August 10, 2015
2 Cor 9: 6-10
The point is this: the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work. As it is written, “He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.”
He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
Generosity and Sacrifice
St. Lawrence, a deacon of the Roman church, was arrested in 258 AD during the Christian persecution of Emperor Valerian. St. Ambrose is the earliest source for the tale that, when asked to hand over the treasure of the Church, Lawrence asked for three days to gather together the wealth. He worked swiftly to distribute as much Church property to the poor as possible, so as to prevent its being seized by the Roman prefect. On the third day, at the head of a small delegation, he presented the poor, the crippled, the blind and the suffering, and said these were the true treasures of the Church. St. Lawrence was immediately martyred and then buried in the Christian catacombs.
Today’s martyrs hand over their lives to the Lord in different circumstances than did St. Lawrence. The common thread then and now is that commitment to the gospel and selfless generosity in the Lord’s service. As St. Paul assures us, God provides abundance of grace for every good work, “to multiply your seed and in increase the harvest of your righteousness.”
In my life today, what personal sacrifice and selfless generosity does the Lord invite?
—The Jesuit prayer team
Holy God, you crowned the life of St. Lawrence with glorious martyrdom. May we find our personal treasure in lives poured out in service to all your people, especially the poor and those neglected by others. Amen!
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