Celebrating St. Lawrence, the Martyr and the Parish

Today is the feast day of St. Lawrence, the Martyr, patron saint of our parish here in Santa Clara. Daily personal prayer is part of my daily routine. It requires discipline. I have to make time and room for it. It is as necessary to me as breathing or eating. But personal private prayer cannot be complete unless done along side with prayers in community. Christ promised where two or three are gathered in His name, He will be right there in their midst.

St. Lawrence lived during the times of Roman persecutions of he early Christians. He was charged with the care of the temporal goods of the Church. He had a special place in his heart for the poor, the needy and those persecuted. He died a martyr’s death during the reign of the Emperor Valerian. His love and service to the Church became legendary even while he was still alive.

In St. Lawrence the Martyr Parish, my family and I have found a community united in love and service. In it, we have come to appreciate what ‘Catholic’ truly means. It means universal, the whole church, the whole community of believers, the Body of Christ. A body that is not whole is sick. A body that is whole is also holy.

Everybody is welcome in Saint Lawrence. Across the centuries, a deacon (literal meaning: servant)  from the early Christian times still inspires people of today. Across many countries and cultures, people come together to pray and worship in a wonderful melange of brotherhood and in community. Across different age groups, people of all ages come together to love and serve one another and those others who are in need of love and caring. Beyond all these differences, people of such diverse backgrounds come together to proclaim One Lord and to profess but one Faith, under one Father and living as one community in one Spirit.

I thank the Lord for the gift of community in our lives. I thank God for the community in Saint Lawrence.

Jesus said “Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor.”
John 12:24-26

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