Tuesday, July 21, 2009

JULY 21 SAINT LAWRENCE OF BRINDISI

“St. Lawrence Brindisi”
Artist and Date are UNKNOWN
JULY 21

SAINT LAWRENCE OF BRINDISI,
PRIEST AND DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH


Biographical Information about St. Lawrence of Brindisi [1]

Readings for the Memorial of St. Lawrence of Brindisi

Readings and Commentary:
[2]

FIRST READING

2 Corinthians 4:1-2, 5-7

Brothers and sisters:
Since we have this ministry through the mercy shown us,
we are not discouraged.
Rather, we have renounced shameful, hidden things;
not acting deceitfully or falsifying the word of God,
but by the open declaration of the truth
we commend ourselves to everyone's conscience in the sight of God.
For we do not preach ourselves but Jesus Christ as Lord,
and ourselves as your slaves for the sake of Jesus.
For God who said, Let light shine out of darkness,
has shone in our hearts to bring to light
the knowledge of the glory of God on the face of Jesus Christ.
But we hold this treasure in earthen vessels,
that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us.
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Commentary on
2 Cor 4:1-2, 5-7

St. Paul speaks of his own ministry to the people of Corinth. Using his actions as an example, he makes the case for repentance (“…we have renounced shameful, hidden things”) and against false teachers (“…not acting deceitfully or falsifying the word of God”). Paul then uses the “light in the darkness” metaphor. He seems to be thinking of
Genesis 1:3 and presenting his apostolic ministry as a new creation. In his final statement he makes it clear that it is for God’s glory in Christ that he proclaims this message and that the messenger himself is the humble “earthen vessel”

CCC:2 Cor 4:6 298, 2583; 2 Cor 4:7 1420
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RESPONSORIAL PSALM
Psalm 40:2 and 4ab, 7-8a, 8b-9, 10, 11

R. (8a and 9a) Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.


I have waited, waited for the LORD,
and he stooped toward me and heard my cry.
And he put a new song into my mouth,
a hymn to our God.
R. Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.


Sacrifice or oblation you wished not,
but ears open to obedience you gave me.
Burnt offerings or sin-offerings you sought not;
then said I, "Behold I come."
R. Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.


"In the written scroll it is prescribed for me,
To do your will, O my God, is my delight,
and your law is within my heart!"
R. Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.


"I announced your justice in the vast assembly;
I did not restrain my lips, as you. O LORD, know."
R. Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.


"Your justice I kept not hid within my heart;
your faithfulness and your salvation I have spoken of;
I have made no secret of your kindness
and your truth in the vast assembly."
R. Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.
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Commentary on
Ps 40:2 and 4ab, 7-8a, 8b-9, 10, 11

While Psalm 40 is a song of thanksgiving, it is also combined with a lament. The initial waiting is satisfied by favor shown by God to one who is faithful in service to Him. Praise and thanksgiving are given to God whose justice is applied to all.


CCC: Ps 40:2 2657; Ps 40:7-9 LXX 462; Ps 40:7 2824
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GOSPEL
Long Form
Mark 4:1-10, 13-20

On another occasion, Jesus began to teach by the sea.
A very large crowd gathered around him
so that he got into a boat on the sea and sat down.
And the whole crowd was beside the sea on land.
And he taught them at length in parables,
and in the course of his instruction he said to them,
"Hear this! A sower went out to sow.
And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path,
and the birds came and ate it up.
Other seed fell on rocky ground where it had little soil.
It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep.
And when the sun rose, it was scorched and it withered for lack of roots.
Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it and it produced no grain.
And some seed fell on rich soil and produced fruit.
It came up and grew and yielded thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold."
He added, "Whoever has ears to hear ought to hear."

