Thursday, August 10, 2006

Feast Day of Saint Lawrence

Saint Lawrence was a deacon in Rome. The persecutors of the Church demanded that he hand over the Church’s treasures. In order to obtain a real treasure in heaven, he suffered torments, the account of which you can only listen to with horror: he was laid on a grill over a fire. However, he triumphed over all the physical suffering by means of extraordinary strength, which he drew from his charity and his faith.

This made the persecutors angry… Lawrence said: “Send some chariots with me with which I can bring you the Church’s treasures.” They gave him chariots. He filled them with poor people and sent them back saying: “Here are the Church’s treasures.” (from The Daily Gospel)

The practice of appointing deacons started when the original apostles were overwhelmed with the tremendous amount of work. Even at that time, it was a revolutionary idea to see any value in the poor. Poverty remains a relative idea. While material poverty in the US is a far cry from the poverty 2000 years ago, material poverty in the Philippines continues to approach levels from a long time ago. Regardless, we will always have the poor and serving them is an opportunity to edify our lives.

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