August 10, Wednesday, Saint Lawrence, Deacon and Martyr
2 Corinthians 9: 6-10 and John 12: 24-26
A meaningful life is not about what we achieve but is about what we leave.
Death is taken differently by different people depending on what they’re trying to achieve in life. If one is working hard to accumulate worldly possessions for himself and to decorate his house with plaques and certificates of his achievements then death is a horrible enemy.
But if one is laboring for the salvation of his soul by using all his possessions to help others, emptying his house to provide homes for the homeless then death is a beautiful friend who will fetch him to heaven at God’s given time. This is the meaning of today’s gospel – paradox of dying to live and to live by dying so that others may have life.
Saint Lawrence the Deacon used whatever he has, everything entrusted to him, to take care of the needs of the sick and the poor. When the emperor asked him to bring to him all the treasures of the church, the holy deacon presented to the emperor the beggars, the sick and the poor as the precious treasure of the church. This caused Lawrence his death. He was grilled alive which he willingly suffered and joyfully accepted. He even joked the soldiers to turn him around because the other side is over burned.
Those who witnessed this were converted to the faith. With his death, others lived. This is the meaning of the popular maxim, “the blood of a martyr is a seed to Christianity.” This is what Saint Paul meant in his second letter to the Corinthians (9:6-10), “The one who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed and increase the harvest of your righteousness.”
My dear friends, we want success; we desire achievements; this is not bad. But true success and achievements do not rest on our worldly possessions but on our willingness to allow ourselves to die from our selfishness and greed and give up whatever we possess on earth to possess that eternal riches God has prepared for those who love him.
Remember what the psalmist said in Psalm 112: “Blessed the man who is gracious and lends to those in need.” For to live a meaningful life is not about what we achieve but is about what we leave. Amen.
Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.” Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.