Thank you for joining the Good Shepherd Live Stream Mass for Monday 8/10/2020, Feast of Saint Lawrence, Deacon and Martyr

Going Deeper – Gospel Reflections

Readings for Monday 8/10/2020

Reading 1

Brothers and sisters:
Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly,
and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
Each must do as already determined, without sadness or compulsion,
for God loves a cheerful giver.
Moreover, God is able to make every grace abundant for you,
so that in all things, always having all you need,
you may have an abundance for every good work.
As it is written:
He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever.

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.

Responsorial Psalm

R. (5) Blessed the man who is gracious and lends to those in need.
Blessed the man who fears the LORD,
who greatly delights in his commands.
His posterity shall be mighty upon the earth;
the upright generation shall be blessed.
R. Blessed the man who is gracious and lends to those in need.
Well for the man who is gracious and lends,
who conducts his affairs with justice;
He shall never be moved;
the just one shall be in everlasting remembrance.
R. Blessed the man who is gracious and lends to those in need.
An evil report he shall not fear;
his heart is firm, trusting in the LORD.
His heart is steadfast; he shall not fear
till he looks down upon his foes.
R. Blessed the man who is gracious and lends to those in need.
Lavishly he gives to the poor,
his generosity shall endure forever;
his horn shall be exalted in glory.
R. Blessed the man who is gracious and lends to those in need.

Alleluia

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness
but will have the light of life, says the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
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.
Whoever loves his life loses it,
and whoever hates his life in this world
will preserve it for eternal life.
Whoever serves me must follow me,
and where I am, there also will my servant be.
The Father will honor whoever serves me.”

O Mary,

you always shine on our path
as a sign of salvation and of hope.
We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick,
who at the cross took part in Jesus’ pain,
keeping your faith firm.
You, Help of Christians and Mother of Perpetual Help,
know what we need,
and we are sure you will provide
so that, as in Cana of Galilee,
we may return to joy and to feasting
after this time of trial.
Help us, Mother of Divine Love,
to conform to the will of the Father
and to do as we are told by Jesus,
who has taken upon himself our sufferings
and carried our sorrows
to lead us, through the cross,
to the joy of the resurrection. Amen.
Under your protection, we seek refuge,
Holy Mother of God.
Do not disdain the entreaties of we who are in trial,
but deliver us from every danger,
O glorious and blessed Virgin.
Amen.

Detachment

Jesus said to his disciples: “Amen, amen, I say to you, 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.” John 12:24

This is a catchy phrase, but it reveals a truth that is hard to accept and live.  Jesus speaks directly about the need to die to yourself so that your life will bear abundant good fruit.  Again, easy to say, hard to live.

Why is this hard to live?  What is hard about it?  The hard part begins with the initial acceptance of the fact that dying to yourself is necessary and good.  So let’s look at what that means.

We begin with the analogy of a grain of wheat.  That grain must detach from the head and fall to the ground.  This image is one of complete detachment.  That single grain of wheat must “let go” of everything.  This image tells us that if we want God to work miracles in us, we must be ready and willing to let go of all to which we are attached.  It means we enter into a true abandonment of our will, our preferences, our desires and our hopes.  This can be very hard to do because it can be very hard to understand.  It can be hard to understand that detaching from all that we want and desire is actually good and is actually the way that we become prepared for the new and much more glorious life awaiting us through the transformation of grace.  Death to ourselves means we trust God more than the things we are attached to in this life.  It means we believe that God’s plan is infinitely better than any plan we can come up with.

When the grain of wheat does die and enters the ground, it fulfills its purpose and grows into so much more.  It is transformed into abundance.

Saint Lawrence, a third century deacon and martyr whom we remember today, presents us with a literal image of one who gave up everything, including his very life, so as to say “Yes” to God.  He gave up all his wealth, and when commanded by the prefect of Rome to turn over all the treasures of the Church, Lawrence brought to him the poor and the sick.  The prefect, in anger, sentenced Lawrence to death by fire.  Lawrence gave up everything to follow His Lord.

Reflect, today, upon that which God may be calling you to let go of.  What is it that He wants you to surrender?  Surrendering is the key to letting God do glorious things in your life.

Lord, help me to let go of my own preferences and ideas in life that are not in accord with Your divine will.  Help me to always believe that You have an infinitely better plan.  As I embrace that plan, help me to trust that You will bring forth an abundance of good fruit.  Jesus, I trust in You.

Source of content: mycatholic.life