Jesus said, «Truly, I say to you, unless the grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much fruit. Those who love their life destroy it, and those who despise their life in this world keep it for everlasting life. Whoever wants to serve me, let him follow me and wherever I am, there shall my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him».
Jesus the giver of life doesn’t desire ‘death’ of His people. All that He wishes is that we give fruit, through our words and deeds. Just like a little grain who allows itself to be transformed by the external elements, like a vine branch which is pruned for better fruit, Jesus wishes that we allow God to transforms us. To remove the unnecessary elements in us which remain a huddle for our growth, in our freedom, we should surrender to divine will. Jesus uses simple language to make us understand the deep divine truth. The close relationship between God and man.
This radical transformation is possible, only if learn to detach ourselves from our very being, thus allowing our being to die, and give raise to the new birth in God, as God wished, right from the beginning of the creation. Thus, in this process of transformation, we while remaining purely human, learn to act divinely, in our limited humanity. Letting the ‘human’ to die in us, make us worthy to reborn ‘divine’ in God. God doesn’t destroy our humanity, rather He transforms it as divine.
It is in this transformation, we learn to drink from the cup of Jesus and be able to participate in His baptism. Here we become Christ. Just like Paul felt in him, we too will be able to say, ‘it’s no more I who live, rather Christ who lives in me.’ In this new birth, we will do the divine will, in its perfection and God the Father will certainly honour us.
Action of the day: Shall we, like St. Lawrence, use our material and spiritual richness, for the service of the humanity?
«Whoever wants to serve me, let him follow me and wherever I am, there shall my servant be also»
Fr. Antoni CAROL i Hostench
(Sant Cugat del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain)
Today, the Church —through the liturgy of the Eucharist celebrating the feast of St. Lawrence, the roman martyr— reminds us that «there exists a testimony of coherence that all Christians must be willing to give, even at the cost of great sacrifice and suffering» (Saint John Paul II).
Moral law is saint and inviolable. This assertion, certainly contrasts with the relativistic environment abounding now a days, whereas we tend to easily adapting ethical demands to our personal comfort or to our own weaknesses. We shall certainly not find anyone admitting: —I am immoral; —I am unconscious; —I am a person without truth... Anyone admitting these facts would automatically and immediately disqualify himself.
The definite question would therefore be: what moral, what conscience and what truth are we talking about? It is evident that social peace and healthy coexistence cannot be based on a “moral à la carte”, where each one chooses his own way, without bearing in mind the inclinations and aspirations the Creator has set out for our nature. This “moral”, far from leading us trough the «paths of righteousness» towards the «green pastures» the Good Shepherd wants for us (cf. Ps 23:1-3), it would irremediably take us to the quicksand of the “moral relativism”, where absolutely everything can be debated, agreed upon and justified.
Martyrs are unappealable testimonies of the saintliness of the moral law: there are basic demands of love that accept neither exceptions nor adaptations. In fact, «in the New Covenant we can find numerous testimonies followers of Christ that (...) accepted persecutions and death before making the idolatrous gesture of burning incense before the statue of the Emperor» (Saint John Paul II).
In the Roman environment of emperor Valerian, the deacon «St. Lawrence loved Christ in life, and imitated Christ unto death» (St. Augustine). And, once again, we see confirmed that «the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life» (Jn 12:25). Luckily for us, the memory of St. Lawrence will perpetually remain as a signal that to follow Christ is worth offering our life rather than admitting frivolous interpretations of his path.