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Saturday, August 10, 2002

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St. Lawrence

2 Corinthians 9:6-10
Psalm 112
John 12:24-26

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almsgiving and all-giving

"I solemnly assure you, unless the grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat. But if it dies, it produces much fruit." —John 12:24

There is "giving," of which Jesus Himself said: "There is more happiness in giving than receiving" (Acts 20:35). Then there is giving bountifully (2 Cor 9:6) and cheerfully, "for God loves a cheerful giver" (2 Cor 9:7). Next, there is "giving till it hurts," that is, sacrificially. Finally, there is "giving all," everything we have to live on (see Lk 21:4).

This last kind of giving is the giving:

  • done by Jesus on the cross and by the martyrs,
  • called for by the first commandment, that is, loving God with all our hearts, all our souls, all our minds, and all our strength (Lk 10:27),
  • by which we receive God's kingdom (Mt 13:44-46),
  • in which we by faith possess everlasting life (see Mt 19:16, 21),
  • which is multipliable (see e.g. Mt 14:17ff), and
  • which is dying to self and bears much fruit (Jn 12:24).

For love of Jesus crucified, give all.

Prayer:  Father, may I not diminish the meaning of my life by giving less than "all."

Promise:  "God can multiply His favors among you so that you may always have enough of everything." —2 Cor 9:8

Praise:  St. Lawrence, a deacon who served the pope, survived the martyrdoms of the pope's other deacons, but received his own opportunity to witness their Savior four days later.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, February 7, 2002

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 12, 2002