This is the blessed Lawrence, who gave himself up for the treasure of the Church: for this he earned the suffering of martyrdom to ascend with joy to the Lord Jesus Christ.
O God, giver of that ardour of love for you, by which Saint Lawrence was outstandingly faithful in service and glorious in martyrdom; grant that we may love what he loved and put into practice what he taught. Through our Lord…
“God loves a cheerful giver.”
A reading from the second Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians (2 Corinthians 9:6b-10)
Brethren: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do as he has made up his mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that you may always have enough of everything and may provide in abundance for every good work. As it is written, “He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor; his righteousness endures for ever.” He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your resources and increase the harvest of your righteousness.
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 112:1b-2.5-6.7-8.9 (R. 5a)
R/. It goes well for the man who deals generously and lends.
Blessed the man who fears the Lord,
Who takes great delight in his commandments.
His descendants shall be powerful on earth;
the generation of the upright will be blest. R.
It goes well for the man who deals generously and lends,
who conducts his affairs with justice.
He will never be moved;
for ever shall the just be remembered. R.
He has no fear of evil news;
With a firm heart, he trusts in the Lord.
With a steadfast heart he will not fear;
he will see the downfall of his foes. R.
Open-handed, he gives to the poor;
his justice stands firm for ever.
His might shall be exalted in glory. R.
ALLELUIA John 8:12
Alleluia. I am the light of the world, says the Lord; he who follows me will have the light of life. Alleluia.
“If any one serves me, the Father will honour him.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to John (John 12:24-26)
At that time: Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If any one serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there shall my servant be also; if any one serves me, the Father will honour him.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
Plant life is one of the best examples that describe a life that is lived for others. Unless a grain of seed falls to the ground and dies, it cannot produce much fruit. This maxim is given as a solemn declaration because of its preeminent importance for the Christian life. Jesus is the model of a life spent for the welfare of others. We produce fruit to the extent that we do less of actions that only serve our selfish good but more of actions that benefit others. Jesus is asking us today to be where he is and to do what he does. St Lawrence was so honoured by God because he followed Jesus to the extent of becoming a holocaust for him.