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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

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St. Lawrence

2 Corinthians 9:6-10
Psalm 112:1-2, 5-9
John 12:24-26

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consumer or consumed?

"The man who loves his life loses it." —John 12:25

St. Lawrence is the patron of bountiful giving. It is said that he gave the Church's treasures to the poor. Lawrence sowed bountifully and cheerfully. Now he reaps the bountiful harvest of transformed lives even centuries after his death (see 2 Cor 9:6). Lawrence not only gave possessions to the Lord; he gave his life for Him by cheerfully suffering martyrdom by fire. He was like a grain of wheat which falls to the earth, dies, and produces much fruit (Jn 12:24).

Lawrence's life and death show that God wants not only all our money and possessions, but also all our time, energy, relationships, work, lives, and deaths. The Lord commands us to love Him with all our hearts in the most radical way (Mt 22:37).

"Our God is a consuming Fire" (Heb 12:29). We are accustomed to being consumers ourselves. However, when we give our lives to the Lord, we are no longer primarily the consumers but the consumed. We feel like resisting this but, whether or not we want it, we will be consumed by something — work, compulsive behavior, TV, sports, food, cigarettes, anger, jealousy, etc. If we let God consume us, then we will not be degraded, but loved. Therefore, give, and give in to God's consuming love.

Prayer:  Father, use me and use me up.

Promise:  "He will multiply the seed you sow and increase your generous yield." —2 Cor 9:10

Praise:  When the Prefect of Rome demanded the Church's treasures, St. Lawrence gathered together the poor and sick whom the Church had helped and said, "This is the Church's treasure!"

Reference:  (Be consumed by God by reading the Bible daily. For encouragement, order, listen to, or download on our website: Ignorance of Scriptures is Ignorance of Christ, CD 82-1, How to Pray the Bible, CD 82-3, How to Read the Bible, CD 46-3, Principles of Bible Interpretation, CD 79-1.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 23, 2016

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