The WORD in Other Words by Fr Felix Ferrer SVD (Philippines)
Saint Lawrence, Deacon and Martyr, 2 Cor 9:6–10, Jn 12:24–26
The paradox of today‘s Good News may be understood in three related ways of servanthood, as followed by servant missionaries like St. Lawrence.
- The servant‘s model: By laying down His life on the cross, Jesus bore much fruit (12:24). Jesus‘ dying to Himself culminated in his literally laying down His life on the cross for us. That was how He bore much fruit. When we follow Him by daily dying to ourselves to serve others, we will bear much fruit, and so prove ourselves to be His disciples.
- The servant‘s mandate: To follow Jesus, you must hate, not love, your life in this world (12:25). Jesus assumes that we all want to keep our lives for life eternal. But to keep that life is to hate it. To lose it is to love it. Hating our life means dying to selfishness so we can love others for Jesus‘ sake
- The servant‘s motivation: If we serve Jesus and follow Him, we will bear much fruit, we will be with Him forever, and the Father will honor us (12:26). Following Him means dying to self so that we might, like Jesus, bear much fruit in the form of qualities, behavior, and service that He produces in and through us as we abide in Him. If we serve and follow Jesus, we will be with Him forever and the Father will honor us.
To be with Jesus in heaven throughout eternity is more than sufficient reward for all of the trials and persecution that we may go through in this life? All the honors in this world pale in comparison with the honor that the Father will give to those who have faithfully served His Son.