FROM GIVING TO LIVING


Feast of Saint Lawrence, deacon and martyrLectionary: 618

Reading 1 2 COR 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 PS 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. Blessed the man who is gracious and lends to those in need.

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. Blessed the man who is gracious and lends to those in need.

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. Blessed the man who is gracious and lends to those in need.

Lavishly he gives to the poor, 

his generosity shall endure forever;

his horn shall be exalted in glory.

R. Blessed the man who is gracious and lends to those in need.

Alleluia JN 8:12BC
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness

but will have the light of life, says the Lord.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel JN 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 honor whoever serves me.”

REFLECTION: FROM GIVING TO LIVING

“Let me say this much: He who sows sparingly will reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will reap bountifully. Everyone must give according to what he has inwardly decided.” –2 Corinthians 9:6-7
Giving sets the tone for living. If we give bountifully of our possessions, time, and energy (2 Cor 9:6), we will live an abundant life (Jn 10:10). If, however, we give sparingly (2 Cor 9:6), do the minimum, and not go beyond the letter of the law (2 Cor 3:6), we will feel we are getting little out of life, marriage, work, Mass, prayer, friendship, and other blessings. If we give sparingly, begrudgingly, and selfishly, the joys of our lives seem to be put in “a bag with holes in it” (Hg 1:6). The salt of our lives loses its flavor. We are then “good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot” (Mt 5:13).
Almsgiving leads to giving in many other ways. As we give more and more, our lives become giving to the point that almsgiving results in “all-giving.” Like Jesus, we become like “the grain of wheat” which “falls to the earth and dies” to produce “much fruit” (Jn 12:24). Then we live in the everlasting giving of our lives to the Lord.
“Yes, God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him may not die but may have eternal life” (Jn 3:16). “You need to recall the words of the Lord Jesus Himself, Who said, ‘There is more happiness in giving than receiving’ ” (Acts 20:35). Give all, and live always in the Lord.
PRAYER: Prayer: Father, may giving change my life.

PROMISE: Promise: “He Who supplies seed for the sower and bread for the eater will provide in abundance; He will multiply the seed you sow and increase your generous yield.” –2 Cor 9:10

PRAISE: Praise: Martyred in Rome, St. Lawrence prayed for Rome’s salvation up until his last breath.

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