Friday 18th Week in Ordinary Time August 11, 2023

Fr. Rick’s Two Minute Homily for Feast of St. Lawrence, Deacon and Martyr
Thursday August 9, 2023, John 12:24-26

The Man Whose Heart Is Firm Will Not Fear.

Through the centuries and even today, our Catholic faith has been challenged in many ways. Nevertheless, it signifies that we are faithful to Christ and the gospel. The Church experienced this in 257 when Pope Sixtus appointed seven deacons in Rome. His first choice was Lawrence. Lawrence was appointed to distribute revenues to the poor.

In the year 258, the government was in debt, and the Roman Emperor Valerian confiscated the property of Christians. St. Lawrence was the administrator of the Church’s goods, so he sold all the property. The holy deacon distributed it to the poor as commanded by Pope Sixtus. He even sold sacred vessels.

The prefect of Rome commanded that he surrender the treasures of the Church. So, St. Lawrence promised to show those very treasures. Instead of gold and silver, he pointed to the poor and exclaimed, "here are the church’s treasures." It wasn’t long before St. Lawrence was slowly roasted on a gridiron.

He even humored his executioners, stating, "You can turn me over now. I am done on one side." Then, with his last breath, he prayed for his persecutors and the conversion of all of Rome. The witness of St. Lawrence can inspire strength in us as we pray the words of the psalmist, "Blessed is the man whose heart is firm, trusting in the Lord. His heart is steadfast. He shall not fear."

The wealth of the Church is indeed in her members who turn to Jesus in their poverty. He will always help us when the chips are down. When something overwhelms us, surrender it to the Lord. Let him take care of it. He will never fail us.


Father Rick Pilger, I.C.


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