Reading I: 2 Corinthians 9:6-10
Responsorial: Psalm 112:1-2, 5-6, 7-8, 9
Gospel: John 12:24-26
Feast of St. Lawrence
St. Lawrence was killed in AD 258 in the persecution of Valerian. This was a particularly brutal persecution and four days before Lawrence, Pope Sixtus and several others had been killed. Lawrence was one of the seven deacons of Rome and was known for his good humour and his generosity. He looked after the material needs of the people and was a good pastor to all. He was roasted on a gridiron and met his death cheerfully, thanking God for taking him home to heaven. As well as being patron of the poor he is the patron saint of cooks. Perhaps this is because he was cooked to death!
The gospel the church chooses for today is John 12: 24-26. It is the one about hating your life in this world and finding eternal life. Lawrence died with that cerartainty--that he ws going direct to heaven and eternal life. He carried his cheerfulness right through to the very end.