a martyr for the faith. If we are put in that situation, God will certainly shower us with all the graces we need to be faithful. But we can be “minor” martyrs in the sense that we can opt to die to ourselves everyday. Being patient, understanding, forgiving, generous, humble, etc., are small sacrifices, not asking for our life, we can extend to our neighbours.
Martyrdom or not, we must be willing to offer our lives for the faith, for the Lord!