The Gospel reading for the Feast of St. Lawrence is John 12:24-26.

After His triumphant entry into Jerusalem that begins Passion Week, Christ responds to His apostles’ (Andrew and Philip) petition for Him to meet with some Greeks. Rather than responding directly to the request, Christ instead makes a prophetic statement about the universal blessings of His coming Passion and calls the apostles to follow Him in martyrdom.

Christ reveals that His “hour” has finally arrived. Christ’s “hour” is the beginning of His Passion through which He will be glorified and all men who follow Him will receive eternal life. Christ describes His “hour” in a metaphor of a seed which must necessarily “die” to bear much fruit; Christ will die and open the doors to Heaven to those who are willing to follow Him by giving up themselves for the Kingdom. Christ reveals to the Apostles that they too must be prepared to follow His example of giving up His life if they wish to gain the eternal rewards of the Father’s love. Every apostle except for John (and of course, Judas who betrays Christ), will be martyred for Christ.

Two centuries after Christ’s Ascension, the Roman Emperor Valerian murdered Pope Sixtus II and sought to confiscate all the Church’s wealth from St. Lawrence, one of the 7 deacons of Rome. Tradition holds that St. Lawrence sold everything and gave the money to the poor; when Valerian demanded to see the Church’s “treasure”, St. Lawrence showed Valerian a group of paupers; St. Lawrence was slow-roasted to death over a fire. St. Lawrence’s tomb continues to be venerated at the Basilica of Saint Lawrence outside the Walls in Rome.

Awed by Jesus ChristDivine Prophet, Christ reveals His coming passion. Divine King, Christ leads by example and calls men to follow Him, even unto death. Divine Teacher, Christ instructs His men with compelling and memorable examples from nature.

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) Be awed by Christ’s firm courage in facing what He knows will be a gruesome death and His bold challenge to men to follow Him in martyrdom.

2) Inspired by the heroic model of Christ’s death and responding to His call for men to follow, St. Lawrence fearlessly served Christ and followed Him in death. Refresh the need to Follow Christ (CCC 520, 618, 1709, 2715) and pray for Him to convert your heart so that you might more perfectly follow HIm. St. Lawrence, pray for us.

3) In the day-to-day battle of life, men can forget about the powerful champions Christ has given men in the Saints. Renew your understanding of the Communion of the Saints (CCC 946-962, 2683) and pray for Christ to help you to be strengthened by your patron Saint(s) (CCC 2165, 2156) and those Saints who can help you prevail over your life challenges.

Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers

Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Luminous Mysteries

Daily Devotion – The Holy Eucharist

Virtue of the Day – Fortitude

Corporal Work of Mercy – To shelter the homeless

Spiritual Work of Mercy – To bear wrongs patiently