August 10, 2012
I tell you, most solemnly, unless a wheat grain falls on the ground and dies, it remains only a single grain; but if it dies, it yields a rich harvest. Anyone who loves his life loses it; anyone who hates his life in this world will keep it for the eternal life. If a man serves me, he must follow me, wherever I am, my servant will be there too. If anyone serves me, my Father will honour him.
Jesus tells His disciples and us a parable to illustrate the importance of dying to self and honoring God. The best example of dying to self and honoring God is Jesus’ bodily death and resurrection. The cross, central to the Christian life, reveals to us the importance of dying to self and allowing God, our potter, to mold and shape us into the instruments that He created us to be. The cross reveals to us that Jesus gave up everything He had for His Church.
Following Jesus’ example, we are challenged to die to ourselves and love His Church. Saint Lawrence allowed the grace of God to flow through him and into the world. His story was one incredible story of boldness and a deep assurance on God’s word and His promise to provide. The prefect of Rome wanted Saint Lawrence to gather all of the Church’s wealth and give them to Him. Instead of handing the wealth over, Saint Lawrence gave the wealth to the poor. When the prefect of Rome asked Saint Lawrence where the wealth of the church is, he pointed to the poor and said, “Here is the treasure of the church.” For his boldness, he was burned alive. He gave up everything to preach the gospel and remind the Church how precious they are in the eyes of the Lord.
Jesus sees us as His treasure. He tells us that we are pearls in a field that a person would sell everything he had to obtain. Having reflected on these scriptures and on the example that Saint Lawrence reveals, I am challenged to see whether I treasure the Church and whether my life reflects that my brothers and sisters, the bride of Christ, is as close to my heart as it is close Christ’s heart. For Saint Lawrence, it is clear that the Church was close to his heart and what he did reveals the love that Jesus has for His church. I am encouraged to reveal Jesus’ love for His Church in whatever way He shows me, whether it be small or big, it is all to honor the Father.
Copyright 2012 by Christenstein