Reflections

Wednesday of 19th Week of the Year, August 10, 2022

>>> St LAWRENCE – Pray for Us!
UNLESS A GRAIN OF WHEAT FALLS AND DIES
Introduction
As a deacon, Lawrence was placed in charge of the poor of Rome. When he was ordered to surrender the goods of the Church to the persecutors, he distributed them to the poor. When asked where the treasures of the Church were, he showed the poor… He was broiled alive. Rome venerates him as one of the greatest saints and co-patron of Rome with Peter and Paul. May we learn loyal service from him.
 
Opening Prayer
Our generous God,
You want us to be to everyone
ministers of your joy and generosity.
Help us to express our gratitude to you
and to reveal your goodness
by sharing what we are and have
with joy and in all sincerity
like the deacon St. Lawrence,
who imitated the self-giving
of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen!
 
1 Reading: 2 CORINTHIANS 9:6-10
Brothers and sisters: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each must do as already determined, without sadness or compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. Moreover, God is able to make every grace abundant for you, so that in all things, always having all you need, you may have an abundance for every good work. As it is written: He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor; his righteousness endures forever. The one who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed and increase the harvest of your righteousness.
 
Responsorial PSALM 112:1-2, 5-6, 7-8, 9
R. (5) Blessed the man who is gracious and lends to those in need.
 
Blessed the man who fears the LORD,
who greatly delights in his commands.
His posterity shall be mighty upon the earth;
the upright generation shall be blessed. R.
 
Well for the man who is gracious and lends,
who conducts his affairs with justice;
He shall never be moved;
the just one shall be in everlasting remembrance. R.
 
An evil report he shall not fear;
his heart is firm, trusting in the LORD.
His heart is steadfast; he shall not fear
till he looks down upon his foes. R.
 
Lavishly he gives to the poor,
his generosity shall endure forever;
his horn shall be exalted in glory. R..
 
Alleluia JOHN 8:12BC
Alleluia, alleluia.
Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness
but will have the light of life, says the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
 
Gospel JOHN 12:24-26
Jesus said to his disciples: “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there also will my servant be. The Father will honour whoever serves me.”
 
Commentary
Soliloquy of a Seed
The theme of kenosis continues in Jesus’ discourse today. A contemplative nun, whom I had requested to adopt me for prayer, gifted me a little greeting card for my perpetual profession. It carried a poem with the above title. With no name of the author mentioned, I am unsure if it was her own poem or someone else’s. I still treasure the card, with its little poem, in my Bible. It suits the theme of today.
Something tells me
To surrender
All I am
And hope to be
And to descend
The dark of earth
To be transformed
Into a tree;
But to go up
Dare I go down
And think a tree
Can fit in me?
 
Intercessions
– That we may be discreet and unobtrusive in helping people in need, we pray:
– That we may learn to see the unspoken needs of timid, simple and humble people, we pray:
– That the Lord make us joyful and generous of hearts and hands, we pray:
 
Prayer over the Gifts
Lord God, our life and joy,
you give us not only what we need
but you give us the best of yourself
in your Son Jesus Christ.
Accept from our hands
these humble gifts of bread and wine,
which we have received from you,
and through them let Christ come among us.
May they express that we too
are willing to share with others
without demanding favours or recompense.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen!
 
Prayer after Communion
Lord our God,
your gifts to us are humble and veiled,
like the giving himself to us of your Son,
in the signs of bread and wine.
God, who look into the depths of our heart,
teach us to share without display,
that our left hand may not know
what our right hand is giving.
Let it be our joy to know that you know.
Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen!
 
Blessing
”The more you sow, the more you reap.” Let us learn from God to be generous, for he is not stingy with his gifts to us. God loves the joyful giver. May God bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

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