Sunday, August 9, 2009

St. Lawrence, Deacon: August 10, 2009

St. Lawrence was one of the seven deacons of Rome during the persecution of the Emperor Valerian. Lawrence in particular was charged with caring for the poor, and when asked by the persecutors to bring in the church's wealth, he spend the next three days distributing as much as he could to the poor to keep the authorities from getting the money. On the third day, he presented the poor to the authorities, and this is the probable immediate cause of his martyrdom. As St. Lawrence was being roasted alive, it is said that he said, I'm done on this side turn me over now (or this sides done, turn me over and have another bite), which has caused him to be the patron saint of comedians.

Seriously, his dedication to serving the church through serving the poor, and his strong witness in the midst of torture, makes him a model deacon and saint for all time.

Father, you raised up your deacon Laurence to serve you through acts of love, and fearsome martyrdom. Help us that we would always remember that the true treasures of the church are those who need to hear the word of God, this we ask through Yeshuah haMoshiach, who lives and reins with you and Ruach haKodesh, one God in glory everlasting, Amen. (red)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


On this feast day we remember an event mentioned in three of the Gospels. Yeshua took Kephas, Yakob, and Yohanes to the mountain to pray (they are lying on the ground in fear. Suddenly the appearance of Yeshua was transformed, and they see Moshe and Eliyahu talking with Yeshua. Kephas (Peter) shouts out, we should build three tabernacles (tents) one for each of you. Yeshua is hidden by a cloud, and they hear a voice, "This is my Son, listen to him.

Let us remember this is a very special event. Yeshua is on his way to Yerushalayim to be crucified. Kephas, Yakob and Yohanes (Peter, James and John) are the three disciples of the inner circle, who alone were present with Yeshua for certain miracles. Moshe (Moses) represents the Law, and Eliyahu (Elijah) represents the prophet. They are there as witnesses that Yeshua completed the law and the prophets. Yeshua glows with the uncreated divine light demonstrating that he is God. The apostles naturally are terrified, which is the reaction of all who come face to face with the living God and his power, as we are convicted of our sins. Naturally also, they want to keep this mountain top experience, hence Kephas wanting to build shelters for the three.

OF course the problem with the mountain top, is it is the mountain top. It is not something we can hang on to. God grants visions, signs and wonders not to those who are strong, but to those who are weak and need building up in faith. Once we have been built up in faith, we need to go to the valleys to do our work, in the case of Yeshua, to Yerushalayim to be crucified, in the case of the Apostles to go from Spain (possibley Britain) to India to proclaim the faith and die for it.

Lastly, God tells the Apostles to listen to Yeshua. Those of you who are parents, what do you usually mean when you tell your kids to listen to you? Is it not a request for obedience. Le us then ask God to fill us with the power of the Ruach haKodesh so that we may be tranfigured by Yeshua, that others may see him in us, and that he would strengthen us to proclaim the Gospel.

Dear Lord, as you transfigured Yeshua upon the mountain that his disciples could see his Shekina Glory, so fill us with the power of the Ruach haKodesh that the light of Yeshua would shine out from us in all that we do and say. This we ask in the name of Yeshua haMoshiach, who lives and reins with you and the Ruach haKodesh, one God in glory everlasting. Amen. (gold)