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."
The part where the Gospel said “but if it dies it produces much fruit” confused me at first. How can dying produce something at all? It’s dead… However when I reflected on it I took it to mean less literally and more like dying unto yourself to help others and allow room for Jesus.
Today we celebrate the Feast of St. Lawrence, Martyr. St. Lawrence was a Deacon and he had a profound understanding of who Jesus Christ is and what Jesus treasured. There is a story about him according to St. Ambrose, that St. Lawrence and Pope Sixtus were taken into prison. Pope Sixtus was Martyred on August 6th and the Emperor Valerian was going to spare St. Lawrence's life if he brought all the treasures of the Church to him. He agreed to bring the treasures of the church and the next day, when he was asked to present the treasures, he presented the poor people of Rome. He was then Martyred two days later. He could have saved himself, but he chose to be true to what the Gospels teaches.
Furthermore, after reflecting on the part that says, “whoever loves his life loses it”; I realized it probably didn’t mean by loving life or living life to the fullest you’re losing it. I Instead took this to mean it as whoever loves worldly things or loves the world over God will actually waste their life and not make it to heaven. On the contrary the part that says “whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life” I didn’t take to mean, if you’re negative all the time and hate life you’ll make it to heaven but instead, as meaning whoever values God above all else and does not worship worldly things will end up in heaven.
The way St. Lawrence lived his life here on earth and also how he gave of his life blood for the sake of Christ, is a good example for this Gospel reading.
St. Lawrence pray for us.