10 August 2017
Today is the feast of St. Laurence. He “fell inwardly” in 258AD. He was a Deacon and martyred for his faith.
St. Augustine tells us the evocative story of his life. Some lives of the saints are embellishments. Not this one. Look it up if you are interested and have time.
The Gospel today proclaims:
“I tell you, most solemnly, unless a wheat grain falls on the ground and dies, it remains only a single grain, but if it dies, it yields a rich harvest” (John 12:24-26).
That mysterious grain of wheat. The mysterious dying. The mysterious rich harvest. Science has brought us a long way forward, thank God. But it is still a mystery how the grain has to die to rise – to yield an abundance.
But what about the “falling”? Yes, what about it?
Well, what might you think of this prayer from Michael Leunig? It is from his beautiful book entitled, “When I talk to you: A cartoonist talks to God:”
When we fall, let us fall inwards. Let us fall freely and completely: that we may find our depth and humility: the solid earth from which we may rise up and love again.”
You, like me, have a habit of falling. That’s it. I sin. No use kidding myself. I sin. I get disappointed in myself. I feel that I have let myself, others and the Lord down. I fall.
But am I going to fall like a pagan or a believer?
To fall like an unbeliever is to smash myself on the footpath. To fall like a disciple is to fall into the arms of my Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Lord, I pray, let me fall like that grain of wheat into the fertile soil. Let me fall inwardly, gently, freely, so as discover my depth and humility. Then, Lord, you might be able to use me for your Kingdom. Amen.