Today’s readings can be found here.
I very vividly remember my mother telling me not to touch the hot plate because I would burn my hand, but still I reached out and touched the hot plate. Sure enough, I burned my hand. I imagine most of us had such an experience growing up as children, we have to learn for ourselves, even if it means getting burnt. Of course, I too, just like many of you immediately pulled my hand back. It’s an instinct we’ve all learned.
That’s why when I read stories such as today’s 1st reading, or the martyrdom of St. Lawrence, I am so amazed. These individuals were willing to forego that instinct and endure great pains for the faith. Yet when we touch fire, we pull back. So while we are not at risk of being literally burned for our faith, perhaps we would do well to reflect upon what is it in our spiritual life or faith that is causing us to pull back? What about our spiritual journey or faith scares us so much that we instinctually pull away from it as if it were a hot plate? Are we willing to follow the example of Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, St. Lawrence and so many others by not pulling away from our fears? Are we willing to endure some difficulty so that we might grow and even in doing so become a witness of the faith to others?
(P.S. – St. Lawrence is the inspiration for my BBQ team name, “Turn me Over Now”)