Feast of Saint Lawrence, deacon and martyr

“Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there also will my servant be. The Father will honor whoever serves me.” (John 12:26.)

Saint Augustine of Hippo comments on this verse from the Gospel proclaimed during today’s Mass:

“Christ’s servants are those who look out for his things rather than their own. “Let him follow me” means “Let him walk in my ways and not in his own,” as it is written elsewhere. For if he supplies food for the hungry, he should do so in the way of mercy, not to brag about it. He should be looking for nothing else there but to do good and not letting his left hand know what his right hand does. In other words, any work of charity should be utterly devoid of any thought of “what’s in it for me.” The one who serves in this way serves Christ and will have it rightly said to him, “Inasmuch as you did it unto one of the least of those who are mine, you did it unto me.” And the one who serves Christ in this way will be honored by his Father with the peculiar honor of being with his Son and having nothing lacking in his happiness ever again. And so, when you hear the Lord saying, “Where I am, there shall also my servant be,” do not think merely of good bishops and clergy. But you yourselves should also serve Christ in your own way by good lives, by giving to the poor, by preaching his name and doctrine as best as you can too. Every father [or mother] too will be filling an ecclesiastical and episcopal kind of office by serving Christ in their own homes when they serve their families so that they too may be with him forever.” (Tractates on the Gospel of John, 51.)

O God,
giver of that ardor of love for you
by which Saint Lawrence
was outstandingly faithful in service
and glorious in martyrdom,
grant that we may love what he loved
and put into practice what he taught.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen