today's readings are 2 Corinthians 9: 6-10; Psalm 112 and John 12: 24-26
Today the Universal Church celebrates the feast of the Deacon and Martyr, St. Lawrence.
Lawrence lived in the 3rd century, and well know for his work with the poor of Rome. One day, when confronted by a Roman official to hand over the treasures of the church to the civil authorities, Lawrence asked for a bit of time to do so, which was granted to him. One can only imagine the shock of that official when Lawrence presented to him hundreds of poor and sick people to that official, telling him that these were the treasures of the Church, those for whom the Church was privileged to serve.
The Roman official was not amused by Lawrence's wisdom and cheek, and so ordered Lawrence to be tortured and then killed by laying on a heated grate over a fire. Lawrence's rather unique sense of humour was with him, even in his last moments, as he asked his torturers to turn him over as he was "quite done on one side".
With faith and humour Lawrence is a classic example to all of us, as he served God and God's people both in life and in his death. His life was foreshadowed by St. Paul's words in our first reading, "Each of you must give as you have made us your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver".
Truly Lawrence cheerfully gave his time and talents and yes even his treasure for the glory of God and for the benefit of all. St. Lawrence, pray for us!!
P.S. the image above is "St. Lawrence distributes alms to the poor" by Fra Angelico (1395-1455)