And when he was alone,
those present along with the Twelve
questioned him about the parables.
Jesus said to them, "Do you not understand this parable?
Then how will you understand any of the parables?
The sower sows the word.
These are the ones on the path where the word is sown.
As soon as they hear, Satan comes at once
and takes away the word sown in them.
And these are the ones sown on rocky ground who,
when they hear the word, receive it at once with joy.
But they have no roots; they last only for a time.
Then when tribulation or persecution comes because of the word.
they quickly fall away.
Those sown among thorns are another sort.
They are the people who hear the word,
but worldly anxiety, the lure of riches,
and the craving for other things intrude and choke the word,
and it bears no fruit.
But those sown on rich soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it
and bear fruit thirty and sixty and a hundredfold."
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Commentary on
Mk 4:1-10, 13-20

St. Mark’s Gospel begins a section of teachings on the Kingdom of God through parables. We note that Jesus is teaching from a boat which would provide a natural amphitheater with the ground sloping to the shore. Here the Lord presents the parable of the “Sower”. As in St. Matthew’s Gospel he follows the unvarnished parable with a deeper explanation to the Disciples.

In the Parable of the Sower from Mark’s Gospel, Jesus uses the rich analogy of the seed (of faith given in Baptism) to show the various courses of faith in human endeavor. Because this selection gives not only the parable but the Lord’s explanation of its meaning the only historical note we will make is that, at that point in history in that region, when planting a field, the seed was sown first and then the field was plowed.


CCC: Mk 4:4-7 2707; Mk 4:15-19 2707
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OR
Short Form
Mark 4:1-9

On another occasion, Jesus began to teach by the sea.
A very large crowd gathered around him
so that he got into a boat on the sea and sat down.
And the whole crowd was beside the sea on land.
And he taught them at length in parables,
and in the course of his instruction he said to them,
"Hear this! A sower went out to sow.
And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path,
and the birds came and ate it up.
Other seed fell on rocky ground where it had little soil.
It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep.
And when the sun rose, it was scorched and it withered for lack of roots.
Some seed fell among thorns,
and the thorns grew up and choked it
and it produced no grain.
And some seed fell on rich soil and produced fruit.
It came up and grew and yielded thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold."
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Commentary on Mk 4:1-9

The shorter form of the Parable of the Sower omits Jesus’ explanation of the story to his disciples.St. Mark’s Gospel begins a section of teachings on the Kingdom of God through parables. We note that Jesus is teaching from a boat which would provide a natural amphitheater with the ground sloping to the shore. Here the Lord presents the parable of the “Sower”. In the Parable of the Sower from Mark’s Gospel, Jesus uses the rich analogy of the seed (of faith given in Baptism) to show the various courses of faith in human endeavor. As a historical note, at that point in history in that region, when planting a field, the seed was sown first and then the field was plowed.


CCC: Mk 4:4-7 2707
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Reflection:

There are many valorous examples among the Saints of what it means to be sent into the world by Christ. On this day we recall with joy the life and deeds of St. Lawrence of Brindisi, a great evangelist and Doctor of the Church. This latter title tells us that this humble priest made significant contributions to our understanding of our faith through his writings and preaching.

We are reminded by the Word of God in St. Mark’s Gospel and by St. Lawrence’s example that what God plants in us, his Holy Spirit, he does not expect to lie dormant. Rather we are expected to provide a fertile media in which it can grow; and growing spread to others. As the rich analogy of the Sower also predicts, some of what we plant with our words and actions will not be met with a positive response but we must not be daunted. It is for this very reason the Church holds up great men and women who have demonstrated this great fidelity of purpose and heroic effort.

As St. Lawrence wrote; “God is love, and all his operations proceed from love.” As we recall his life and words, let us rededicate ourselves to taking up the Word of God and passing it on to others. Through our love of God in Christ let us show those we meet what a loving God can mean to them, and in doing so, extend God’s field to the farthest reaches of the world.

Pax

[1] The picture is “St. Lawrence Brindisi” Artist and Date are UNKNOWN
[2] Text of Readings is taken from the New American Bible, Copyright © Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Excerpts from the English translation of The Roman Missal © 1973, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved.

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