Thursday, August 10, 2017

Feast of Saint Lawrence, deacon and martyr

(II Corinthians 9:6-10; John 12:24-26)

In Italy today’s feast of St. Lawrence may be celebrated by looking up at the night sky.  It is the time of year when shooting stars instill a sense of awe in the observer.  Stories about St. Lawrence provide hearers with a similar awe.

Lawrence was the deacon of the Church of Rome in charge of its treasury at the time of the persecution of the emperor Valerian.  When government officials demanded that he produce for them the church’s treasures, Lawrence led them to the city’s poor.  For this act of defiance, he was sentenced to death by burning.  It is said that during his execution he quipped to his executioners that he was well done on one side and they might turn him to be roasted on the other.

Most everyone wants to be recognized as unique in some way.  Currently it is fashionable to have one’s body tattooed in a singular way.  That seems like a dubious way to stand out.  We might encourage our young people to aspire to be different like St. Lawrence.  Rather than being known for doing something odd, they should want to excel in caring for others and enduring trials patiently.