Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
He was one of the seven deacons of the city of Rome, Italy under Pope [St.] Sixtus II [7 August] who were martyred in the persecution of the Christians that the Roman Emperor Valerian ordered.Quoth the Holy Family bulletin:
He was a Roman deacon under Pope St. Sixtus II. Four days after this pope was put to death, Lawrence & four clerics suffered martyrdom, probably during the persecution of the Emperor Valerian. The church built over his tomb became one of the seven principle churches in Rome & a favorite place for Roman pilgrimages.'Tis also the festival of Blessed Amadeus of Portugal, Priest, O.F.M. (1420-1482): Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link.
'Tis also the festival of Blesseds Franciszek Drzewiecki (F.D.P.) & Edward Grzymała, Priests & Martyrs (died 1942), martyred in the reign of the Führer Adolf Hitler, two of the One Hundred Eight Martyrs of World War II: Martyr-link Foxtrot Delta & Wikipedia-link Foxtrot Delta (№ 21), Martyr-link Echo Golf & Wikipedia-link Echo Golf; Wikipedia-link CVIII.
Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Feast of St. Lawrence
The Second Letter to the Corinthians, chapter nine, verses six thru ten;
Psalm One Hundred Twelve, verses one & two, five & six, seven & eight, & nine;
The Gospel according to John, chapter twelve, verses twenty-four, twenty-five, & twenty-six.
Commentary: Gospel reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, Our Gospel for today contains one of the most beautiful and terrible summations of the Christian message: "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."
And now this one upon whom the crowds had pinned their hopes is speaking of falling to the earth and dying. And then it gets stranger. "The man who loves his life loses it, while the man who hates his life in this world, preserves it to life eternal." Come again?!
Just when we are raising you up, you're talking about falling down; just when we are showing you that your life has come to its fulfillment, you're talking about hating this life.
To understand what all this means, we should go back to the grain of wheat that falls to the earth. A seed's life is inside, yes, but it's a life that grows by being given away and mixing with the soil around it. It has to crack open, be destroyed.
Jesus' sign is the sign of the cross. The death that leads to transfiguration.