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FEAST OF SAINT LAWRENCE, DEACON AND MARTYR, AUGUST 10, 2021



A Reading from 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.


REFLECTION:

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.


Every time this reading comes up during the liturgical year, I think of my great aunt A.


A is a 91 year old immigrant from Mexico. She came during the 1950's to this country, worked, married, and settled in the west coast. She and her husband didn't have children, so they became everybody's aunt and uncle.


She never forgot her roots, and while they could, she and her husband would travel back to her hometown with goods to aid her extended family. Their home always smelled of fresh brewed coffee and would always welcome friends and family for short or long stays.


They were not "well to do". He worked as a foreman for the county, and she as a dry cleaner. Even though they never had the means to travel to Europe or Hawaii, they would always have spare clothes, food, and even money to give those who needed them. And if any, a hot cup of coffee, good conversation, a lending ear, and companionship whenever anybody arrived at their home.


Most of her sisters and immediate family have already passed away. However, those who would be considered second, third, and forth generation or relatives keep an eye on her. She is visited regularly by great and great-great nephews and nieces. Many made trips from other states, or even Mexico to visit her, making sure she is doing OK, taking her to baseball games to see her favorite team, the Braves, etc.


It always amazed me that my aunt and uncle, being so poor, would never seem be in need. I once asked my mother why she thought this was. Her reply was that my aunt was so generous, she didn't feel the void in her heart with material goods. She is a true example of using things, and loving people.


Many times I forget that our priests have given up all they posses, and even themselves to us. The way they dress has great symbolism that many of us are not aware of: The Roman collar symbolizes obedience; the sash or cincture around the waist, chastity; and the color black, poverty. Moreover, black is a color of mourning and death; for the priest, the symbolism is dying to oneself to rise and to serve the Lord as well as giving witness of the Kingdom yet to come. *


When I was growing up in Mexico, priests were not allowed to wear any part of this attire in the street. It was unlawful for them since the times of the Cristero War to wear the roman collar or the cassock. Only until the last few years priests from certain organizations or orders dare to dress like priests in the street: Opus Dei, the Legionnaires of Christ, Miles Christi, etc.


Let us pray for our priests to persevere on their generous self-giving by praying the PAPA Prayer for Priests.


God bless y'all!



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