One Monk of the Order of Saint Benedict

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The Word of God and the Body of God reveal each other -- the homily worships both.

August 10, 2007

For the Feast of Saint Lawrence, Deacon and Martyr, August 10

John 12:24-26

St. Lawrence was a deacon of the pope, and died a martyr in Rome on August 10 in the year 258.
The word “deacon” comes from the Greek for “servant”.
In the original language of the Gospel, today we have the Lord saying:
If anyone serves me
[if he “is my deacon”]
he must follow me;
and where I am,
there shall my servant [DEACON] be also;
if anyone serves me
[if he “is my deacon”]
the Father will honor him.

The Father will give the honor of eternal life to the loyal servant of Christ.
The heroic example of St. Lawrence and the strong language of the Lord’s Gospel tell us how to be loyal servants of Christ and so gain the honor of eternal life.
Like a grain of wheat,
a man brings forth much fruit by falling and dying
If he prefers his life in this world,
he loses it.

If he hates his life in this world,
he PRESERVES IT for eternal life.

Christ does not tell us to DESTROY our lives in this world.
Rather, we may preserve our lives in this world if we want ETERNAL life more than our lives in this world only.
The truth is that our life in this world is folded into eternal life, and that our eternal life is folded into our life in this world.
Christ says today, “Whoever hates his life in this world will preserve IT for eternal life.”
We are to hate not life itself.
Rather, we are to hate a life that ignores eternity.
At present, in this world, our lives are in disorder.
Our human nature is in disorder, out of harmony with itself.
We each have a body, a reasoning mind, free will and feelings.
These— body, mind, will, feelings— don’t always line up with each other, and never perfectly nor permanently.
That failure— that lack of order, harmony, and peace— that lack is something we naturally and rightfully HATE.
God did not make disorder, and he too hates it.
Human sin is origin of disorder.
In Christ— Truly God and Truly Man— we are justified, rectified, put in order and harmony through and through— body, mind, will, emotion.
Yet the order and harmony will not fully wake up until our own resurrection— if— in this world— we have hated sin and the disordered results of sin.
Christ by word and example shows us how to hate sin and its results— how to live and die in this world so that we gain eternal life.
St. Lawrence, like Christ himself, handed himself over for the glory of the Father and for the true, eternal good of humanity.
Christ gave his life and blood, like a grain of wheat falling into the ground, dying, and bearing immeasurable fruit, that we— in body, mind, will and feelings— that we might have life in fullness and for ever.
The Master hands over to us his body and blood to glorify the Father and to be the beginning of our eternal life.
What the Master does, so does the loyal servant.
Where the Master is, there is the loyal servant.
If we are to have eternal life, we must hand over our lives as did the loyal deacon St. Lawrence, and as our Eucharistic Master still does.

That God Be Glorified in All


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