Saturday, August 10, 2002

All the Church's riches

Lawrence the deacon, the last surviving deacon of the Church in Rome ---- the bishop, Sixtus, all the other deacons, and the vast majority of the presbyters having been executed a few days before ---- was ordered to appear before the rulers at a assigned time and place, bearing all the wealth of the Church.

So he gathered all the Church's wealth and brought it to the appointed place.

He gathered together every widow, every orphan, every beggar and street kid, all the blind and deaf and lame and lunatic ---- all the riches of Christ's Church ---- and presented the riches to the emperor's representative, as he had been commanded.

But the riches of the Church were not the riches that the rulers were seeking; they were seeking jewels and precious metals and manuscripts of forbidden writings. So Lawrence was condemned to death ---- death by torture, by being cooked on a grill. According to the tradition, Lawrence kept his good humor even in dying. After some time, he informed his executioners that it was time to turn him over, since he was done on that side!

Holy St. Lawrence, help us to remember what and where the Church's riches really are, and pray for us that we may truly cherish them and never ever lose heart.
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